Tag Archives: basic Spanish

16 Sentence Starters in Spanish

Let’s take a dive into some of the most useful sentence starters in Spanish that will make your conversations and writings sparkle with diversity.

Get ready to jazz up your Spanish with these kick-off phrases we’re about to explore!

Sentence Starters in Spanish to Give Your Opinion

These phrases are your toolkit for expressing opinions, setting the tone of your dialogue, and connecting more authentically with your audience.

Mira

  • Translation: Look
  • Usage: To grab attention or highlight a point. It’s like saying, “Hey, check this out” or “Look at it this way.” It can be used both in casual conversations and more formal discussions to draw the listener’s focus to what you’re about to say next.

Desde mi punto de vista,

  • Translation: From my point of view,
  • Usage: When you’re about to share your personal opinion or perspective on a matter. It’s a respectful way to introduce your thoughts, acknowledging that it’s your viewpoint.

Yo creo que

  • Translation: Personally, I believe that
  • Usage: Similar to “Desde mi punto de vista,” but with a slight emphasis on belief. It’s used when you’re expressing an opinion that’s closely held or based on your beliefs. It’s perfect for debates or discussions where you want to state your position clearly.

Bueno,

  • Translation: Well,
  • Usage: A versatile starter that can signal agreement, hesitation, or the introduction of a new thought. It’s like saying, “Well, let’s see,” or “Well, you know.” It’s casual and can smoothly transition the conversation or introduce a slight change in topic.

La verdad es que

  • Translation: The truth is that
  • Usage: When you’re about to lay down a fact or get real about a situation. It’s a precursor to an honest, sometimes blunt, statement. It sets the stage for a revelation or a heartfelt opinion.

Disagreeing and Contrasting

Pues yo creo que no (Well, I don’t think so)

This starter is your go-to when you want to softly but firmly introduce your disagreement. It’s a polite way to start expressing a divergent opinion, indicating that what follows is a personal belief that contrasts with what was previously mentioned.

Por otro lado (On the other hand)

“Por otro lado” is perfect for adding depth to a discussion by presenting an alternative viewpoint. It’s like saying, “Let’s consider this from another angle,” which can enrich a conversation or argument by exploring it from diverse perspectives.

Sin embargo (However)

“Sin embargo” is the bridge between two conflicting ideas, showing that despite the validity of the previous point, there’s another aspect worth considering. It’s a classic and elegant way to introduce a counterargument or an exception to a rule.

Pero (But)

The most common and versatile way to introduce a contrast, “pero” is the Spanish equivalent of “but.” It directly opposes what has been said, paving the way for the speaker to present a different opinion, fact, or perspective.

Spanish Sentence Starters for For Expressing Consequences or Results

By mastering these connectors, you’ll be able to guide your listeners or readers through a thought process, leading them from premise to conclusion with clarity and persuasion. Let’s explore these vital connectors:

Por lo tanto, (Therefore,)

“Por lo tanto” is your go-to when you want to draw a direct conclusion from the information previously mentioned. It’s like saying, “Given all that, here’s the bottom line.” This phrase helps you wrap up your argument neatly, showing that what comes next is the logical outcome of the discussion.

  • Example: Hemos perdido mucho tiempo en discusiones inútiles. Por lo tanto, debemos concentrarnos en encontrar soluciones.

Como resultado, (As a result,)

“Como resultado” highlights the outcome of a specific action or event, emphasizing the cause-and-effect relationship. It’s perfect for instances where you want to underline the impact of certain actions or decisions.

  • Example: La empresa decidió invertir más en tecnología. Como resultado, mejoró su eficiencia operativa.

Esto significa que (This means that)

“Esto significa que” is used to explain or interpret the implications of something. It’s your ally when you want to make the consequences or significance of an event crystal clear to your audience.

  • Example: El gobierno ha reducido los impuestos para pequeñas empresas. Esto significa que más emprendedores tendrán la oportunidad de crecer.

Spanish Sentence Starters to Answer Questions

Pues,

Usage: “Pues” is a versatile word often used to start answers, especially when you’re thinking about what to say or need a moment to organize your thoughts. It’s akin to saying “well” in English.

Example: “¿Vas a asistir a la reunión mañana? Pues, aún no estoy seguro. Depende de cómo termine el trabajo hoy.”

Es que,

Usage: This phrase is commonly used to explain or justify something. It’s similar to saying “it’s just that” or “the thing is” in English, providing a soft introduction to your reason or explanation.

Example: “¿Por qué no viniste ayer? Es que me sentía un poco enfermo y decidí quedarme en casa.”

A ver,

Usage: “A ver” is used to signal that you’re about to consider the question or think about your response. It can be translated as “let’s see.” It’s a way to buy time while also showing that you’re actively engaging with the question.

Example: “¿Cuánto tiempo te llevará terminar el proyecto? A ver, si todo va bien, espero terminarlo en dos semanas.”

Do you want to know more? Check the article 65 Spanish Phrases to Use in an Essay

Using the Real Academia Española to Learn Spanish

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Flamenco: Ilusiones; By Carmel Natan Sheli” creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Flavio~

There are many free resources available to native English speakers who are interested in learning Spanish. The website of the Real Academia Española is a particularly useful page because it contains a plethora of resources that are accurate and helpful to the student of Spanish. In addition to its numerous dictionaries (including a dictionary just for practical, basic communicative skills), this website offers grammar guides, news articles, and an FAQ section on common Spanish language questions, among other resources.

In particular, one of the benefits of using this website is that the learner is exposed to Spanish within realistic contexts. This is practical on multiple levels. It is important for second language learners to be exposed to a variety of language structures so that they will learn the appropriate usage of words, phrases, and expressions. The website of the Real Academia Española includes links to a variety of recent news articles and blogs. Since news articles are generally written on a lower level than academic articles, this resource is useful for students who have not yet reached the proficiency level needed to read more difficult pieces.

Additionally, the website of the Real Academia Española includes information about different textbooks on Spanish writing, grammar, and history. This is an excellent resource for students who are searching for an appropriate text to use for Spanish study. The website includes information about the contents of the texts, the date of publication, and additional information that is relevant when considering a textbook to purchase.

A third benefit of using the Real Academia Espańola is the very thorough section on frequently asked questions about the Spanish language. These questions are categorized into writing questions, grammar questions, and word-level questions. Each question includes an accurate, yet concise explanation to common questions of second language learner. It is an excellent reference for the new learner as well as the seasoned student.

Spanish students who are interested in increasing their proficiency should consider browsing the Real Academia Española to practice their skills within the context of real Spanish writing. The website is easy to navigate, even for those who are somewhat new to the language. Using this website as a resource can really help you to further yourself on your language learning journey and lead you to other useful resources.

Learning Grammatical Gender in Spanish

Grammatical gender is one of the most difficult concepts for a native English speaker to acquire when learning Spanish. In Spanish, grammatical gender refers to the masculine and feminine properties of words and phrases.  Although these properties are referred to as ‘gender’ features, they have nothing to do with masculinity or femininity in the way we would generally use gender to describe men and women. Thus, a masculine noun is not any more ‘manly’ than a feminine noun. These arbitrary language features do not exist in English and are very challenging for the native English speaker to acquire when learning Spanish.

Look at the spelling

A new Spanish speaker may want to begin by learning some basic Spanish nouns, including the pronunciation and spelling of the words. Some common themes for introductory chapters of textbooks for learning Spanish include foods, classroom items, basic greetings, and clothing. One trick to help you remember the gender of the noun is to look at the spelling, as a majority of feminine nouns end in –a, and the majority of masculine nouns end with an –o; however, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as the masculine word ‘dia,’ meaning ‘day.’

Be careful with your grammar

If you have learned the gender of the noun, you can take the next step and apply the gender features to the rest of the phrase. In Spanish, the gender of the noun also applies to the gender of the determiner (‘la’ for feminine and ‘el’ for masculine, both meaning ‘the’ in English) and the adjective, if there is one. So, if you want to say, ‘the white cat’ in Spanish, you would say ‘el gato blanco.’ Notice that the phrase has all masculine forms the masculine article ‘el,’ the masculine noun ‘gato,’ and the masculine form of the adjective, ‘blanco.’ Since the noun is masculine, the whole phrase should take the masculine form.

Acquiring grammatical gender in Spanish is something that takes a lot of practice and dedication to learning the language. English speakers may become frustrated with this linguistic feature because it seems simple on the surface, but it is difficult to apply in when actually speaking the language. Grammatical gender is a property that can really separate the native speakers of Spanish from the non-native speakers. Don’t worry if you make mistakes sometimes learning a language is hard, especially when there are elements of that language that do not exist in your native tongue!

If you still have problems with this or any other thing, you can send your Spanish texts to proofread!

Articles in Spanish, el, la, los, las Vs un, una, unos, unas

When writing in Spanish one of the hardest things for foreign speakers is when to use definitie articles like el, la, los, las and when to use indefinite articles such as uno, una, unos, unas.

There are a lot theory about this, but today I will explain the most basic rule, which is the most generic and the one that you will need to use more likely.

You have to use indefinite articles: uno, una, unos, unas…

…when is the first time that you are talking about your subject.

For example: Este verano fui a una boda.

This is the first time that you are talking about the wedding, so you need to use indefinite article UNA.

You have to use definite articles: el, la, los las…

…when the people that you are talking to have heard about the subject before.

For example: La boda fue muy divertida.

Now you are talking about the wedding that you have mentioned before and your listener knows it.

So if you say: Este verano fui a la boda

If you have never mentioned the wedding before your listener will ask you about what wedding. Because using definite article la you are saying that the listener already knows what wedding, so if your listener doesn’t know, he will feel uncomfortable, as your message is saying he should know.

In the other hand if you say: Este verano fui a una boda

Your listener is aware that is the first time that you are speaking about the wedding, so he won’t feel bad about not knowing anything about it. If he is curious he could ask: whose wedding? (¿la boda de quién?) but he knows that it is the first time you are talking about the wedding so it is ok that he doesn’t know anything about it. In this case it would be normal that your listener don’t ask anything about the wedding since he is comfortable knowing nothing about it.

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