Side Notes

  • a + el (to the) = al
  • de + el (of the) = del

Masculine & Feminine

  • Masculine: uses un (sing.) and unos (pl.) for "a"/"an" and "some", and el (sing.) and los (pl.) for "the".
  • Feminine: uses una (sing.) and unas (pl.) for "a"/"an" and "some", and la (sing.) and las (pl.) for "the".

More info: http://www.spanishdict.com/guide/masculine-and-feminine-nouns

With [subject] [verb]

Él volvióHe returned
Él durmío.He slept.
El gato corre.The cat runs.
El gato durmío.The cat slept.

With a Direct Object

Él comío la manzana.He ate the apple.
Los pájaros comían la fruta.The birds ate the fruit.

With an Indirect Object

María me da el libro.María gives me the book.
María te da el libro.María gives you the book.

Reflexive Verbs

(Verbs that the subject uses on themselves.)

María se lava.María washes herself.
María se lava la cara.María washes her face. ("la"/"el" is used for body parts instead of "su)
"se" is used here, because her face is a part of her body, so she's still washing herself, even if it's just her face.

Mentioning Occupations or Descriptions

[ser] [occupation/description]

(No article for the occupation/description...)

Soy maestro.I am a teacher.

(...Unless if you modify it with another description...)

Soy un maestro de inglés.I am an English teacher.

Telling Time

(The article for the number of the hour would be feminine plural, because 'hora' is feminine and it's plural--'horas'. So las.)

Son las [numero].

Son las seis en la mañana.It's 6:00 in the morning.
Son las seis y media.It's 6:30.
Son las seis y catorce en la mañana.It's 6:40 in the morning.
¿Qué hora es?What time is it?
Es la medianoche.It's midnight.
Es el mediodía.It's noon.

Identifying Age

Instead of saying "I am [age] years old", it's literally "I have [age] years."

So "[tener] [numero] [años, meses, whatever]"

Tengo treinta y dos años.I am 32 years old.
Él tiene diez años.He is ten years old.
¿Cuántos tienes años?How old are you?

Using Two Verbs in One Sentence

Ex. I can play.

("can" and "play" being the two verbs)

[poder] [inf. verb] Ex. Puedo jugar.I can play.
[tener] que [inf. verb] Ex. Tengo que jugar.I have to play.
[ir] a [inf. verb] Ex. Voy a jugar.I am going to play.
Tener (to have)+Que+[Inf. Verb]
Empezar (to start/begin)
Ir (to go)
+A+[Inf. Verb]
Poder (to be able to)
Querer (to want)
Intentar (to try)
+  [Inf. Verb]

Using Past Perfect When Another Thing Happened

Ex. "I had eaten when they arrived." ("had eaten" = past perfect)

[noun] [past perfect verb] cuando [past tense verb #2] [noun #2]

(The noun goes after the verb in the second sentence segment.)

Había limpiado el cuarto cuando llegó la policia.I had cleaned the room when the police arrived.
Ella había terminado cuando dejamos.She had finished when we left.