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Spanish Sentence

A sentence is a group of words that is meaninful on its own, contains a main verb (i.e. contains at least one main clause), begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop (or other strong punctuation). Sentences are used to make statements, ask questions, make requests, give orders, and express exclamations.

There are two types of sentences in Spanish:

  • A simple sentence (oración simple) consists of an independent clause.
    • El bebía una pinta de cerveza. - He was drinking a pint of beer.

  • complex sentence (oración compuesta) contains a main clause and at least one other clause. Clauses can be linked in different ways:
    • Coordination (linked by a coordinating conjunction)
         Ella tenía un trabajo genial ella estaba muy contenta She had a great job and she was very happy.
    • Subordination (linked by a subordinating conjunction or relative pronoun): 
         Yo sabía que él te diría la verdad. I knew that he would tell you the truth.
    • Juxtaposition (linked by punctuation)
         Los niños juegan, se divierten, se cansan. Children play, enjoy themselves, get tired.

Oraciones no verbales (non-verbal sentences) are organised around something other than a conjugated verb. For example:

  • Terribles inundaciones en Londres. - Terrible floods in London.
  • De nada, Susana. - Not at all, Susana.
  • ¡Imposible! - Unbelievable!
  • ¡Qué tontería! What complete nonsense!
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