Atravesar. | To traverse, to cross.
Atropellar. | To run over, to hurry one’s self too much.
Causar. | To cause.
Correr. | To run.
Calcular. | To calculate.
Dividir. | To divide.
Exponer. | To expose.
Extrañar. | To wonder at.
Hospedar. | To lodge and entertain.
Incendiar. | To set fire to.
Llorar. | To cry, to weep.
Manifestar. | To manifest, to show, to inform.
Ordenar. | To order, to arrange.
Oponer. | To oppose.
Proponer. | To propose.
Parar. | To stop.
Procurar. | To procure, to try.
Resistir. | To resist.
Rivalizar. | To rival.
Simpatizar. | To sympathize.


Notwithstanding we have already made some general observations relative to the place each part of speech occupies in sentences, we deem it expedient to add here a few rules which the learner will find of considerable utility in composition.

254. THE NATURAL CONSTRUCTION demands that the substantive be placed before the adjective, because the thing is before its quality; that the governing word precede the one governed, for it is natural that the former should present itself to the mind before the latter; that the subject precede the verb; that the verb precede the adverb by which it is modified; that the complement come after the verb and the adverb, if there be one; and that when two or more things are to be expressed, of which one, from its nature, comes before the other, this order be preserved; as,

Oriente y Occidente. | East and West.
Cielo y tierra. | Heaven and earth.
Norte y Sur. | North and South.
Este y Oeste. | East and West.

255. Figurative Construction. The genius of the Spanish language, and, above all, use, allow us to depart in some cases from the above rules; thus avoiding the monotonous uniformity which would otherwise take place, and leaving the writer more latitude for the construction and arrangement of his periods. So long as sense and perspicuity do not suffer, there is ordinarily no fixed position for any of the parts of speech. Therefore:
1st. Personal pronouns subjects of verbs may, with a few exceptions, be expressed or suppressed at will.
2d. When the pronoun subject is expressed, it may be placed either before or after the verb.
3d. The same liberty exists with respect to the verb, adverb and complement.
4th. Nevertheless, for the sake of clearness in our sentences, it is essential that certain words which together form a whole (such as adjectives with the substantives they qualify, or parts of sentences, acting the part of subject or complement) should be arranged in the same order as that in which the ideas they express are naturally presented to the mind.
5th. There are also certain words which, when placed before certain others, have a signification very different from that which they have when placed after them.
Of all the modern languages the Spanish is certainly the most flexible; indeed, in no other can the same idea be ex-
pressed with the same words in so endless a variety of constructions.
Let the following sentence serve as a proof of the truth of this assertion:

Esta señorita era hija de Don Manuel Sánchez. | This young lady was the daughter of Mr. Emanuel Sánchez.

256. Words which, from their nature, cannot be separated: Esta señorita. De Don Manuel Sánchez.

Natural Construction. Esta señorita era hija de Don Manuel Sánchez.
1st inversion. Era esta señorita hija de Don Manuel Sánchez.
2d inversion. Era hija esta señorita de Don Manuel Sánchez.
3d inversion. Era de Don Manuel Sánchez hija esta señorita.
4th inversion. De Don Manuel Sánchez era hija esta señorita.
5th inversion. Hija era esta señorita de Don Manuel Sánchez.
6th inversion. Hija de Don Manuel Sánchez era esta señorita.
7th inversion. Hija de Don Manuel Sánchez esta señorita era.
8th inversion. De Don Manuel Sánchez hija era esta señorita.

257. The natural construction is, of course, the most grammatical, but the best writers generally give preference to the figurative, as being more easy and elegant, and as giving at the same time more freedom to imagination and genius, and finally, as being better suited to express the grand emotions of the soul.


Ni con mucho. | Far from, far from it.
A decir verdad. | To say the truth.
En lo que respecta. | With respect to.
En marcha. | Let us go, let us start.
A lo largo. | Lengthwise.
A esta parte. | Within the last.
A pié. | On foot.
En frente. | In front, opposite.
Continuamente. | Continually.
Perpendicularmente. | Perpendicularly.
Alrededor. | Around.

Admirable. | Admirable.
Apto. | Apt.
Curioso. | Curious.
Desocupado. | Disengaged, unoccupied.
Directo. | Direct.
Indirecto. | Indirect.
Figurado. | Figurative.
Inepto. | Unsuitable.
Gramatical. | Gramatical.

Complemento. | Complement.
Academia. | Academy.
Cosmopolita. | Cosmopolite.
Admiración. | Admiration, wonder.
Carruaje. | Carriage.
Delito. | Crime.
Arquitectura. | Architecture.
Dibujo. | Drawing.
Construcción. | Construction.
Individuo. | Individual, member.
Belleza. | Beauty.
Frase. | Phrase.
Literato. | Man of letters.
Distancia. | Distance.
Gozo. | Enjoyment.
Esquina. | Corner.
Museo. | Museum.
Lágrima. | Tear.
Paseo. | Promenade.
Laboriosidad. | Industry.
Punto. | Point, place.
Marcha. | March.
Edificio. | Edifice.
Metrópoli. | Metropolis.
Peligro. | Danger.
Madurez. | Ripeness, maturity, prudence.
Omnibus. | Omnibus.
Soltero. | Bachelor.
Permanencia. | Permanence, stay.
Público. | Public.
Sorpresa. | Surprise.
Trascurso. | Course (of time).
Vista. | Sight, view.
Rincón. | Coner.
Orilla. | Bank, border.
Tablero de damas. | Checker-board.
Batalla. | Battle.
Remuneración. | Remuneration.


– Oriente y Occidente.
East and West.

– Cielo y tierra.
Heaven and earth.

– El hombre discreto ordena siempre las cosas con madurez.
The sensible man always arranges his affairs with prudence.

– La casa de Juan se ha incendiado.
They have set fire to John’s house.

– Un individuo inepto para escribir puede ser apto para otras cosas.
An individual that is unsuited for writing may be apt at other things.

– El reo, a quien se castiga, ha cometido grandes delitos.
The culprit that is being punished has committed great erimes.

– Un hombre pobre es muy diferente de un pobre hombre.
A poor man (a man in poverty) is very different from a poor fellow.

– Hemos dado un gran paseo.
We have had an excellent walk.

– Hemos dado un paseo grande.
We have taken a long walk.

– Lo que V. dice es una cosa cierta.
What you say is certain.

– Yo he observado cierta cosa.
I have observed a certain thing.

– Madrid, a 23 de agosto de 1866 (or Madrid, agosto 23 de 1866, or Madrid y agosto 23 de 1866).
Madrid, August 23d, 1866.

– Yo soy quien probaré que tú te equivocas.
It is I who shall prove that you are mistaken.

– Dios es admirable en todas sus obras, pues todas ellas manifiestan su poder y su bondad (or admirable se muestra Dios en todas sus obras; su poder y su bondad manifiestan todas ellas).
God is wonderful in all His works, for they all set forth his power and His goodness.

– Solo Dios es grande, hermanos míos.
God only is great, my brethren.

– Adiós, Juan; ¿qué tal?
Good morning, John; how do you do?

– Hasta mañana. Buenos días.
I shall see you tomorrow.

– Nueva York, ciudad de los Estados Unidos.
New York, a city of the United States.

– Yo mismo lo vi llorar lágrimas de gozo.
I myself saw him shed tears of joy.

– Pronto se calmarán las borrascas que agitan la nave del Estado.
The tempests by which the ship of State is tossed shall soon be calmed.

– ¿Ha estado V. alguna vez en el Museo de Nueva York?
Have you ever been in the New York Museum?

En las lecciones de este blog se ha seguido la obra de

Alberto de Tornos “The Combined Spanish Method”. D. APPLETON ~ COMPANY (New York) 1869

Licencia de Creative Commons
Esta entrada está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 3.0 Unported.


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