Very Useful Rules

Article lo. The neuter definite article lo is used before an adjective or participle to turn it into an abstract substantive: lo bueno ‘the good’, lo perdido ‘that which is lost’.

Conjunctions. The conjunctions o ‘or’ and y ‘and’ change depending on the word that follows. If o precedes a word beginning with the sound [o], it has to be changed to u: estos u otros, siete u ocho, Nicaragua u Honduras. The conjunction y appears as e before words starting with the sound [i]: odio e ira, geografía e historia. This change does not occur before diphthongs: especias y hierbas.

Accentuation. Polysyllabic words ending in n, s or a vowel are stressed on the penultimate syllable: joven ‘young’,hierbas ‘herbs’ manzano ‘apple tree’, invisible ‘invisible’. Polysyllabic words ending in a consonant other than n or s are stressed on the last syllable: reloj ‘clock’. Esceptions are marked with an accent: célula ‘cell’, intoxicación ‘poisoning’, después ‘afterwards’.

Direct object. If the direct object is a person, the preposition a should be placed in front of it: Conozco a Pedro.

Future indicative. There is only one set of endings to form future tense. Some verbs change their stem: decir > diré, hacer > haré, poder > podré, poner > pondré, querer > querré, saber > sabré, salir > saldré, tener > tendré, venir > vendré. The verbs and the changes in stems are the same as in the conditional mood.

The conditional. The endings of the conditional mood in Spanish are the same for all three conjugations. Some verbs change their stem: decir > diría, hacer > haría, poder > podría, poner > pondría, querer > querría, saber > sabría, salir > saldría, tener > tendría, venir > vendría. The verbs and the changes in stems are the same as in the future indicative tense.

Pronunciation. H is the only silent letter in Spanish as it does not correspond to any sound: hogar [oˈɣ̞aɾ] ‘home; hearth’, almohada [al.moˈa.ð̞a] ‘pillow’.

Pronouns. Redundant object pronouns are often used in Spanish in addition to nouns functioning as an object: Este libro no lo leo.