Cheat Sheet

Intermediate Spanish For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Intermediate Spanish For Dummies

By Gail Stein

As someone who has surpassed the beginning level of Spanish, you consider yourself rather proficient in the language and want to discover more. So, here you are, eager to jump up to a higher level and perfect your skills. That’s fantastic! You can use the following set of articles as a reference to help you practice and become a more proficient Spanish speaker.

Intermediate Spanish: Regular Verb Conjugation

Verb conjugation is always a difficult part of learning a foreign language. Once you have determined the tense being used in Spanish, you use the information here to conjugate any regular verb. This information shows you how to conjugate the Spanish verb hablar (to speak).

Person yo Èl,
nosotros vosotros ellos,
Present hablo hablas habla hablamos habláis hablan
Preterit hablé hablaste habló hablamos hablasteis hablaron
Imperfect hablaba hablabas hablaba hablábamos hablábais hablaban
Future hablaré hablarás hablará hablaremos hablaréis hablarán
Conditional hablaría hablarías hablaría hablaríamos hablaríais hablarían
hable hables hable hablemos habléis hablen

The following information shows you how to conjugate the Spanish verbs beber (to drink) and subir (to go up).

Person yo Èl,
nosotros vosotros ellos,
Present bebo bebes bebe bebemos bebéis beben
  subo subes sube subimos subís suben
Preterit bebí bebiste bebió bebimos bebisteis bebieron
  subí subiste subió subimos subisteis subieron
Imperfect bebía bebías bebía bebíamos bebíais bebían
  subía subías subía subíamos subíais subían
Future beberé beberás beberá beberemos beberéis beberán
  subiré subirás subirá subiremos subiréis subirán
Conditional bebería beberías bebería beberíamos beberíais beberían
  subiría subirías subiría subiríamos subiríais subirían
beba bebas beba bebamos bebáis beban
  suba subas suba subamos subáis suban

Intermediate Spanish: High-Frequency Irregular Verbs

Learning to conjugate irregular verbs takes some practice when learning to speak Spanish. The following information gives you an introduction to some verbs that are used frequently and how to conjugate them in the present tense.

Infinitive yo él, ella, Ud. nosotros vosotros ellos, ellas, Uds.
dar (to give) doy das da damos dáis dan
decir (to say) digo dices dice decimos decís dicen
estar (to be) estoy estás está estamos estáis están
hacer (to do) hago haces hace hacemos hacéis hacen
ir (to go) voy vas va vamos vais van
poder (to be able to) puedo puedes puede podemos podéis pueden
poner (to put) pongo pones pone ponemos ponéis ponen
querer (to want) quiero quieres quiere queremos queréis quieren
saber (to know) sabes sabe sabemos sabéis saben
ser (to be) soy eres es somos sois son
tener (to have) tengo tienes tiene tenemos tenéis tienen
venir (to come) vengo vienes viene venimos venís vienen
ver (to see) veo ves ve vemos veis ven

Intermediate Spanish: Parts of Speech

You may be questioning why it’s so important to know your Spanish grammar. Can’t you just grab a dictionary when you want to find a word and move on? The answer would be “yes” if it were that simple a task. What many people fail to realize is that a Spanish word may have many applications depending on its usage in the sentence. So, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these parts of speech.

  • A noun is a part of speech that refers to a person, place, thing, quality, idea, or action.

  • A verb is a part of speech that shows action or a state of being. A transitive verb requires a direct object to complete its meaning. An intransitive verb doesn’t have an object.

  • A pronoun is a part of speech that replaces a noun.

  • An adjective modifies a noun.

  • An adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

  • A preposition shows the relation of a noun to some other word in the sentence.

  • Demonstrative pronouns express “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.”

  • A subject pronoun is followed by the verb expressing the main action in the sentence. These pronouns include I, you, he, she, it, we, and they.

  • Possessive pronouns indicate that something belongs to a specific person (my, your, his, her, its, our, their).

  • Interrogative pronouns ask a question (who, which, what, and so on).

  • Direct object pronouns replace direct object nouns and answer who or what the subject is acting upon.

  • Indirect object pronouns replace indirect object nouns and explain to or for whom something is done.

  • Reflexive pronouns show that the subject is acting upon itself.

Intermediate Spanish: Forming Gerunds

A gerund is a verb form ending in -ing that you sometimes use in the present progressive tense in Spanish. Although you’ve undoubtedly heard of the present tense, the present progressive is a tense that may be quite unfamiliar to you, even though you use it on a daily basis. Here are a few tips for forming gerunds in Spanish.

Here are a few examples of forming gerunds of regular Spanish verbs.

Ending Verb Example Meaning Gerund Meaning
-ar bailar to dance bailando dancing
-er comer to eat comiendo eating
-ir abrir to open abriendo opening

Now, check out how to form gerunds of -er or -ir verbs ending in a vowel.

Verb Example Meaning Gerund Meaning
caer to fall cayendo dancing
leer to read leyendo reading
oír to hear oyendo hearing
traer to bring trayendo bringing

Intermediate Spanish: Forming Commands of Regular Verbs

Forming commands is an important part of learning Spanish. Can you guess how many times you’ve had to give people directions to your home or to a restaurant? In all these situations, you’ve had to use the imperative, which is a fancy way of saying that you’ve given commands. Just like in English, the imperative isn’t a tense in Spanish because it doesn’t show time. It’s called a mood because it indicates the manner in which the action occurs.

Remember that the subject of a command is understood to be you.

Person -ar Verbs -er Verbs -ir Verbs
mirar (to look [at], watch) correr (to run) partir (to leave)
Ud. Mire. (Look.) Corra. (Run.) Parta. (Leave.)
No mire. (Don’t look.) No corra. (Don’t run.) No parta. (Don’t leave.)
Uds. Miren. (Look.) Corran. (Run.) Partan. (Leave.)
No miren. (Don’t look.) No corran. (Don’t run.) No partan. (Don’t leave.)
Mira. (Look.) Corre. (Run.) Parte. (Leave.)
No mires. (Don’t look.) No corras. (Don’t run.) No partas. (Don’t leave.)
vosotros Mirad. (Look.) Corred. (Run.) Partid. (Leave.)
No miréis. (Don’t look.) No corráis. (Don’t run.) No partáis. (Don’t leave.)

Intermediate Spanish: Asking for Information

If you plan on using you’re your newfound Spanish-speaking skills to visit a new place, you’ll likely need ot know how to ask for information, When you want to ask for information in Spanish, you’ll more than likely use one of the following words/phrases:

¿cuánto(s)? ¿cuánta(s)? How much/many?
¿cómo? How?
¿cuándo? When?
¿dónde? Where?
¿adónde? (To) where?
¿por qué? Why? (for what reason)
¿para qué? Why? (for what purpose)
¿quién(es)? Who?
¿a quién? (To) whom?
¿de quién? Whose?
¿cuál(es)? What? Which one(s)?
¿qué? What?