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  Abstract noun
  Accent marks
  Adjective
  Adverb
  Article
  Auxiliary verb
  Cardinal number
  Comparative adverb
  Compound noun
  Concrete noun
  Conditional tense
  Conjugation
  Conjunction 
  Continuous tense
  Definite article
  Demonstrative adjective
  Demonstrative pronoun
  Diphthong
  Direct object pronoun
  Feminine word
  Future tense
  Gender
  Gerund
  Imperative tense
  Imperfect tense
  Impersonal verb
  Indefinite adjective
  Indefinite article
  Indefinite pronoun
  Indicative verb
  Indirect object pronoun
  Indirect speech
  Infinitive tense
  Interrogative adjective
  Interrogative pronoun
  Intransitive verb
  Irregular verb
  Masculine word
  Negative
  Noun
  Object (direct / indirect)
  Ordinal number
  Passive tense
  Past participle
  Past perfect
  Perfect tenses
  Person
  Personal pronoun
  Plural
  Positive
  Possessive adjective
  Possessive pronoun
  Preposition
  Present tenses
  Preterite tense
  Pronoun
  Proper noun
  Question word
  Reflexive verb
  Regular verb
  Relative pronoun
  Reported speech
  Simple tenses
  Singular
  Stem (verb)
  Subject
  Subject personal pronouns
  Subjunctive tenses
  Superlative
  Tilde
  Transitive verb
  Verb
  Verb ending (other endings)
     
     
Making Sense of Grammar - Grammar Definitions
 
  Abstract noun
  A noun that refers to an emotion, idea, feeling or quality that cannot be detected by the five senses, (touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell). A noun which names anything other than a physical object, (love, beauty, sadness, wisdom, education.) Compare with concrete noun.
 
  Accent marks
  Accent marks in Spanish are upward sloping lines that are sometimes placed above a vowel á, é, í, ó or ú to tell the reader that that letter should be given greater vocal emphasis. Often they are used in Spanish to differentiate between two words that are spelt the same. Example - si means yes or if but means himself, herself etc.
 
  Adjective
  A 'describing' word that expresses an attribute of someone or something, for example a description of size, colour, age or general appearance. Examples - a red book / the dirty, old carpet!
 
  Adverb
  An adverb is a word that normally modifies a verb, an adjective or another verb in a way that can alter it's original meaning or to give more information about when, where and how something happens or to what degree. Examples - he walked slowly / unusually dark / very old
 
  Article
  Refers to words like 'a', 'an' or 'the' when they are used before a noun. There are two different forms of 'article'. See definite article and indefinite article for more details.
 
  Auxiliary verb
  A verb that is included in a sentence before a main verb and which modifies it. Auxiliary verbs are often used to form questions, negatives and to convey probability. The auxiliary verb 'to have' is used to form the perfect tenses. Examples - are you hungry? / I didn't know! / I have been before. They are also known as 'Modal Verbs'.
 
  Cardinal number
  A number that is used in counting (not dates - ordinal numbers) one, two, three etc
 
  Comparative adverb
  A comparative adverb that is used to compare people, things or actions. They are formed by adding - er onto the end of words or by including the words 'more' or 'less'. Examples - faster / slower / more closely / less important
 
  Compound noun
  A noun made up of more than one word either in the form of a combined word, two or more separate words together or a hyphenated word. Examples - tin-opener / park bench / softball.
 
  Concrete noun
  The opposite of an abstract noun. A noun that refers to a person, animal, place, or thing that can be detected by the five senses, (touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell). Examples - house / tree / table / skyscraper
 
  Conditional tense
  A verb form which attempts to convey possibility usually in situations where something hasn't actually happened yet. The use of 'could', 'would' and 'should' in English. Examples - I would like to come but it could be dangerous!
 
  Conjugate (to) - conjugated
  A term given to a verb when it changes from it's infinitive form into another tense. This will involve changing either the stem or ending of the verb or both. Example - Comer (infinitive) To eat -- can change to Yo Como (present simple tense) I eat -- The verb 'comer' has been conjugated.
 
  Conjunction
  A word that is used to join parts of a sentence together or to link two words or phrases of similar type. Examples - him and her / it was good but hard / I know because I saw
 
  Continuous tense
  A verb tense which uses two verbs where the first is always some form of the verb estar (to be) and the second is conjugated to form a gerund (..ing). Used with all verb tenses except the 'imperative'. Example - I am eating / they were talking
 
  Definite article
  Refers to the word 'the' in English and 'el,la,los and las' in Spanish. Named the definite article because it refers to something or somebody specific. Compare to indefinite article 'a' or 'an' which refers to something or somebody in general.
 
  Demonstrative adjective
  An adjective is a word used to describe something. A demonstrative adjective is a describing word used to refer to something or somebody specific. In English there are four types - this / that / these / those. In Spanish there are more!
 
  Demonstrative pronoun
  A pronoun is a word that is used in place of a noun. A demonstrative pronoun in English, is one of these four words - this / that / these / those which is used in place of a noun. For example - that meal looks tasty (that - in this case is a demonstrative adjective) - that looks tasty (that - in this case is a demonstrative noun. It replaces the noun!)
 
  Diphthong
  Diphthong is the technical term given to the sound made when two vowels together (or vowel + y), are pronounced as one syllable. If one of the letters has an accent mark or tilde then the letters are pronounced separately.
 
  Direct object pronoun
  A word like me, you, him, her, or it etc in English which is used in place of a noun and with a verb. A direct object pronoun is used to show who or what the action of a verb is intended to benefit. Example - he saw me ('me' is the direct object pronoun) Example - he gave me it ('it' is the direct object pronoun.) In Spanish direct object pronouns are always placed directly next to the verb that they are used with.
 
  Feminine (word)
  A word usually a noun, pronoun or adjective that is associated with women and not men. In English it is rarely used - women's intuition. In Spanish and many other languages it is used frequently. Una casa roja - all feminine words.
 
  Future tense
  That verb tense which is used to convey actions that will occur or become true.
 
  Gender
  Refers to whether a particular word or phrase is either masculine or feminine.
 
  Gerund
  A verb form which ends with - ing in English and usually ando or iendo in Spanish. The gerund is commonly used with the verb estar (to be) to form continuous tenses. Example - I am eating (estoy comiendo)
 
  Imperative tense
  A verb tense (formation), that is used to give orders or instructions. Examples - go / come / sit down / stand up / don't talk / be quiet
 
  Imperfect tense
  A verb tense used to talk about actions that happened in the past. Unlike the preterite tense the imperfect tense is used to convey continuing actions that occur in the past instead of those that have been completed. Often used in English with 'used to' (I used to read.) Examples - I was eating / it was sunny (Imperfect - no definite finish to the action.) - I sold my car / she said hello (Preterite - the action has an implied finish.)
 
  Impersonal verb
  A verb whose subject is always 'it' but used in a way that does not represent any specific action, occurrence, or state of being. Commonly used to describe the weather in English - it rains every day (it) does not refer to anything in particular!
 
  Indefinite adjective
  An adjective which is used to talk about people or things in a general way. They are usually used with nouns like normal adjectives but without necessarily conveying anything specific about the nouns they are used with. Example - many children cry / any book will do
 
  Indefinite article
  The words 'a' and 'an' in English and 'un' and 'una' in Spanish. They are used to refers to a specific person or thing and not people or things in general like Definite Articles are.
 
  Indefinite pronoun
  A pronoun which is used in place of a noun but which is not specific. They are used to talk about people or things in a general way. Examples - all / every / everything / everybody - When the same types of words are used with nouns they usually become indefinite adjectives. Examples - all people / every person (indefinite adjectives)
 
  Indicative (the)
  Verb formations that are not subjunctive. An indicative verb refers to a verb that is formed in one of the more commonly used tenses such as the present simple, future or perfect tenses. Compare with the definition of 'subjunctive tenses'
 
  Indirect object pronoun
  A word used in place of a noun that is indirectly affected by the action of a verb. A verb can either be used with a direct object pronoun only, or both a direct and indirect object pronoun together. Example - I moved it ('it' is the direct object pronoun. There is no indirect) - I moved it for him ('it' is the direct object pronoun and 'him' is the indirect object pronoun.) Often in English indirect object pronouns are preceded by prepositions such as ' to ' or ' for '.
 
  Indirect speech
  A style of writing which reports spoken words without actually repeating those words by using speech marks. Example - he said "how are you?" (direct speech.) - he asked me how I was (indirect speech) Also known as reported speech.
 
  Infinitive (the)
  A verb form which has not been conjugated, and therefore used in it's original form. Example - estar (to be) and not, estás (you are).
 
  Interrogative adjective
  Certain question words that are used with nouns in order to form questions. Words that ask a question about a particular noun. Examples - which car? / what car?
 
  Interrogative pronoun
  Certain question words which are used without nouns to form questions. Examples - who said? / which one? These are some of the same question words that are used to form interrogative adjectives. See separate definition for more details.
 
  Intransitive verb
  A verb which cannot be used with direct object pronouns (or nouns) and which is not an auxiliary verb. These types of verbs are usually used to convey occurring actions without referring to anything or anyone in particular. Most verbs can be either transitive or intransitive. Example - The baby drinks milk (to drink = transitive - 'milk' is a direct object) - The baby drinks quickly, (to drink = intransitive - no direct object pronoun or noun used). Some verbs can only be intransitive. Example - to sleep - he sleeps well, (no direct object is possible here).
 
  Irregular verb
  A verb which when conjugated does not follow a general or regular pattern that can be copied. The opposite of a regular verb.
 
  Masculine (word)
  A word, usually a noun, pronoun or adjective that is associated with men and not women. In English it is rarely used. Example - men and machines. In Spanish and many other languages it is used frequently. Example - Un caro rojo - all masculine words.
 
  Negative
  Referring to words, phrases or statements which convey negation, resistance or opposition and which possess no positive qualities. Words in English such as 'not', 'never' or 'nothing' for example. In English some words change their form to convey the negative. Example - I didn't know / She won't come.
 
  Noun
  A word which is used to name physical things, living beings or ideas or thoughts. nouns are normally used to name the things we can see, touch, feel, taste or hear all around us. Examples - bike / horse / woman / sadness / Maria.
 
  Object
  An object usually refers to a noun or pronoun that is the receiver of an action conveyed by a verb. It refers to a person or thing that is affected by this action. An object usually comes after the verb whereas a subject usually comes before it. (not in passive speech!) The man (subject) drank (verb) the wine (object) quickly. In this sentence the noun 'wine' is the object. A pronoun can also form the object of a verb, such as, 'it'. See direct and indirect object pronouns for more details.
 
  Ordinal number
  A number which is used to express position or order as opposed to ordinary counting. Examples - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th. Compare with cardinal numbers.
 
  Passive tense
  A verb tense (formation), which is used when the subject of the verb comes after the verb. The subject of the verb is usually the person or thing that is affected by the verb and not the object. Example - The race (object) was won (verb) by Mark (subject) = a passive sentence.
 
  Past participle
  Refers to a verb ending which is used when forming one of the perfect tenses with the verb - to have (haber) or the ending of verbs formed in the past simple tense. The past participle of regular verbs formed in the past simple tense in English is 'ed'. The endings of irregular verbs usually form common patterns. Examples - Yo come (I ate) Yo he comido (I have eaten).
 
  Past perfect
  In English the past perfect refers to a verb that is formed using 'had' in order to convey something that happened in the past, but usually before another action that happened in the past. Example - I had wanted to go before I left. In Spanish the past perfect is normally formed using a verb tense which has no direct equivalent in English. Example - yo estaba and not yo había estado (I had been). See verb tables for full guide.
 
  Perfect tenses
  Referring to verbs that are formed with the past participle and 'to have' (haber). The past participle part of the verb doesn't change. In both Spanish and English it is the 'to have' (haber) part which changes depending on which tense is being used. Examples - I have eaten (yo he comido) / I had eaten (yo había comido) / I would have eaten (yo habría comido).
 
  Person
  'Person' refers to the subject that is used with a verb. In English 1st person = ( I, we ) 2nd person = (you - singular and you - plural) 3rd person = (he, she, it and they).
 
  Personal pronoun
  A word used instead of a noun and which indicates who or what is being talked about or to. Often a personal pronoun forms the 'subject' of a verb. Examples in English - I, you, he, she….. 'object' personal pronouns = him, her, them.....
 
  Plural
  A word that is formed in such a way as to refer to more than one person. Compare with singular. Examples - tables (mesas).
 
  Positive
  Referring to a word, phrase, sentence or word construction which does not refer to something negative or contain a negative word such as 'not'. Example - allowed as opposed to not allowed.
 
  Possessive adjective
  One of a set of words including my, mine, your, yours, his, her etc (mi, mío/a, tu, tuyo/a suyo/a....) which are used with a noun in order to attribute ownership of that noun. Example - my (mi) book / a friend of mine.
 
  Possessive pronoun
  One of a set of words including mine, yours, his, hers (mío/a, tuyo/a, suyo/a), which are used instead of a noun to identify who something belongs to. Example - Who's dog is this? It's mine (used instead of saying - it's my dog = possessive adjective)
 
  Preposition
  A word which links nouns, pronouns, verbs and phrases to other words in a sentence. Prepositions are usually followed by a noun, pronoun or word ending in …ing. They are used to show how people and things relate to the rest of a sentence. Examples - at (a) on (en) by (por) for (para) with (con)
 
  Present tenses
  Those tenses which are used to convey something which is happening now, something that is true now, or something which occurs regularly. See verb tables for a complete guide.
 
  Preterite tense
  Refers to the past tense. It is used to talk about people or things in the past. It English it is more commonly known as the 'past simple tense'. Examples - I said (yo dije) / they drank (ellos tomaron).
 
  Pronoun
  A word that is used instead or in place of a noun. They are used in situations where it is not necessary to include the noun or where we deliberately want to exclude it by referring to something or somebody indirectly. Examples - I need it / that one / I saw you / there are none
 
  Proper noun
  A noun which refers specifically to a person, place, title or thing. Such nouns are written with a capital letter in English but not always in Spanish. Examples - Mike / Madrid / King George / Grand Canyon.
 
  Question word
  Also known as an interrogative. A word that is used to ask questions. Often referred to as wh… words in English because the majority of question words begin with wh.. but not all ! Examples - What? (¿qué?) / Where? (¿dónde?) / When? (¿cuándo?) / How? (¿cómo?). In Spanish all question words take accent marks (tildes).
 
  Reflexive verb
  A verb who's object and subject are the same. A verb used to refer back to the subject of the verb. In English a reflexive verb is usually followed by a reflexive pronoun to make it clear that the verb is being used reflexively. Examples - I washed before I went out (In this case 'I' is both the object and the subject of the verb) I washed myself before leaving (the use of myself makes it clear that 'I' is the object) In Spanish all reflexive verbs end in -se (lavarse - to wash oneself) and follow other conjugation rules. See the lessons on reflexive verbs for more details!
 
  Regular verb
  A verb which is conjugated in the same way as all other regular verbs in all tenses. Such consistencies could occur in the stem of the verb or the ending or both! Compare with irregular verbs.
 
  Relative pronoun
  A word like which, that or who in English which is used to links two parts of a sentence together. Examples - he knew which one / the man that spoke.
 
  Reported speech
  The same as 'indirect speech'. A style of writing which reports spoken words without actually repeating those words by using speech marks. Example - he said "how are you?" (direct speech) - he asked me how I was (indirect / reported speech.)
 
  Simple tenses
  Verb tenses where only the verb itself changes form and which does not include another word to complete that formation. Example - estoy ( I am = simple, only one word ) estoy caminando / he estado (I am walking / I have been = not simple, contains more than one word.) There are simple tenses in the present, past and future.
 
  Singular
  Referring to a single person or thing. Compare to plural, (more than one person or thing.) Examples - desk / chair / person / mountain.
 
  Stem
  Refers to the beginning part of a verb and not the end of the verb. Both the stem and the ending of a verb may be changed or added to when forming different verb tenses. Example - camin(stem)ando(ending) - walking.
 
  Subject
  A noun or pronoun which is used to identify who or what is performing the action of a verb or who or what is being described by the verb. Often the subject comes before the verb. Examples - she sang a song / my mum said no / the wind was strong.
 
  Subject personal pronoun
  A word that is used instead or in place of a noun and which forms the subject of a sentence. The subject is used to identify who or what is performing the action of a verb or who or is being described by a verb. Subject personal pronouns are those which refer directly to a person or thing. Examples I / you / he / she / it / we / they (yo / tú / él / ella / usted / nosotros-as / vosotros-as / ellos-ellas-ustedes) - compare with object pronouns.
 
  Subjunctive tenses
  Verb formations that are not indicative. The word subjunctive is often used to describe tenses that are reflective of mood, desire, and the existence of doubt or potential. Such tenses are typically used less frequently than other tenses. See verb tables for more information.
 
  Superlative
  An adjective or adverb which refers to an exaggerated expression that in English, either has ..est at the end of it or most or least in front of it or after it. The superlative is used in comparisons. Example - biggest / smallest / most expensive / least attractive.
 
  Tilde
  This is a word that is sometimes given to either a written accent mark that appears above vowels; á, é, í, ó or ú or the mark that is used above the letter n in Spanish, ñ.
 
  Transitive verb
  A verb construction which is accompanied by a direct object. Some verbs cannot take a direct object and are therefore intransitive. Examples to spend time (time - direct object) to fall down (no direct object is possible!) Compare with intransitive verbs.
 
  Verb
  An action word which is used to describe what something or somebody does or is doing in the present past or future. Examples - I bring / you should come / they screamed
 
  Verb ending (other endings)
  The end part of a verb that changes when it has been conjugated - habl(ar) -- habl(o) - (to speak -- I speak). An ending can also be added to nouns and adjectives depending on whether they are masculine, feminine, singular or plural. Example - mujer(es) - women / hombr(es) - (men).
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