Sentence Structure


Without going really in-depth, we'll talk about how the sentence structure in Spanish is different from English - in 3 main ways.

The first is that adjectives come after nouns instead of before them.

Here are a few examples:
The red house - la casa roja
The funny man - El hombre chistoso
The tall girl - La chica alta
The fast horse - el caballo rápido

Another way that sentence structure is different in Spanish than English is with Direct Objects.

Here's an example:
The phrase "I want it" in Spanish would be "Lo quiero". Directly translated this sentence would be "It I want".

Next, the sentence structure is also different with "Indirect Object Pronouns".

An example of this would be the sentence:
"She did it for me" which, in Spanish, would be "Ella me lo hizo". Translated directly, it would be "She me it did".

As mentioned before, there are a few more subtle differences in sentence structure that are more advanced that we will not cover in this lesson. You really don't need to worry about them unless you become an advanced Spanish speaker and really want to sound like a native Spanish speaker. If you don't learn them, you'll still be understood just fine.

There are a few exceptions of when adjectives come before nouns in Spanish. The first one is using adjectives of number like:
many dogs - muchos perros
few houses - pocas casas
the first store - la primera tienda
the last leaf - la última hoja
each person - cada persona
all the teachers - todos los maestros

Finally, here are a few other exceptions, these adjectives can either come before or after nouns and can actually change meanings according to the sentence structure:

Before After
New nueva bicicleta - new bike (to the owner) bicicleta nueva - new bike (brand new)
poor pobre niño - poor child (ill-fated) niño pobre - poor child (economically)
Great/big gran casa - great house casa grande - big house
old viejo amigo - old friend (friend from long ago) amigo viejo - old friend (age)
Good buen perro - good dog perro bueno - good dog
Bad mal hombre - bad man hombre malo - bad man


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