Declarative sentences in Spanish
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Word order in Spanish
Spanish simple sentences follow, as in English, the scheme subject + verb + object.
Use of subject pronouns
The subject pronouns in Spanish (yo, tú, él, ella, nosotros, vosotros, ellos, ellas) are omitted in most of the sentences. In case you want to emphasize the person, you can use the pronoun.
- Como fresas. - I eat strawberries.
- Yo como fresas y tú comes manzanas. - I eat strawberries and you eat apples.
Direct and indirect objects
If there is a direct (who/what?) and an indirect (whom?) object in a Spanish sentence, the direct object usually precedes the indirect one. In English it is the other way around.
|Subject||Verb||Direct object||Indirect object||Translation|
|(Yo)||leo||un cuento||a mi hermana.||I read my sister a story.|
|La profesora||enseña||alemán||a los estudiantes.||The teacher teaches the students German.|
Position of object pronouns
If the direct and indirect objects are replaced by pronouns, they stand before the verb.
- María me lo dice. - María tells it to me.
- Te lo doy. - I give it to you.
Here you can review Spanish direct and indirect object pronouns.
|Indirect object pronouns||Direct object pronouns||Translation|
|lo, la||le||him, her, it, you|
|los, las||les||them, you (all)|
In Spanish pronouns can be attached to the infinitive or gerund. To the affirmative imperative they must be attached.
||I don't want to get up.|
||I'm waking up.|
If an object pronoun is attached to a verb, it's often necessary to add an accent to the verb to preserve the natural stress.
Position of adjectives
In Spanish, the adjective stands usually behind the noun. However, there are a few exceptions: Some adjectives have different meanings when they are in front or behind the noun.
- una mujer joven - a young woman
- los flores maravillosos - the wonderful flowers
- un evento único - a unique event
- el único hijo - the only son
The adverbial phrase may be at the beginning of a sentence, in the middle or at the end of the sentence.
- Ayer María se casó. - Yesterday María got married.
- María ayer se casó. - María yesterday got married.
- María se casó ayer. - María got married yesterday.
Adverbial phrases are ordered according to their importance in the sentence. The most important thing is at the end of the sentence.
- Desde hace mucho tiempo vivo en Alemania. - For a long time I live in Germany. → location is emphasized
- Vivo en Alemania desde hace mucho tiempo. - I live in Germany for a long time. → time is emphasized
After this lesson you are able to build declarative sentences in Spanish. Test your knowledge now in our free exercises. Good luck!
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