As an English speaker you may want to learn Spanish. Also, you must be curious about the differences between Spanish and English. Both languages have some distinctions.
They are different in terms of sentence structures, prepositions, pronunciations and much more. Reading this article will clear your mind further.
Differences Between Spanish And English – 12 Distinctions!
English and Spanish languages have a common Indo-European origin. What makes them different is their subgroups.
English belongs to the Germanic branch, while Spanish is from the Italian branch. Even so, both languages have millions of speakers around the world.
There are several differences between Spanish And English. But, if you dive into the depth, you can lose interest. So, here are some basic distinctions between the two languages.
1. Number Of Alphabets:
No matter what language you are learning, the first thing that matters is the Alphabet. Alphabets are the phonetic sounds that describe the vocals of any language.
The English language has 26 total alphabets. Out of which, five are vowels and the other 21 are consonants. English linguistics is the combination of these 26 letters in English.
On the contrary, Spanish contains 27 alphabet. There are five vowels like English and 22 consonants. Also, it has some extra words that sound like a combination of English letters.
Another difference is; English has 44 types of phonetic sounds . While Spanish alphabets produce 39 different sounds.
Unlike English vowels, Spanish has fixed and unique sounds. Thus, they don’t change the phonetics in different conditions.
For example, “but” and “put” both words have the same vowel, but “u” sounds in different ways. This does not happen in Spanish.
2. Gender Of Nouns:
Spanish is a gender-biased language. There is a specific gender for every noun. It doesn’t matter if a noun is a living thing or an object, but gender is a must.
In Spanish grammar, an apple, mother, or chair are feminine. Thus, they need famine articles, adjectives, etc.
English has genders to limited nouns only. So, besides humans, you can use feminine words for mountains, ships, etc., but usage is rare. Yet, you can avoid it as well.
There are no gender nouns for objects like fruits, books, table etc. However, you can use “It” to refer to any nouns.
3. Nature Of Articles:
In Spanish, articles also have genders. Different types of articles are used according to the gender of the word. For example, “El” represents a male and “La” shows a female.
Besides, you cannot use the article of singular with the plural words. Considering the nature of nouns is mandatory before putting an article.
For instance, “Los” refers to the plural of male while “Las” represents the plural of female nouns. So, you cannot use them interchangeably. Using the correct article is important.
In other ways, you can disturb the linguistic standards of Spanish. On the other side, in English, “The” is enough to use with all genders instead of several different words. For example ;
– The girl = la Nina
– The boy = el chico
– The Girls = Las chicas
– The Boys = Los muchachos
4. Adjective And Noun Orders:
Adjectives describe the characteristics of nouns. Also, give more details about them. For instance, black bag, fat boy, two books, etc. In English, adjectives come before nouns.
In the above conditions, black, fat, and two are adjectives because they describe the nouns.
In Spanish, adjectives come after nouns. Though the meaning remains the same but order is different. For example: Vestido marrón.
Here Vestido means dress and marrón is brown. So brown dress = Vestido marrón.
One thing that is important to remember is that there is an exception. In case of quantifier adjective, the adjective comes first, like English rules, such as;
– Dos Libros
Dos means two, and Libros shows books. In all rest of the cases, adjectives come after nouns.
Punctuations play a key role in sentence formation. They can change the meaning and context of a statement.
Despite the differences between Spanish and English, punctuation is important.
In the two languages, punctuation placement is different. In English, a sign of exclamation(!) or sign of Interrogation (?) comes to the end of a sentence, i.e.,
– Where are you going?
– Please end this discussion now!
While in Spanish, these two symbols have double placements. They appear in the end like English but come at the start of a sentence in the opposite direction.
For your convenience ;
– ¿A dónde vas?
(Where are you going?)
– ¡Por favor, termine esta discusión ahora!
(Please end this discussion now!)
6. Capitalization Rule:
In English, the first letter of every proper noun is capital. January, Islamabad, Monday, etc. are common examples. The capital letter shows the individuality and specialty of the word.
But, the Spanish language does not bother to capitalize the initials of every proper noun. Thus, capitalization is lesser in Spanish as compared to English.
For example, there is no need to write the name of days or months in the capital. You can use lowercase for them and write them as;
– Visitaré el hospital en octubre.
(I will visit the hospital in October)
7. SOV- Structures:
In English, sentence structure is SOV i.e Subject + Verbs(auxiliary + action) + Object. You can interchange Subject and Objects, but verbs remain in the center in passive voice.
The rule is lenient in Spanish. You can change the position according to the sentence. In Spanish, you can use a word at the end of a sentence with stress.
SOV structure works in Spanish too, but the rule is not rigid. For example, you can use verbs at the start or end too.
An example is “It wrote the book”. Suppose you are pointing out that ” A book is written by someone” This is an incorrect sentence in English. There is no meaning in it.
But in Spanish, if you say “Lo escribió el Libro” in a context, this conveys a proper meaning. So, in simple words, changes in SOV structure still provide information in Spanish.
There are almost 150+ prepositions in English.
Using the right preposition in a sentence is very confusing or even hectic.
Prepositions are complex in English. Sometimes, you need different prepositions for dates, place, time, objects, etc.
In the second case, there are few prepositions to avoid confusion. For example, in English, we use “in,” “on,” and “at” to make links, while Spanish has “en” to replace these three words.
9. Spelling Etiquettes:
English has so many words that sound different than their spellings. The same alphabet has several vocals. Identical words sound different.
It is difficult for a beginner to learn all the pronunciation of a native. For example, “but” and “put” have the same basic structure. Still, they have different phonetics.
The word “Phone” gives the letter ” F “ sound but has different alphabets. This is because spelling etiquettes of English are very complex.
This case for Spanish is contrasting. It is very straightforward in spelling combinations. You can spell a word by listening to it. But language proficiency is the condition.
Unlike English, you don’t have to think about spelling rules. There are no irregular, complex, or illogical spelling errors concerning pronunciations. No worries for silent words too.
10. Use Of Auxiliary Verbs:
Auxiliary verbs describe the tense of any sentence. For example, the English language has a variety of auxiliary verbs. The basic ones are ” do, does, did, is are, am, will, shall, have, has, had, etc.”
The position of these verbs gives information about the sentence. They tell whether it’s Interrogative or not. When auxiliaries come at the start of any sentence, it changes into a question, such as;
– He is writing a book.
– Is he writing a book?
Even without the question mark, you can get that the second sentence is Interrogative.
While Spanish is very different. There is no need for auxiliary verbs in Interrogative or negative sentences. Even so, they usually use conjugations to narrate tenses in a sentence.
Once again, thee Spanish win here. Compared to English and Spanish, negations in Spanish are easy to use. Most often, only “no” before the verb is enough.
An example is ;
– no Quiero dinero
(I don’t want any money)
You can negate a situation without any complexity. Of course, exceptions are everywhere. But it’s easy to use negations in Spanish compared to English.
In English, many prefixes like “in, im, ill, dis, non,” etc. to, narrate negations. However, it can confuse the non-natives in picking the right one. That’s the reason most people mix them.
12. Importance Of Personal Pronouns:
Pronouns are a part of English speech. It replaces the nouns in a sentence. English grammar has four more types of pronouns that represent different meanings.
In English, personal pronouns point to the person involved in a sentence. Without using them, it is impossible to comprehend the sentence.
On the other hand, Spanish is free from personal pronouns. Yet, there are more than 30 forms of verbs that give details about relevant people and actions.
– Hablo = I speak
– Hablaraś = They speak
– Hablamos = You speak
Hence, a little modification in a single word changes the meaning. Only verbs are enough to give complete information.
Both languages have different preferences. Both are complex in their way.
Spanish and English differ regarding sentence structures, noun nature, negations, punctuations, etc.
You can find many differences between Spanish and English if you compare them.
Both are complex and simple in different ways. It is wrong to say which one is easy. Spanish is complex for English speakers, while Spanish speakers say English is difficult.
If anyone wants to learn any of these languages, both are interesting. After all, what matters is your dedication.
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