Join our all-new Duome Forum to help us rebuild what was lost with Duolingo Forum closing and more...
Streak Hall of Fame


PerryNorth Carolina, USA

178186 XP#237002

Learning Spanish from English

Level 25 · 46345 XP

Crowns: 635/1525

Skills: 268+2

Lessons: 1193+5

Lexemes: 6447+32

Strength: 53%

Created: 2012-11-12
Last Goal: 2023-01-30
Daily Goal: 20 XP
Timezone: UTC-5

Last update: 2023-01-27 08:14:12 GMT+3


Spanish Skills by StrengthCrownsNameOriginal Order


··········· Table of Contents ···········

Introduction updated 2021-09-16 ^

Masculine and Feminine Nouns

In Spanish all nouns are masculine or feminine. Usually, nouns that end with an "o" are masculine, and nouns that end with an "a" are feminine. For example, "manzana" (apple) is feminine and "diario" (newspaper) is masculine.

The articles "el" and "un" are used with masculine nouns, and the articles "la" and "una" are used with feminine nouns. "The apple" is "la manzana" and "a newspaper" is "un diario."

Accent Marks

Vowels in Spanish can have an accent mark, such as the "u" in "menú" (menu). One use of the accent mark is to indicate which syllable should be stressed in the pronunciation. For example, in "teléfono" (telephone), the second "e" has the most stress.

Accent marks are also used to distinguish homophones. For example, "él" and "el" are homophones because they have the same pronunciation. However, "él" is a masculine pronoun (meaning "he" or "him") and "el" is a masculine article (meaning "the").

The Second Person Singular

"Tú," "usted" and "vos" are different ways of referring to the second person singular (you). "Usted" is the formal way of saying "you," and "vos" is used in informal speech in certain countries instead of "tú."

The three pronouns are synonyms, but they change the way verbs are conjugated. For instance, for the verb "comer" (to eat), it is "tú comes," "usted come," and "vos comés."

The decision of which form of "you" to use is regional and cultural, but you can typically use "usted" when referring to strangers.

Verb Conjugation

Verb conjugation in Spanish is more complicated than in English. In Spanish, the verb endings change in order to describe who is doing the action and when. For example, for "comer," "I eat" is "yo como" and "you eat" is "tú comes."

Because the conjugations indicate who is doing the action, it is usually possible to omit the pronoun. For instance instead of saying "yo como arroz" (I eat rice), you can say "como arroz."

Common Phrases updated 2021-09-16 ^

Tardes and Noches

In English, "afternoon" comes before "evening," which in turn comes before "night." In Spanish there are only two words that cover these times of the day: "tarde" which means "afternoon," but overlaps with "evening," and "noche," which means "night" but also overlaps with "evening." Therefore, at 6:30pm it is ok to say either "buenas tardes" or "buenas noches."

Buenos Días

Even though "buenos días" literally means "good days," it is used in the mornings to mean "good morning."

Conjugation of 'Hablar'

Present indicative (presente del indicativo):

  • yo hablo
  • tú hablas
  • usted habla
  • él habla
  • ella habla
  • nosotros/as hablamos
  • ustedes hablan
  • ellos/ellas hablan

In Spanish, the most common negative word is "no". As an adverb negating a sentence, it always comes immediately before the verb.

I speak - [Yo] hablo.

I do not speak - [Yo] no hablo.

He is - [Él] es / está.

He is not - [Él] no es / está.

Places updated 2021-09-16 ^


Questions updated 2021-09-16 ^

The Upside Down Question Mark

In written Spanish, questions should always start with an upside down question mark (¿). For example, to ask “What are you eating?” you would write “¿Qué comes?”

Position of Personal Pronouns

When asking a question, it is possible to place the personal pronoun in different places without affecting the meaning. For example “¿Qué comes tú?” and “¿Tú qué comes?” mean the same thing (and also the same thing as “¿Qué comes?”).

The position of the personal pronoun is sometimes used for emphasis. For example “Tú qué comes” places the emphasis on “you” and would mean something like “You, what are you eating?”

“Por qué” versus “Porque”

Even native speakers sometimes confuse “por qué” and “porque,” because they sound exactly the same. However, “por qué” means “why” and “porque” means “because.” That is, “por qué” is typically used when asking a question and “porque” is used when answering it.

  • Q: “¿Por qué no eres un niño?” (Why are you not a boy?)
  • A: “Porque soy una niña” (Because I am a girl)

Animals updated 2021-09-16 ^

Adjectives. As a general rule, in Spanish adjectives come after the noun they describe, e.g.

An English dog / Un perro inglés

A Spanish horse / Un caballo español

5 skills with tips and notes