Spanish sentences
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A sentence is a group of words that form a complete unit of meaning. Sentences can be as short as a single word or as long as the Amazon; the minimum criterion is that they contain a subject and verb.

If you’re thinking, "But that means they need at least two words!" remember that subject pronouns are optional in Spanish: a conjugated verb contains a subject.

Characteristics of sentences

  1. May be any length
  2. Must contain a subject and verb
  3. May include one or more other parts of speech
  4. Can usually be divided into two parts: subject and predicate

Parts of sentences

Subject | Sujeto

  • May be a name, noun, or pronoun
  • May be singular or plural
  • May be modified by an adjective or other determiner
  • May be stated or implicit

Predicate | Predicado

  • Must include a verb
  • Usually begins with the verb
  • Contains everything that is not part of the subject

Por ejemplo…

María está lista.   María is ready.
El restaurante peruano abre a mediodía.   The Peruvian restaurant opens at noon.
Él y yo tenemos tres gatos.   He and I have three cats.

When the subject pronoun is omitted and there’s no visible subject in Spanish, it’s un sujeto implícito.

Por ejemplo…

(ella) Está lista.   She is ready.
(nosotros) Tenemos tres gatos.   We have three cats.

Types of sentences

There are four different kinds of sentences.

1) Statements | Oraciones enunciativas / declarativas

Statements, aka assertive sentences or declarative sentences, are the most common type of sentence. They make a statement, whether fact or opinion; can be affirmative or negative; and almost always end in a period.

Por ejemplo…

Es abogada.   She’s a lawyer.
No nos gusta el chocolate.   We don’t like chocolate.
Creo que no.   I don’t think so.
Tienes que parar de correr.   You have to stop running.

2) Exclamatives | Oraciones exclamativas

Exclamative sentences are the excited siblings of statements: they express a strong feeling like joy, surprise, or anger, and usually start (in Spanish) and end (in both languages) in an exclamation point.

Por ejemplo…

¡Nos mudamos a España!   We’re moving to Spain!
¡Todavía no están listos!   They’re not ready yet!
¡Espero que no!   I hope not!

3) Interrogatives | Oraciones interrogativas

Interrogative sentences, aka questions, ask for information, a service, or something tangible. They always start (in Spanish) and end (in both languages) in a question mark.

Por ejemplo…

¿Puedes ayudarme?   Can you help me?
¿Están en el coche?   Are they in the car?

Unlike statements and exclamatives, which usually begin with the subject, interrogatives often begin with a question word.

Por ejemplo…

¿Cuándo os vais a mudar allí?   When are you going to move there?
¿Por qué no te gusta mi idea?   Why don’t you like my idea?

 When the question word is an interrogative pronoun, it is the subject.

Por ejemplo…

¿Quién quiere ir al cine?   Who wants to go to the movies?
¿Qué haces?   What are you doing?

4) Commands | Oraciones imperativas

Commands are statements in the imperative, which means the subject is always implicit. They may end in a period or exclamation point, depending on how urgent the command is.

Por ejemplo…

Cuéntame un cuento.   Tell me a story.
Vamos a la playa.   Let’s go to the beach.
¡Parad!   Stop!

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Types of Spanish sentences

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