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LearnPlus Guides > Spanish Guide Index > Spanish Grammar Index > Sentences

Definition - A sentence is a group of words that includes a finite verb. Sentences are made up of phrases and clauses: phrases are groups of words that are used together to express a certain idea; clauses are phrases that contain a verb. In a sentence composed of more than one clause, the main clause is the clause that makes sense on its own; subordinate clauses are other clauses that give additional information, but cannot stand alone.

Examples of Spanish sentences:
             • Me llamo Manuel.
                [My name is Manuel.]
             • Si quieres llegar a tiempo, tienes que darte prisa.
                [If you want to be in time, you have to hurry up.]
             • Pablo vive en el centro de la ciudad, pero le gustaría mudarse cerca de la playa.
                [Pablo lives in the center of the town, but he would like to move closer to the beach.]

Types - This is a short list of different kinds of sentences:

Declarative sentences are statements. These sentences are sometimes referred to as 'positive' sentences to distinguish them from negative sentences. Examples:
             • El libro es barato. [The book is inexpensive.]
             • Ayer fuimos a la playa. [Yesterday we went to the beach.]
             • La cerveza está fría. [The beer is cold.]

Negative sentences express a negation.
             • Este libro no es caro. [This book is not expensive.]
             • No fuimos al cine. [We did not go to the movies.]
             • La cerveza no está caliente. [The beer is not warm.]

Interrogative sentences are questions:
             • ¿Cuesta el libro un euro? [Does the book cost one Euro?]
             • ¿Adónde fuisteis ayer? [Where do you go yesterday?]
             • ¿Cómo está la cerveza? [How is the beer?]

Note: a system of double punctuation is used in Spanish. Therefore, an inverted question mark is placed at the beginning of an interrogative sentence.

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