You can think of sentence construction like building a pop song. To make both of these things work, you need to put certain elements together, in the right order.
Get the order correct and harmony is achieved, but it can be very easy to sound out of key, especially when speaking another language.
Not all sentences are equal - different types serve different purposes. Let’s start off by looking at declarative sentences.
These are simple sentences that relay information. Use them, for example: • to say what job someone does • to express your opinion • or to describe someone or something
The good news is that in such a sentence, the equation is
subject + verb
... just like in English! Added to this, you may also have what is called a complement, giving extra information.
Let’s have a closer look at those individual elements.
What is a subject?
A subject performs an action. It could be a person or an animal. Let’s take a female person’s name, Dominican singer Natti Natasha, for example.
Here is a full sentence featuring this very person:
Natti Natasha canta Natti Natasha sings
You could take her name away, replace it with she and add the complement en español to that sentence making
Ella canta en español She sings in Spanish
You can even take the subject pronoun, she, away (which replaces the name), when who is being talked about has already been established. This would make the sentence:
Canta en español She sings in Spanish
And here she is doing just that with Becky G:
What is a verb?
The verb in our example sentence was cantar, meaning to sing.
The verb has to have the right ending, depending on who is doing the action. This process of changing the verb ending is called conjugation. In the case of she sings, it was ella canta.
Do you know how would you say ‘I sing in English’?
The answer is: Yo canto en inglés
We’ll explain verb conjugation more closely in the future, so keep an eye on the blog!
What is a complement?
In our example sentence Yo canto en inglés, as we’ve already established, we have:
The subject = Yo The verb = canto The compliment in this example is = en inglés
That piece of information is not strictly necessary, but it gives the listener or reader some extra details about what I sing, without them having to ask.
What are other declarative sentences?
In declarative sentences, you can also express your opinions. Here’s an example:
Mi artista preferida es Becky G My favorite artist is Becky G
In this sentence, we have an adjective, preferida meaning favourite. Notice that preferida comes after artista - this is most often the case with adjectives in Spanish. We’ll explore this more in a future blog article and video.
On top of this, declarative sentences can be used for descriptions. An example sentence describing a person would be:
Becky G es de California Becky G is from California
Come back soon to learn more about the Spanish language and how to use it, including more on how to construct different types of sentence and how to use adjectives