Differences between Spanish and English

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Since many of you are native English speakers, it can be helpful to discuss briefly some of the major differences between English and Spanish.


Gender and gender agreement are difficult concepts to grasp for English speakers who haven't had contact with a foreign language. It helps if you don't think of gender as being male and female. Instead, think of having two different types of nouns and choosing adjectives and pronouns that are of the same type.

El, la, los, and las

For some students of Spanish, it’s hard to grasp the idea that there is more than one way to say the.

Multiple adjective forms

Adjectives change to "agree" with the noun they are describing. They change according to the gender of the noun, and the number (singular or plural).

Verb conjugations

There are dozens of different verb conjugations in Spanish. English only has a few. This creates a lot of work for the Spanish learner.

The subjunctive

The subjunctive mood is almost non-existent in English, but is used prolifically in Spanish. Get used to it.

Word endings

Diminutive and augmentative word endings are much more prolific in Spanish than in English. You can take your zapatitos and put them on your piecitos and tiptoe suavecito to your abuelita's casita so no one will hear you make the slightest ruidito.

There is hope

Don't despair, there are many things in Spanish that are easier than in English. Spelling is phonetic, there are fewer vowel sounds etc.