Basic Spanish Grammar Rules

When learning a new language, grammar rules play an essential part. Grammar rules pull the words together and allow them to mean something. Without grammar rules, words wouldn’t make much sense.

Whether you’re learning Spanish for academic reasons or wish to explore this beautiful language, you will realize that Spanish grammar rules differ significantly from English grammar rules. Some might even call them more difficult. However, this guide to Basic Spanish Grammar Rules will put you at ease in your journey to learning Spanish grammar. Let’s begin.

Important Spanish Grammar Rules

There are a few essential Spanish grammar rules that you can not miss no matter what. These grammar rules make communication in Spanish easier and allow you to improve your Spanish language skills.

1). Different Ways of Referring to Second Person (You)

The Spanish language refers to the second person in different ways. This includes formal and informal ways of saying “you.” One thing to note is that there are no masculine or feminine words for “you.” The difference is only between referring to singular or plural second persons with a difference of formality.

Singular, Informal
Usted Singular, Formal
ustedes Plural, Informal
vosotros/vosotras Plural, informal


2). Gendered Nouns

Nouns in the Spanish language are gendered. Unlike the English language, all nouns have a gender. This does not mean that they are male or female. It simply indicates whether the sentence will have a feminine sound or a masculine sound.

You can identify most feminine and masculine nouns by their spellings. Masculine nouns mostly end with an -o, whereas feminine nouns end with an -a. However, this rule isn’t foolproof, so you must always check whether you get the genders right.

You must be wondering why the genders are so important? That is because you will then need to use appropriate verbs and articles with them as well. The verbs and articles are also gendered, so using a masculine article with a feminine noun will not sound great.

La The (feminine, singular)
Las The (feminine, plural)
El The (masculine, singular)
Los The (masculine, plural)
Una A (feminine)
Un A (masculine)


3). Verbs

The verbs in Spanish Grammar work just like those in the English language. This is why they can be easier to grasp as compared to other Spanish grammar rules. The verb form tells us who the subject of the verb is and whether they are singular or plural. For example, the Spanish word “bailar” means to dance. Let’s see the different ways it can be written to represent the subject.

Bailo I dance
Baila You/He/She dances


4). Contractions

Unlike the English language, the Spanish language only has two contractions. However, these contractions are not optional. Therefore, not writing them as contractions will be grammatically wrong.

De El Del (contraction) Of the
A el Al (contraction) To the

The Spanish language has only two contractions, and you can only use their contracted form in sentences. This rule does not only in only one case; when something has a name that starts with El, for example, El Salvador. In this case, De El will be used in the sentence.


5). Adjectives are placed after nouns

In the Spanish grammar, adjectives always come after the noun. Many English speakers might make mistakes here. That is why this is an important rule to remember. For example, if you were to refer to someone’s “blue eyes,” you would write it as “ojos azures,” meaning “eyes blue ”literally.

Furthermore, your noun and adjective should always be in harmony. If you’re using a singular noun, your adjective should be singular too. If your noun is plural, your adjective will be plural as well.

Using the above mentioned example again, we can see that “ojos azures” is used to mean plural eyes. However, if we talked about just one blue eye, we would write it as “ojo azul.” As you can see, both the noun and adjective have changed forms and are both singulars now.


The Spanish grammar rules can be pretty confusing to learn, especially for an English speaker. They are rather complex and need to be remembered for you to be fluent in the Spanish language. These basic Spanish grammar rules will help you remember the essential practices in Spanish grammar so you can excel in Spanish.