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How to know if a word is Masculine or Feminine in Spanish? (Differentiate the Gender of Singular and Plural Nouns)

This section is divided in two parts. First, we will look at a few guideline related to the gender of nouns in Spanish. After that, we will review the use of the singular and plural forms of masculine and feminine nouns in Spanish. Let´s get started.

What is a “noun”?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a noun is defined as “a word that is the name of something (such as a person, animal, place, thing, quality, idea, or action)”. In Spanish, nouns are either masculine or feminine, and this mental shift is one of the most challenging aspects for English Speakers who are learning “Español”.

Masculine or feminine?

Although in English there is no need to think about whether a pencil is masculine or feminine noun, it is important in Spanish because the adjectives (i. e. pretty, ugly, small, big)  and articles (the equivalents of “the” in Spanish, such as: el, la, los and las) of a sentence must match the gender and number of nouns. Continue reading How to know if a word is Masculine or Feminine in Spanish? (Differentiate the Gender of Singular and Plural Nouns)

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How to Use Definite and Indefinite Articles in Spanish

The use of articles in Spanish is a topic that often troubles beginners who instinctively add or remove neutral articles in places where specific ones are required in terms of gender and number. Although this is one of those topics that is mastered with practice, knowing the overall structure of definite and indefinite articles will make things easier for you. Continue reading How to Use Definite and Indefinite Articles in Spanish

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Easy Ways to Talk about the Future in Spanish

It was almost lunch time, when Umir came to my desk and asked me this: “How do I say: “I am going to the bathroom?”

“Why do you want to know that?” I asked.

He replied: “Because I was on my way to the bathroom, I got curious and I started thinking: How would I say this in Spanish?”

He continued by saying: “I already know a little about the present tense. But, how do I talk about the future in Spanish?”

I explained that an easy way to say “I am going to the bathroom” in Spanish is: “Voy a ir al baño”, and then continued to share a few basic tools to talk about the future in Spanish during lunch.

Today, we will review a few of the tools I shared with him that day, as well as additional ones that have been very useful for my students over the years.

In this article, we will review a few conversational shortcuts that will be useful for beginners who want to talk about the future in Spanish without having to memorize lots of conjugations.

Continue reading Easy Ways to Talk about the Future in Spanish

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Easy Ways to Talk about the Past in Spanish

“At one point, I thought I was not going to be able to learn Spanish. There just seemed to be so many words and so many things to learn. I didn’t know how to get started” said Sonia one day while we were having lunch.

Then I asked: “Remember when we reviewed the past tenses in Spanish?”

She replied: “Yes, the way you explained it helped me get unstuck. Before, I used to think the past tense was completely random and illogical and difficult to memorize. But after understanding the patterns I could use; it was much easier. It made sense.”

Then, we continued to have lunch and had a few laughs as she told me a few fun stories about her unusual coworkers. Good times! =)

What’s this about?

In this article, we will cover some of the main tools that helped Sonia (as well as other students) so she could talk about the past in Spanish quickly, without having to memorize dozens of difficult conjugations.

Continue reading Easy Ways to Talk about the Past in Spanish