Appendix E: Basic Spanish

AuthorKen Wallentine
Appendix E: Basic Spanish
The most essential element of speaking Spanish is the understand-
ing that while the majority of the consonants are the same as in
English the vowel sounds are unique and consistent.
Pronunciation Guide
Vowels Tricky Consonants
A - (AH) as in “hat” ll = y
E - (EH) as in “hay” z = s
I - (EE) as in “he” j = h
O - (OH) as in “hoe” ñ = ny
U - (OO) as in “you” h is always silent
Y - (EE) as in “he” rr is rolled
Spanish contains both a formal and an informal way of saying “you;”
one ought to know that there are appropriate situations for both “usted”
(formal) and “tú” (informal)
“Usted” is used to show respect when addressing people such as:
Officials (municipal or otherwise), Elderly, Adults, Bosses, Organiza-
tion Leaders, etc.
“Tú” is used when addressing close friends, children and pets. Thus
the instances in which “tú” will be appropriate are rare and you will
be understood by playing it safe and using “usted.”
I Yo (YOH)
HE El (Ehl)
SHE Ella (EY-yah)
THAT Aquel (ah-KAEL)
THESE Estos (EYS-tohs)
THEY Ellos (EY-yohs) masculine
THEY Ellas (EY-yahs) femine
THIS Este (EHS-tay)
THOSE Aquellos (ah-KAY-yohs)
YOU Usted (oo-STEHD) formal
YOU Tú (TOO) familiar
YOU Ustedes (oo-STEH-days) plural
WE Nosotros (Noh-SOH-trohs)
MISTER Señor (saen-YOR)
MISSES Señora (saen-YOR-ah)
MISS Señorita (saen-yor-EE-tah)
Every noun is assigned a gender. Words ending in “o” are generally
masculine and those that end in “a” are generally feminine. An ar-
ticle generally precedes a noun: “el” for masculine nouns and “la” for
feminine nouns. When addressing or speaking about group of people/
things that are mixed in gender you will use the masculine articles
“ellos” or “aquellos.” Articles generally agree in gender and number
with nouns.
Example: Los hombres (The men) vs. El hombre (The man) Aquéllos
(Those guys)
Basic Interrogatives
WHO? ¿Quién?
WHAT? ¿Qué?
WHERE? ¿Dónde?
WHERE IS? ¿Dónde está?
WHEN? ¿Cuándo?
WHY? ¿Por qué?
HOW? ¿Cómo?
WHICH? ¿Cuál?
WHOSE? ¿De quién?
ISN’T THERE? ¿No hay?
IS IT? ¿Es?
ISN’T IT? ¿No es?
Obtaining Basic Information and Booking
What is your name?
¿Cómo se llama?
Write your name/address/phone number.
Escriba su nombre/ dirección/ número de teléfono.
Write your date of birth.
Escriba su fecha de nacimiento.
Are you a United States citizen?
¿Es usted ciudadano de Los Estados Unidos?
Of what country are you a citizen?
¿De que país es usted ciudadano?
Write the name and/or telephone number of your nearest relative.
Escriba el nombre y/o el número de teléfono de su familiar más

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