Glossary of Grammar Terms
Adjective A word that describes a noun or pronoun.
La chica es inteligente. The young lady is smart.
Article A determiner that sets off a noun.
el libro the book
Definite article An article that indicates a specific noun.
el bolígrafo the pen
Indefinite article An article that indicates an unspecified noun.
un carro a car
Infinitive The form of a verb that has not been conjugated into a tense, person or mood.
Jaime va a comprar una manzana.
Jaime is going to buy an apple.
Noun A word that denotes a person, place, thing, or idea.
maestro, universidad, mesa, Juan
teacher, university, table, Juan
Cardinal number A number that indicates an amount.
dos libros, cuatro estudiantes
two books, four students
Ordinal number A number that indicates position in a series.
la primera estudiante, la tercera silla
the first student, the third chair
Person The form of a pronoun or verb that indicates the person involved in an action.
1st person singular I yo
2nd person singular you tú
3rd person singular he, she, it, usted/él/ella
1st person plural we nosotros
3rd person plural they ustedes/ellos/as
Preposition A word or phrase that specifies the relationship of one word (usually a noun or pronoun) to another.
cerca de la cafetería near the cafetería
antes de la clase before class
Present Participle The verb form that ends in -ing in English and with the verb estar in Spanish to form the progressive.
Progressive The verb that expresses continuing or developing action.
Carmen está caminando. Carmen is walking.
Juan y Julio están estudiando. Juan and Julio are studying.
Nosotros estamos durmiendo. We are sleeping.
Pronouns A word that refers to a person (I, you, we, etc.) or that is used in place of one or more nouns.
Interrogative A pronoun used to ask a question.
¿Quién es el maestro? Who is the teacher?
Reflexive A pronoun that represents the same person as the subject of the verb.
Me miro en el espejo. I look at myself in the mirror.
Tense The form of a verb indicating time: present, past or future.
Gisela era, es y siempre será mi hermana.
Gisela was, is, and always will be my sister.
Verb A word that reports an action or state.
Juan escucha música. Juan listens to music.
Reflexive verb A verb whose subject and object are the same.
Alba se peina. Alba brushes her hair (herself).