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Spanish Quizzes for Beginners
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Basic Spanish Practice Quizzes
Both Spanish and English distinguish between nouns that can be counted [un libro = 'one book', dos libros = 'two books', etc.], others that cannot [?una agua =? 'one water', dos aguas = ?'two waters', etc.]. However, the languages do not always agree on whether a given concept is count or non-count. Spanish treats some concepts as count while English treats them as non-count:
Fui de vacaciones. I went on vacation.
Compramos muchos muebles. We bought a lot of furniture.
Las noticias son malas The news is bad.
Se cortó las barbas. He cut his beard.
El público le dió aplausos tremendos. The audience gave her tremendous.
Está perdiendo las fuerzas. He is losing strength.
Tenemos todos los datos. We have all the information/data.
Aquí están los informes. Here is the information.
Me dio buenos consejos. He gave me good advice.
¿Quién hizo las investigaciones? Who did the research?
Spanish treats some concepts as non-count [singular] vs. English count [plural]:
Subió la escalera. She went up the stairs.
Me puse el pijama. I put on my pajamas.
La gente está harta. The people are fed up.
Esta ropa está fuera de moda. These clothes are out of style.
Also note the differences below:
No me gusta la política. I don't like politics.
La física es muy interesante. Physics is interesting.
Sacaste un sobresaliente en matemáticas. You got an "A" in mathematics.
Basic Spanish Quizzes
All Spanish nouns, inanimate or animate, have gender; they are either masculine or feminine. Gender is generally signaled by the noun ending and/or the article/adjective that accompanies the noun.
Below are some noun endings that are fairly reliable indications of gender:
Generally masculine: Words ending in -o, -r, -l, -ama, -ema:
el carro = 'car', el dólar = 'dollar', el canal = 'canal/channel', el programa = 'program', el problema = 'problem'. But there are always exceptions like: la mano = 'hand', la modelo = '(fashion) model', la sal = 'salt', etc.
Generally feminine: Words ending in -a, -d, -ión, -is, -umbre, -z:
la banana = 'banana', la salud = 'health', la nación = 'nation', la tensión = 'tension', la crisis = 'crisis' -umbre = 'light', -la luz = 'light'. But: el día = 'day', el sistema = 'system' (see above), el ataúd = 'coffin', el camión = 'truck', el pez = 'fish'.
Of course, there are exceptions, such as false masculine words:
A number of short words beginning with a stressed a- carry the masculine singular definite article, but are actually feminine in gender [el agua/las aguas = 'water(s)', el alma/una alma/las almas = 'soul(s)', el águila/una águila/las águilas = 'eagle(s)'].
When the noun refers to a male and female animals or people, there are several possibilities.
The male/female distinction can be represented by different words: hombre/mujer = 'man/woman', marido/mujer = 'husband/wife', yerno/nuera = 'son/daughter-in-law'.
The same base noun can change its ending to signal gender: niño/niña = 'boy/girl', doctor/doctora = 'male/female doctor', español/española = 'Spaniard', gato/gata = 'male/female cat', gallo/gallina = 'rooster/hen', el tigre/la tigresa = 'tiger/tigress'.
The article/adjective marks gender, but there is no change in the noun form: el/la modelo = 'male/female model', el/la testigo = 'witness', el/la miembro = 'member', el/la artista = 'artist' , el/la idiota = 'idiot'.
Some nouns of this class are udergoing change as women become more common in traditionally male roles. For examples, el/la médico = 'male/female doctor', el/la abogado = 'lawyer', el/la presidente = 'president' now permit el médico/la médica, el abogado/la abogada, el presidente/la presidenta, respectively.
In the last case, the noun has fixed gender regardless of sex of referent [Jorge es la persona más interesante = 'George is the most interesting person'.].
Use of Interactive Spanish Exercises
Spanish Subject Pronouns: yo, tú, Ud., él, ella, nosotros, vosotros, Uds., ellos, ellas
Spanish subject pronouns, also called "personal pronouns" in Spanish, are generally used only to refer to human subjects so, for example, él/ella/ellos/ellas can only mean 'he/she/they (human), not 'it/they (non-human)'.
English requires all sentences to have a subject noun or pronoun. Spanish does not. Ssubject pronouns are only used for clarity, emphasis, contrast [¿Los dos vienen? No, él viene pero ella no. = 'Both are coming? No, he is, but she isn't.'].
There is no subject "It" in Spanish: Llueve. = 'It is raining.', not something like Lo llueve.
Spanish Comparative Pronouns: yo, tú, Ud., él, ella, nosotros, vosotros, Uds., ellos, ellas
These are identical to the subject pronouns because they are actually the subjects of abbreviated sentences. [Soy más inteligente que él (es). = 'I am more intelligent than he/him.']. Note that English usage varies (he or him) depending on register.
Like subject pronouns, they generally refer only to human subjects [Allí está mi casa. Los arboles son mas altas que ella. = 'There is my house. The trees are taller than it.']
Spanish Prepositional Pronouns: mí, tí, Ud., él, ella, nosotros, vosotros, Uds., ellos, ellas, sí
This set is identical to the subject pronoun set, except for 1st and 2nd person singular forms mí/tí and the reflexive form sí. However, the pronouns yo/tú are used after the prepositions [entre = 'between / among', según = 'according to', excepto/menos/salvo = 'except'].
There are special forms with con (conmigo, contigo, consigo) [Quiero bailar contigo. = 'I want to dance with you.' / Pedro no trajo su dinero consigo. = 'Peter didn't bring his money with him.'].
Unlike subject pronouns, él/ella/ellos/ellas can freely refer to non-human things [Veo un árbol; hay un venado detrás de él. = 'I see a tree; there is a deer behind it.' / Tengo una chaqueta, pero dejé la casa sin ella. = 'I have a jacket, but I left home without it.'].