Adventures in learning Spanish: Grammar edition

Adventures in learning spanish

I’ve been working as an English teacher for almost 5 years now and every student says “I can’t learn English it’s so difficult”. I get that. English is a bastard language. I saw a Tumblr post and it had a perfect quote to describe the seemingly nonsensical spelling and pronunciation of words, “English beats up other languages in dark alleys, then rifles through their pockets for loose grammar and spare vocabulary“.  It’s true. Words in English don’t make sense but the grammar isn’t too awful for the most part.

La y El 

Words in Spanish on the other hand (in my opinion) make sense. You read it, you say it. Okay, there are a few exceptions to get the hang of like “ll” , “v” and “b” and the “ñ” but once you have them the pronunciation is a breeze. It’s the grammar that’s horrible in Spanish. Take masculine and feminine for example. You think you have it “La + -a” = feminine and “El + -o” = masculine and it’s all going along smoothly until you hit the exceptions: la carne, la radio, el Canada!!!, and el dia just to name a few.

Okay so that is the basic level learning articles, now you move onto the harder stuff conjugating verbs. Come on guys! Seriously? You are going to change everything?


For example in English:

  • I eat
  • You eat
  • He/She/It eats
  • We eat
  • They eat

Apart from the 3rd person, it’s all the same. Easy peasy.

Now Spanish:

  • Yo como
  • Tu comes
  • El/Ella/Eso come
  • Nosotros comemos
  • Ustedes comen
  • Ellos/Ellas comen

Hopefully I got those right. But you see what I mean, there is so much more to learn there and so many more chances for mistakes and life altering embarrassment…..oh, is that just me?

The collective you

In the Spanish example you will notice that there is an extra word “ustedes”. Ustedes is the Spanish “Y’all…..(kind of). I really think that we could do with a plural you in English. Think back to any conversation that you have with a group of people or referencing a group of people and I bet you that you would have said “Yooooou” while drawing an imaginary circle with your finger around the group or said “No, not you-you, the collective you”.


By all means I am not an expert on Spanish far from it, I actually just hit you with the majority *all* of my knowledge gleaned from Netflix, The Chilean and Duolingo lessons. Duolingo is going to be the focus of my next post. Look for it soon.

Peace / Paz




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