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Spanish Grammar for beginners: Present Tense (Part 4)

Updated on June 18, 2013

you know it makes sense!

Superglue - get it right; make sense!
Superglue - get it right; make sense! | Source

The Demystification of Grammar (part 4)

You have to face up to it! You NEED grammar, and that's all there is to it. You can squirm around and avoid eye contact with it for months ...but at the end of the day you will finally have to face up to it. Well, only if you you REALLY want to be able to communicate at a decent level in a foreign language and you are past the age when you can pick up the grammar rules subconsciously, unaware that you are doing so!

If you go about grammar in the right way and get a clear picture of the language patterns that the language is made up of, then the task of lerning grammar becomes fun as you start noticing patterns that you weren't even aware of in your own language.


In any sentence, in English or any foreign language, the basic meaning or intention is expressed by referring to

1) WHAT is being done (name of verb)

2) WHO is doing it (person)

3) WHEN it is being done. (tense)

When we take any verb infinitive, (the WHAT) , and add to it the WHO and the WHEN element, this process is named conjugating the verb.

Hallelujah! All of this is encapsulated in ONE WORD = The VERB. Hey! How important is that?

Hence the VERB is really the SUPERGLUE that brings all of that vital information to all sentences. (ALL true sentences must have a verb,)

Get some help with these great books

Grammar Rules! OK?

In the first two parts of this series, I explained the need to be able to understand how VERBS work and how they must be considered the SUPERGLUE. We have seen how the Me and the you part of the verb is formed....Now for the next step...

Let's be gossips and talk about someone else and what HE or SHE is getting up to!


Habla inglés (He or she speaks English)

Come mucho (He or she eats alot)

Bebe agua (He or she drinks water)

Vive en Méjico (He or she lives in Mexico)

Es español (He is Spanish) Es española (She is Spanish)

Tiene un niño (He or She has got a child)

Va a Madrid (He or She goes to Madrid) or

(He or She is going to Madrid)

Quiere vino (He or She wants some wine)

Please Note: if your listener may have forgotton WHO you are talking about (He or she) then just add before the verb ÉL (He) or ELLA (She:  pron =eyya) to clarify: So:  Él quiere vino = He wants some wine. And : Ella quiere vino = She wants some wine.


Tools for learning.

If you are really serious about learning a second language, you should invest in the materials that are going to help. Firstly you need to provide yourself with a good Spanish - English dictionary and Spanish grammar reference book. There are other titles out there which focus just on the Spanish verb, which is what I recommend as, in my experience, there is no other single grammatical item as important, or as extensive, as the verb! One you have conquered the verb, you will be well on your way to your goal of mastering a second, or third (!), language.

The sky is the limit!

The curious thing about language learning is that generally, those who speak a second language, often find it much easier to speak a third or even fourth language. The key to language learning is to break the mind's concept that there is only one language. Once the mind has come out of its comfort zone and assimilates there exists another language pattern, it will much more easily adapt to more. So now you know that, the sky's the limit!

Quiere dos vinos!

Quiere dos vinos!
Quiere dos vinos! | Source

Now deny everything! Say NO

You may find it hard to to say 'NO' sometimes but you won't have a problem in Spanish! I have mentioned in a previous article how EASY it is to say 'NO' in Spanish!

Take the sentence 'She doesn't speak French'. So many times students ask me "How do you say 'doesn't' in Spanish?" There are no actually different words for 'doesn't' or 'don't' or 'won't' or 'wasn't' as the NEGATIVE of the all verbs, whenever theyare taking place, is simply 'NO' !

How cool is that. SO EASY!


No habla francés (He or She doesn't speak French)

No come mucho (He or she doesn't eat much)

No bebe cervea (He or she doesn't drink beer)

No vive en Madrid (He or she doesn't live in Madrid)

No es inglés (He is not English) / No es inglesa (She isn't English)

No tiene coche (He or she hasn't got a car)

No va a Paris (he or she doesn't go to Paris or He or she isn't going to Paris)

No quiere vino (He or she doesn't want any wine)


Strangely enough, I have noticed that many learners seem to stumble over making the Spanish verb negative. This is due to the fact that English grammar rules are quite complex: don't / doesn't / are'nt / isn't / can't / wasn't / weren't / hasn't / haven't / didn't / hadn't / wouldn't / couldn't....all these are called auxiliary or 'modal' verbs which help us to make the English verb negative... When speaking Spanish, all we have to remember is "NO!

Interrogation time!

In my next article, I will be looking at how to form questions in Spanish, or to give it its grammatical term, the 'Interrogative' form.

But before that, it may be useful to look back over Spanish for Beginners: Part 1 and Spanish for Beginners: Part 2 of this series before embarking on the interrogative form.

Also see other related articles on language and language:

How to learn Spanish fast - Intensive courses

Raising bilingual children

Ten tips for learning Spanish

Common mistakes in Spanish

How to make Spanish omelette

Origin of Spanish tapas

Learn to play Spanish Classical Guitar

Please comment below if you found this article helpful or if you have any specific questions about Spanish grammar

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    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 7 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      Thanks for commenting, breakfastpop. Glad you found it useful!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      I love this hub. Maybe, I can actually learn to speak Spanish. Thank you. Voted up and useful.

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 7 years ago

      I agree with you marieryan, when you say that learning grammar is the most important thing in acquiring another language. I try to learn some Spanish by myself, and your hubs about the topic are quite helpful in the process!