Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 9 Parts of Speech (2023)

Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 9 Parts of Speech (1)

September 28, 2021 by Faustina Mulnik Spanish Grammar 2 comments

One of the most important parts of Spanish grammar for beginners is parts of speech!

You’ve probably heard your Spanish teacher talk about terms like sustantivo, verbo, and artículo in class, but what do they mean? Well, these are just a few of the parts of speech in Spanish!

Today, you’ll learn what these terms mean as I go over the 9 parts of speech in Spanish. Understanding how to use these terms can even help you learn Spanish faster! You can even test your new knowledge at the end of the post with a fun grammar quiz.


What is a “Part of Speech”?

There are thousands of words in English and Spanish. Luckily, parts of speech exist to help categorize these words.

Parts of speech group words together based on their function in a sentence. In Spanish, the main parts of speech are:

  1. Noun
  2. Pronoun
  3. Adjective
  4. Verb
  5. Adverb
  6. Preposition
  7. Conjunction
  8. Article
  9. interjection

The parts of speech are one of the most important Spanish grammar rules for beginners. There is lots of information packed into these 9 categories!

Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 9 Parts of Speech (2)

Knowing the Parts of Speech Makes Learning Spanish Easier

Understanding parts of speech is incredibly useful when learning a foreign language. Knowing a word’s part of speech tells you how to use it in a sentence. This knowledge makes it easier to properly construct sentences.

Additionally, it’s important to know the parts of speech so that you’re not confused when your Spanish teacher talks about conjunctions, adverbs, and articles. Knowing some basic grammar terminology will help you better understand what’s going on in class.

Discover the 9 Parts of Speech in Spanish

If you want to learn Spanish grammar for beginners, then knowing the parts of speech is a must. These categories are the building blocks for Spanish grammar.

1. Articles (Los artículos)

Articles draw special attention to the noun that they precede. The type of article shows the way that the speaker is thinking about the noun. The speaker could be talking about the noun in a general sense or as a specific item. The two distinct types of articles are definite and indefinite.

Definite Articles

Definite articles specify which object, person, or place the speaker is talking about.

“The” is the only definite article in English. In Spanish, however, there are 4 definitive articles: los, las, el, and la.

Again, these artículos change depending on the noun that they precede.

  • Masculine singular: el
  • Masculine plural: los
  • Feminine singular: la
  • Feminine plural: las

Let’s look at some examples.

La maestra pone el lápiz en la mesa.
The teacher puts the pencil on the table.

El perro corre en el patio.
The dog runs in the yard.

Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 9 Parts of Speech (3)

Indefinite Articles

Indefinite articles are a nonspecific way to refer to a noun. “A” and “an” are the only two English indefinite articles that exist. However, in Spanish, there are four.

Again, these artículos change depending on the noun that they proceed.

  • Masculine singular: un
  • Masculine plural: unos
  • Feminine singular: una
  • Feminine plural: unas

Look how the sentences change with indefinite articles.

Una maestra pone un lápiz en una mesa.
A teacher puts a pencil on a table.

Un perro corre en un patio.
A dog runs in a yard.

2. Nouns (Los sustantivos)

You’ve probably heard that nouns in English are people, places, and things. Luckily, the same holds true in Spanish!

Nouns, or sustantivos, can be objects, feelings, and even concepts. They help you talk about the physical and imaginary world. Nouns are essentially names that identify objects.

Many Spanish words have a specific ending that tells you that the word is a noun.

Spanish Noun Endings


  • canción song
  • transición transition
  • aprobación – approval


  • unidad – unity
  • profundidad – depth
  • hermandad – brother/sisterhood


  • sencillez simplicity
  • fluidez fluidity
  • diez – ten

Nouns can occur anywhere in a sentence, but they usually appear as the subject at the beginning of the sentence or as an object at the end.

La maestra pone el lápiz en la mesa.
The teacher puts the pencil on the table.

El perro corre en el jardín.
The dog runs in the yard.

Los niños juegan con el gato en la sala.
The children play with the cat in the living room.

3. Adjectives (Los adjetivos)

Adjectives describe nouns. You use adjectives all the time! They add creativity, detail, and personality to your sentences. Adjectives help describe people, places, and the things around you.

Common Adjectives

  • grande – big/large
  • hermoso beautiful
  • azul blue
  • rápido – fast

Be careful with your adjective placement! In English, adjectives come before the noun that they describe. However, in Spanish, they come after the noun.

Example Sentences

La maestra nueva pone el lápiz amarillo en la mesa sucia.
The new teacher puts the yellow pencil on the dirty table.

El perro feo corre en el patio grande.
The ugly dog runs in the big yard.

Los niños traviesos juegan con el gato gris en la sala desorganizada.
The mischievous children play with the gray cat in the messy living room.

4. Verbs (Los verbos)

Los verbos describe an action or a state of being. Verbs make up an important part of Spanish grammar for beginners. Every sentence has a verb!

Common Verbs

  • pensar – to think
  • vivir – to live
  • ser – to be

The above verbs are in their neutral state, which is called the infinitive form. You can tell when a verb is in its infinitive form because it will end in -ar, -er, or -ir.

However, most sentences won’t use verbs in their infinitive form. Instead, verbs are usually conjugated in the present, past, future, or other tenses. Spanish verbs require a lot of conjugating! Learn more about Spanish verb conjugation with this guide.

See if you can identify the verbs in each of the following sentences.

La maestra pone el lápiz en la mesa. (poner)
The teacher puts the pencil on the table.

El perro corre en el patio. (correr)
The dog runs in the yard.

5. Adverbs (Los adverbios)

Just like how adjectives describe nouns, adverbs add a description to verbs. Adverb even has the word “verb” inside of it!

For example, instead of saying “he runs,” you can say “he runs fast.” “Fast” describes how the action is done.

Common Spanish Adverbs

Los adverbios in Spanish have many different forms, but the most common ending is –mente. In English, they end in -ly.

  • lentamente – slowly
  • felizmente – happily
  • cuidadosamente – carefully

Take a look at how adverbs affect these sentences.

La maestra pone el lápiz cuidadosamente en la mesa.
The teacher carefully puts the pencil on the table.

El perro corre rápidamente en el patio.
The dog runs quickly in the yard.

Los niños juegan silenciosamente con el gato en la sala.
The children play quietly with the cat in the living room.

Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 9 Parts of Speech (4)

6. Pronouns (Los pronombres)

A pronoun is essentially a word that substitutes a noun. You don’t want to keep using the same noun over and over again when telling a story. This repetition would sound boring and cluttered. Instead, you use a pronoun to replace the noun that you are talking about.

Take a look at this paragraph without pronouns:

The teacher walked into class. Then the teacher told us that the teacher had a surprise. The teacher brought cupcakes to class!

Now take a look at the same paragraph using pronouns:

The teacher walked into class. Then she told us that she had a surprise. She brought cupcakes to class!

See how important pronouns are? They make the paragraph much more clear and concise!

Spanish Subject Pronouns

Spanish subject pronouns are the most common type of pronoun. They are broken down by the gender and number of the noun they replace.

Spanish SingularEnglish Singular
Tú (informal)You
Usted (formal)You
Spanish PluralEnglish Singular
Vosotros/VosotrasYou (all)
UstedesYou (all)

Try to identify the subject pronouns in these sentences.

Ella pone el lápiz en la mesa.
She puts the pencil on the table.

Él corre en el patio.
He runs in the yard.

7. Prepositions (Las preposiciones)

Prepositions explain the relationships between nouns. They tell you how two nouns are related, often referring to a location.

Common Spanish Prepositions

  • en – in, on
  • por – by, because of
  • debajo – below
  • adentro – inside

These words are normally sandwiched by two nouns, as you can see in the following examples.

La maestra pone el lápiz en la mesa.
The teacher puts the pencil on the table.

El perro corre alrededor del patio.
The dog runs around the yard.

Los niños juegan con el gato en la sala.
The children play with the cat in the living room.

8. Conjunctions (Las conjunciones)

Conjunctions are words that connect nouns, verbs, phrases, and sentences. They help you piece together different ideas.

There are two main types of conjunctions: simple and complex. The simple conjunctions are the ones that you use all the time. In English, they are “and”, “but”, and “or”. Complex conjunctions, on the other hand, have a little more depth.

Simple Spanish Conjunctions

  • y – and
  • o – or
  • pero – but

Complex Spanish Conjunctions

  • sin embargo – however
  • por lo tanto – therefore
  • así que – so
  • aunque – even though

Take a look at how these conjunctions act in a sentence.

La maestra pone el lápiz en la mesa pero se cae.
The teacher puts the pencil on the table but it falls off.

Aunque el perro y el niño corrieron en el patio, todavía tienen energía.
Even though the dog and the boy ran in the yard, they still have energy.

Los niños juegan con el gato en la sala. Así que, no nos van a molestar.
The children play with the cat in the living room. So, they will not bother us.

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9. Interjections (Las interjecciones)

Interjections are abrupt remarks that help you to express different emotions. They also help to improve your Spanish by making it sound more natural!

Interjections are a fun part of Spanish grammar for beginners. They are short words or phrases so they are easy to remember. Plus, native speakers will love hearing you use these natural Spanish sounds.

Common Interjections in English

  • ahh
  • alas
  • alrighty
  • shucks

Common Interjections in Spanish

  • ¡Vale!
  • ¡Dios mío!
  • ¡Venga!
  • ¡Ay!

Interjections can vary in their meaning. Context is extremely important to help decode them. Volume, pitch, and speed can also help show meaning. Interjections can also be filler words. They are a way to fill in a space or pause while the speaker thinks of the next thing they want to say. In this way, they are a means of not giving up airtime or preventing someone from interrupting.

Take a look at how interjections add emotion and feeling to these sentences.

¡Venga! La maestra ya ha empezado la clase.
Come on! The teacher already started class.

¡Ay! El perro está fuera del patio.
Hey! The dog is outside of the yard.

Spanish Grammar Books

Here are some of the best Spanish grammar for beginners books. Whether you’re looking for grammar books for preschoolers, kids, or adults, there is a book for everyone!

Spanish Grammar for Beginners Quiz

Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 9 Parts of Speech (6)

Grammar exercises are a great way to reinforce what you’ve learned. This Spanish grammar test for beginners is an easy way to practice. Try to see if you can get all 10 questions right!

1. Gato is a…

Correct! Wrong!

2. Ella is a…

Correct! Wrong!

3. Alto is an…

Correct! Wrong!

4. Y is a…

Correct! Wrong!

5. En is a....

Correct! Wrong!

6. Las is an…

Correct! Wrong!

7. Ah is an…

Correct! Wrong!

8. Lentamente is an…

Correct! Wrong!

9. Correr is a…

Correct! Wrong!

10. Ciudad is a…

Correct! Wrong!

The 9 Parts of Speech

Wow, you've mastered the 9 parts of speech in Spanish! Good job!

Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 9 Parts of Speech (7)

You've got a solid understanding of how to use the 9 parts of speech and the quality of your Spanish conversations are exploding through the roof!

You've almost mastered the 9 parts of speech. Your consistent practice is leading to better results!

Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 9 Parts of Speech (8)

As you keep up your hard work and practice, you're starting to understand better how to use the 9 parts of speech. For more study materials, keep up-to-date with our newest published blog posts at Homeschool Spanish Academy. *YOU'RE ALMOST THERE! You can do it!* Do you prefer learning with videos? Check out our YouTube channel Spanish Academy TV for the best Spanish learning content on the web!

Practice makes perfect! Keep on studying!

Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 9 Parts of Speech (9)

Your motivation to learn Spanish is an essential ingredient to success! If you're ready to take your Spanish to the next level and master the 9 parts of speech, then join us for a free Spanish class with one of our friendly, certified, native Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala. Sign up today!

Learn Even More Spanish Grammar for Beginners with a Free Class

Now that you’ve explored Spanish grammar for beginners, it’s time to impress your language teacher! If you’re still searching for the perfect Spanish teacher, consider trying a free class with Homeschool Spanish Academy. We offer programs for students of all ages at competitive pricing. Sign up today and our certified teachers from Guatemala will have you speaking Spanish after just one class!

Ready to learn more Spanish grammar and vocabulary? Check these out!

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Faustina Mulnik

Freelance Writer at Homeschool Spanish Academy

As a native English speaker, I’ve spent over 6 years perfecting my Spanish. My studies have led me to major in Spanish, translate documents at a local museum, and communicate with people I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to know. I’ve studied abroad in Spain, lived in Yellowstone National Park for a summer, and volunteered in Costa Rica. I’m a passionate travel enthusiast seeking to share my love for all things Latin America.

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