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Welcome / Bienvenidos

Congratulations on taking your first steps towards learning the Spanish language, I am sure you will find that learning Spanish can be both interesting and enjoyable.

As with learning any new language, learning Spanish will be challenging, but the reward of being able to speak a second language will make it all worthwhile.

This course is broken down into three modules:

Module 1:

Module 1 will deal with basic grammar and will provide a solid foundation for modules 2 and 3. The module will be broken down into 10 lessons each covering core language skills. It is vitally important that you fully understand each lesson before moving onto the next as it will show later in the course if you don’t.

Module 2:

Module 2 covers reading comprehension and is broken down into 7 lessons.

Module 3:

Module 3 covers writing skills and is broken down into 9 lessons.

There are many tests throughout the course and after a few days of having received them you will be e-mailed with answer sheets, enabling you to mark them for yourself.

This course is a text course only and contains no audio or video. It is advisable to purchase an audio course to work with in conjunction with this FREE course as doing so will improve your listening and speaking skills dramatically.

We highly recommend purchasing Rocket Spanish audio and conversational Spanish program as a supplemental course.

You should consider purchasing Rocket Spanish earlier in this course rather than later as it will certainly help to make studying much easier, the choice is yours.

Well let’s get on with the course, good-luck and enjoy learning Spanish.

Hasta Luego! (Until later!)

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Pronunciation Guide

The rules that follow will give you advice on pronunciation and are not intended to be memorized, you can refer back to them when required.

Note: Spanish is a very phonetic language and the notes below will be made much clearer and easier for you to put into practice if you have an audio course

The Spanish Alphabet

The Spanish alphabet consists of 29 letters.

A

(ah)

pronounced like “ah” in English: al (to), la (the), casa (house).

B

(bay)

C

(thay)

If before e or i pronounce like the Spanish “z”.

CH

(chay)

pronounced as in “cheap” or “much”

D

(day)

E

(ay)

pronounced like “ay”: me (me), de (from), le (him).

F

(‘eff-ay)

G

(Hay)

before e or i pronounced like the Spanish “j” otherwise like “g” in go.

H

(‘ah-chay)

Not pronounced, silent “h”

I

(ee)

pronounced like “ee”: mi (my), prima (cousin).

J

(‘Ho-tah)

pronounced like “ch” in loch.

K

(kah)

L

(‘ell-ay)

LL

(‘ell-yay)

pronounced like ”lli” in million.

M

(‘emm-ay)

N

(‘enn-ay)

Ñ

(‘enn-yay)

pronounced like “ni” in companion.

O

(o)

pronounced like “o”: lo (the), no (no), gato (cat).

P

(pay)

Q

(koo)

R

(‘airr-ay)

Rolled on the tip of tongue if at the start of a word or syllable.

S

(‘ess-ay)

pronounced sharp as in “see”

T

(tay)

U

(oo)

pronounced like “oo”: tu (you), su (their), uno (one).

V

(‘oo-vay)

often pronounced like an english “b”, vaca (cow)

W

(‘oo-vay-‘dob-lay)

X

(‘air)

Y

(ee-gre-‘ay-gah)

pronounced like the English y in yes unless on it’s own or at the end of a word.

Z

(‘thay-tah)

pronounced like “th” in “month” or “thick”

Should you use a bi-lingual dictionary at any time this is the order in which you find the letters entered. For example, if you were looking for a Spanish word beginning with CH you would not find it under C you would however find it under CH.

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Stress / accents

In Spanish the following rules apply:

1. Most words ending in a vowel, n or s, take the stress on the next last syllable:

examen, flores, hombre, cigarillo

2. Most words that end in a consonant other than n or s, take the stress on the last syllable:

Papel, ciudad, mujer, capital.

3. Exceptions to these two rules are indicated by a written accent on the stressed syllable:

árbol, lámpara, estación, inglés, música

4. The written accent is also used to distinguish words that have the same spelling but different meanings:

el (the), él (he); si (if), sí (yes); mi (my), mí (me), mas (but), más (more).

5. The vowels a, e and o are strong vowels – I and u are weak ones. When two strong vowels come together, they are pronounced separately:

paella, teatro, poeta When two weak vowels come together, the stress is on the last one:

cuida, viuda

When a strong vowel and a weak one come together, the strong vowel is stressed unless the weak one is accentuated:

aire, jaula, oído, aún.

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Numbers, Months, Days of the Week and Seasons

Months of the year (all masculine)

Days of the week (all masculine)

January

enero

Monday

lunes

February

febrero

Tuesday

martes

March

marzo

Wednesday

miércoles

April

abril

Thursday

jueves

May

mayo

Friday

viernes

June

junio

Saturday

sábado

July

julio

Sunday

domingo

August

agosto

Seasons

September

septiembre

Summer

el verano

October

octubre

Autumn/Fall

el otoño

November

noviembre

Winter

el invierno

December

diciembre

Spring

la primavera

 

Numbers

 

1

uno

31

treinta y uno

2

dos

32

treinta y dos

3

tres

40

cuarenta

4

cuatro

50

cincuenta

5

cinco

60

sesenta

6

seis

70

setenta

7

siete

80

ochenta

8

ocho

90

noventa

9

nueve

100

cien, ciento

10

diez

101

ciento uno

11

once

102

ciento dos

12

doce

200

doscientos

13

trece

300

trescientos

14

catorce

400

cuatrocientos

15

quince

500

quinientos

16

dieciséis

600

seiscientos

17

diecisiete

700

setecientos

18

dieciocho

800

ochocientos

19

diecinueve

900

novecientos

20

veinte

1000

mil

21

veintiuno

1001

mil uno

22

veintidós

1002

mil dos

23

veintetrés

1100

mil cien

24

veintequatro

1101

mil ciento uno

25

veintecinco

1200

mil doscientos

26

veinteséis

2000

dos mil

27

veintesiete

100,000

cien mil

28

veinteocho

200,000

doscientos mil

29

veintenueve

1,000,000

un millón

30

treinta

2,000,000

dos millones

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1.1. Definite articles and Gender.

 

Masculine

Feminine

Masculine

Feminine

English

singular

singular

plural

plural

Definite article

el

la

los

las

the

Indefinite article

un

una

unos

unas

a, an or some

1

As in English some can be left out e.g.

 

English: some apples and apples are interchangeable Spanish: unas manzanas (some apples), manzanas (apples)

 

2

When you learn a noun (name) in Spanish you must also learn its gender i.e. whether it is masculine or feminine. This has nothing to do with male or female, and it applies to everything live or neuter. (a table or a chair for example)

3

As shown in the table above, Spanish has 4 versions of the word „the‟ and of the words „a‟ and „some‟, as masculine and feminine have both singular and plural versions.

el niño

the boy

la niña

the girl

los niños

the boys

las niñas

the girls

el coche

the car

la casa

the house

los coches

the cars

las casas

the houses

NOTE: When the group is a mixture of boys and girls, los niños is used and means the children this also applies with other mixed groups i.e. los padres, fathers or parents, los abuelos, grandparents or grandfathers and los tíos can mean uncle and aunt as well as uncles.

1.2. Rules for Gender

1

In Spanish, there are certain rules that will give you clues as to the gender of a noun.

2

If it is a living creature its gender is decided by its sex, if it‟s a male it will be masculine and if it is a female it will be feminine.

 

masculine

 

feminine

el padre

the father

la madre

the mother

el abuelo

the grandfather

la abuela

the grandmother

el hijo

the son

la hija

the daughter

el hermano

the brother

la hermana

the sister

el tio

the uncle

la tia

the aunt

el amigo

the friend(boy)

la amiga

the friend (girl)

el niño

the boy

la niña

the girl

1 Most nouns ending in “o” are masculine e.g. el libro, the book

2 Most nouns that end in “a” , “ión”, ”d” and “z” are usually feminine e.g. la casa, house; la estación, station; la ciudad, city and la luz, light (Most nouns end in either “o” or “a”.)

3 If a noun ends in er or or it is generally masculine. el actor, the actor or el deber, the duty.

4 There are, however, exceptions to the rule and the most common are listed here:

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la mano (f.)

hand

el camión (m.)

truck

el lápiz (m.)

pencil

el guardia (m.)

policeman

el idioma (m.)

language

el mapa (m.)

map

el día (m.)

day

el problema (m.)

problem

el emblema (m.)

emblem

el agua (m.)

water

1 If a noun ends in neither, “o” or “a” it will be a case of learning them individually as the split between masculine and feminine is about 50:50.

2 Here are some more pointers for identifying gender.

3 Months and days of the week are masculine as are points of the compass:

el enero

January

el lunes

Monday

el febrero

February

el martes

Tuesday

el marzo

March

el miércoles

Wednesday

el abril

April

el jueves

Thursday

el mayo

May

el viernes

Friday

el junio

June

el sábado

Saturday

el julio

July

el domingo

Sunday

el agosto

August

   

el septiembre

September

el sud

South

el octubre

October

el norte

North

el noviembre

November

el este

East

el diciembre

December

el oeste

West

1 Languages are also masculine:

2 Most fruits are feminine one main exception is el melocotón, peach

3 Nouns that depict a quality are usually feminine such as:

La verdad

truth

La honestidad

honesty

La edad

age

1.3. Pluralizing nouns.

The plurals of nouns are formed by adding an s to nouns ending in a vowel, and es to nouns ending in a consonant e.g.

el hombre

the man

la mujer

the woman

los hombres

the men

las mujeres

the women

Nouns ending in “z” use the es ending of a consonant ending noun, but the z changes to a c.

el lápiz

the pencil

la luz

the light

los lápices

the pencils

las luces

the lights

Nouns ending in a consonant that have an accent on the last syllable lose the accent when the

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plural is formed:

 

el camión

the truck

 

los camiones

the trucks

1.4.

The Indefinite article.

 
 

Masculine

 

Feminine

Masculine

Feminine

English

singular

singular

plural

plural

Indefinite article

 

un

 

una

unos

unas

a, an or some

The indefinite article is a, an, one in the singular and some in the plural and in Spanish, as shown in the table above, is un, una, unos and unas.

un niño

the boy

una niña

the girl

unos niños

the boys

unas niñas

the girls

un coche

the car

una casa

the house

unos coches

the cars

unas casas

the houses

1.5. Subject Pronouns.

Subject pronouns are the person, persons or noun performing an action i.e. I, he, she it etc.

 

singular

plural

yo

I

nosotros (m.), nosotros (f.)

We

You (familiar)

vosotros (m.), vosotros (f.)

You (familiar)

el, ella

He, she

ellos (m.), ellas (f.)

They

usted

You (polite)

ustedes

You (polite)

1 Familiar and polite: Spanish is a very polite language, it has two methods of addressing a person(s), the familiar and the polite.

2 The familiar forms are used when speaking to friends, family, younger people and animals. These are tú and vosotros/as.

3 The polite forms (usted/ustedes) are used when addressing an older person, a stranger or someone you know professionally such as a doctor or a teacher.

4 Apart from usted and ustedes the pronoun is not generally used in Spanish, apart from when added emphasis is required or any ambiguity is to be avoided.

5 Usted and ustedes are abbreviated when be written, being shortened to vd. and vds. or ud. and uds.

1.6. Ser and Estar (to be)

In Spanish the verb „to be’ has two forms, ser and estar.

Ser and estar are what as known as irregular verbs which means that they do not follow the regular patterns followed by the majority of verbs.

All Spanish verbs, including ser and estar, differ from English verbs as they do not require a subject pronoun and make complete sense by just using the one word.

Verb tables for Ser and Estar.

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SER (to be)

 
 

singular

 

plural

soy

I

am

somos

We are

eres

you are (familiar)

sois

You are (familiar)

es

he, she or it is

son

They are

es

you are (polite)

son

You are (polite)

 

ESTAR (to be)

 
 

singular

 

plural

estoy

I

am

estamos

We are

estás

you are (familiar)

estáis

You are (familiar)

está

he, she or it is

están

They are

está

you are (polite)

están

You are (polite)

In English, the verb “to be” can be somewhat ambiguous. An example of this is shown below:

„The banana is green‟

1. The first meaning is that the banana is not yet ripe and; (the condition).

2. The second is that the banana is of a particular color (essential characteristic).

In Spanish, estar is used to express a condition and ser is used to express the essential characteristic.

El plátano está verde. El plátano es verde.

The banana is green. (condition) The banana is green (essence)

Ser - Is the most used of the two verbs as it is used to express a characteristic or a permanent state and is used to indicate the following;

1.

Identity:

 

Soy Juan.

I am John

2.

Possession:

El

coche es de Danny.

The car is Danny’s

3.

Origin:

Mi

amigo es de Málaga.

My friend is from Malaga.

4.

Nationality:

Somos ingleses.

We are English

5.

Occupation:

 

La

madre de mi mujer es comadrona.

My wife’s mother is a midwife

6.

Material that something is made from:

La

casa es de madera.

The house is made of wood.

7.

Characteristics:

Mi

hijo es muy alto.

My son is very tall

8.

Date and Time:

 

Hoy es el sábado.

Today is Saturday.

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Son los siete.

9. Impersonal expressions:

Es ahora o nunca. Es tiempo para almorzar.

It’s seven o’clock

It is now or never It is time for lunch.

10. Religious or political affiliation:

Ellos son católicos. Somos socialistas.

They are catholic We are socialists

11. Relationship of one person to another:

María es la hermana de David.

Maria is David’s sister.

Estar - Is used to indicate the following:

1. Temporary states or conditions Juan está enfermo.

John is sick.

2. Position whether it is temporary or permanent.

Melanie está en el jardín. ¿Dónde está Chile?

3. In idiomatic expressions. Estar en las nubes. Estar en camino.

4. Used with progressive tenses. Estoy comiendo arroz y frijoles.

1.7. Tener (to have).

Melanie is in the garden. Where is Chile?

To daydream To be on the way

I am eating rice and beans.

 

Tener (to have)

 
 

singular

 

plural

tengo

I have

tenemos

We have

tienes

you have (familiar)

tenéis

You have (familiar)

tiene

he, she or it has

tienen

They have

tiene

you have (polite)

tienen

You have (polite)

Tener is an irregular verb and one of the most important verbs in Spanish and will need to be learnt thoroughly.

The endings that it uses are the same as for the regular group of “er” verbs and are highlighted in the table above.

In Spanish, there are three groups of verbs those that end in “ar” (the largest group), “er” and “ir” and these will be covered in more detail in lessons 2 and 3.

Tener is used in a number of idioms in Spanish where in English we would use the verb “to be”.

tener….años

to be…years old

tener miedo

to be frightened

tener calor

to be hot

tener razón

to be right

tener lugar

to take place

tener sed

to be thirsty

tener frío

to be cold

tener sueño

to be sleepy

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tener hambre

to be hungry

tener suerte

to be lucky

Here are some examples of the idioms in use:

Tengo sed

I

am thirsty

Tienen hambre

They are hungry

Tienes cuidado

You are careful

Tiene cinco años*

He/She is 5 years old

*remember to avoid ambiguity by using either él or ella before the verb if needed.

There are other idioms but the ones listed above are probably the most important ones that you should learn initially.

1.8. Negatives

To form a negative simply place “No” in front of the verb.

No soy

I

am not

No tengo

I have not…

No estáis

You are (fam.plural) not

No tenemos

We are not…

Raul no es

Raul is not…

1.9. - ar verbs

As mentioned previously in this lesson, “-ar” verbs are the largest of 3 groups of regular verbs each verb following the verb endings outlined in the table below and underneath that is the regular verb Hablar meaning “to speak” that will show you how these endings are used:

 

- ar verb endings

 
 

singular

 

plural

- o

I

- amos

We

- as

you (familiar)

- áis

You (familiar)

- a

he, she or it

- an

They

- a

you (polite)

- an

You (polite)

 

Hablar (to speak)

 
 

singular

 

plural

hablo

I speak

hablamos

We speak

hablas

you speak(familiar)

habláis

You speak (familiar)

habla

he, she or it speaks

hablan

They speak

habla

you speak (polite)

hablan

You speak (polite)

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Vocabulary List 1.

 

actor

el actor

light

la luz

age

el edad

luck

la suerte

apple

la manzana

man

el hombre

aunt and uncle

los tíos

map

el mapa

be, to

ser

mother

la madre

be, to

estar

north

el norte

book

el libro

of

de, de la, del

boy

el niño

orange

la naranjas

brother

el hermano

parents

los padres

car

el coche

peach

el melocotón

cat

el gato

pencil

el lápiz

children

los niños

place

el lugar

city

la ciudad

policeman

el guardia

cold (noun)

el frío

problem

el problema

daughter

la hija

right (noun)

la razón

day

el día

school

la escuela

door

la puerta

sister

la hermana

duty

el deber

sleep (noun)

el sueño

east

el este

son

el hijo

emblem

el emblema

south

el sud

exercise book

el cuaderno

speak, to

hablar

father

el padre

station

la estación

fear

el miedo

street

la calle

friend (boy)

el amigo

student (male)

el estudiante

friend (girl)

la amiga

student (female)

la estudiante

girl

la niña

tale

el cuento

grandfather

el abuelo

teacher (male)

el profesor

grandmother

la abuela

teacher (female)

la profesora

grandparents

los abuelos

thirst

la sed

hand

la mano

train

el tren

have, to

tener

tree

el árbol

heat

el calor

truck

el camión

honesty

la honestidad

truth

la verdad

hotel

el hotel

uncle

el tío

house

la casa

water

el agua

hunger

el hambre

west

el oeste

in

en

woman

la mujer

language

el idioma

year

el año

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Lesson 1: Test Pages.

Test 1:

Give the Spanish for the following nouns and include the appropriate el, la, los or las.

1. The apples

 

6. The aunt

 

2. The boy

 

7. The children

 

3. The grandparents

 

8. The car

 

4. The girls

 

9. The book

 

5. The house

 

10.

The sisters

 

Test 2:

Put the following into the plural form and give the meanings.

1. el coche

 

6. el abuelo

2. un libro

 

7. la tia

3. la madre

 

8. la estación

4. una mano

 

9. una ciudad

5. un niño

 

10.

la luz

Test 4:

Translate the following English sentences into Spanish and vice versa.

1. The train is in the station.

 

2. El libro está en el coche.

 

3. Carmen is María’s sister.

 

4. Los niños están en la casa.

 

5. We are Pablo’s sisters.

 

6. Ruth es la amiga de Juan.

 

7. The girls are sisters.

 

8. Los abuelos están en la ciudad.

 

9. Phillip is an actor.

 

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10.

Pablo es el tío de Juan.

10. Pablo es el tío de Juan.

Test 5:

Translate the following sentences into Spanish; they use tener, ser and estar.

1. Miguel is María’s brother.

 

2. The man is hungry.

 

3. Carmen is María’s sister.

 

4. Pablo is thirsty.

 

5. We are cold.

 

6. Ruth is in the house.

 

7. The girls have some books.

 

8. I am hot.

   

9. The book is in the car.

 

10.

Diego is twenty years old.

 

Test 6:

Put the following sentences into the negative and translate into English.

1. Miguel y Raul son amigos.

 

2. Tengo un libro la mesa

 

3. Los padres están en el hotel.

 

4. Tenemos cuadernos

 

5. El gato está en la mesa.

 

6. Isabel es la mujer de Diego.

 

7. Somos profesores

 

8. La escuela está cerca de la estación

 

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9.

El hombre tiene hambre.

10. Las manzanas tienen frío.

Test 7:

Translate into Spanish.

1. Pablo speaks Spanish

2. You are (pol. sing) are not in the hotel.

3. The train is in the station.

4. I have some oranges on the table.

5. The teachers are not in the school.

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