and miscellaneous tips
Sentence: a grammatically self-contained speech unit consisting of a word or a syntactically related group of words that expresses an assertion, a question, a command, a wish, or an exclamation, that in writing usually begins with a capital letter and concludes with appropriate end punctuation... (Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary)
I speak Spanish. (yo) Hablo español. (implied)
A verb is a word which expresses an action (fights), occurrence (represented), or state of being (is). The predicate in a sentence will normally be a conjugated verb; that is, the verb will be in some particular tense and mood, such as the present indicative [hablo], and not isolated in the infinitive [hablar, to speak], gerund [hablando, speaking], or participle form [hablado, spoken].
The subject of the sentence is often the doer but it is important to remember that we are referring to the grammatical subject of the verb. Thus, the subject is a person or thing of which something is predicated. In Spanish the subject often does not appear as a specific word or word group since the verb endings can supply this information: [Nosotros] escribimos bien.
In Spanish, the subject and its predicate must agree in number. Singular subjects require singular verbs, plural subjects require plural verbs. Note that la gente [people] and todo el mundo [everyone] are singular in Spanish!
La gente aquí no sabe nada de eso. People here don't know anything about that.
Remember that the subject-verb-complement arrangement may be reversed for certain idioms in different languages.
Me gustan las naranjas. indirect
predicate subject [Literally, The oranges are pleasing to me.]
Book title: El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha or:
El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha
Article title: El arte de hacer rebozos en Santa María del Río Magazine title: Boletín de arte mexicana or Boletín de arte mexicana
¿Qué pasa, amigo? What's happening, friend? Vienes mañana, ¿no? You're coming tomorrow, right? Al entrar en el salón ¡se me cayó la sopa! Upon entering the room, I dropped the soup!
¡No me digas! replicó doña Clara. No puede ser así.
«¡No me digas!», replicó doña Clara. «No puede ser así.»
"¡No me digas!", replicó doña Clara. "No puede ser así."
¡No me digas!, replicó doña Clara. No puede ser así.
Know how your dictionary is organized. The punctuation and abbreviations used in definitions all have important meanings. Learn them and use them to your advantage. Also, investigate the accompanying tables (usually found at the end of the dictionary), especially the verb charts and note how they are cross referenced in the definitions.
USE BOTH HALVES OF THE DICTIONARY! If you look up a word/expression in the English-Spanish part and there are several possibilities given, check them out in the Spanish-English part to find the best one.
Make sure the word needed is the correct part of speech for what you have in mind (noun, verb, adjective, etc.); if it is not, you may have to restructure your sentence entirely.
Are you looking for a verb which will have a direct object? Determine whether the verb given in the definition list can be used transitively. For example, if you want to express the idea I fought him you cannot use luchar [to fight] with a direct object, since luchar is ordinarily an intransitive verb.
|[Practice: Oraciones completas]||
[Practice: El diccionario.]
|Contact: Fred F. Jehle|
|Indiana University - Purdue University Ft. Wayne|
|Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499 USA||