Advanced Spanish grammar rules might be a nightmare for B2-C1 level students. However, our teachers on Spanishviaskype.com consider these contents a motivation and a challenge. There is nothing more rewarding for us than the evolution of our students from basic to advanced levels. Let’s see some advanced Spanish grammar rules you should know.
1. Advanced Spanish grammar rules: indicative vs subjunctive
It is commonly known that mastering the subjunctive is a barrier that separates an intermediate level student from an advanced one. Let’s see some of the most advanced uses:
Como vs Como si
One of the most popular ways to express mode in Spanish is the conjunction “como”.
We can use indicative after como if you know the way that something must be done (estudia español como siempre te digo).
On the other hand, we use present subjunctive if the speaker doesn’t really know the way that something will be done by the listener. For example: estudia español como tú quieras.
Finally, we can use como si and the imperfect subjunctive if the mode is unreal, a simulation in the present or the future. For example: Nuestros estudiantes hablarán español como si fueran españoles. In addition to this, we can use the pluperfect subjunctive if the action is set in the past. For example: El candidato aprobó el examen DELE como si hubiera nacido en España.
Porque + indicative vs subjunctive
Everybody knows that a cause triggers consequences and a consequence has its origin in a cause. One of the less known advanced Spanish grammar rules is the use of porque followed by subjunctive. If the cause we introduce is false or it’s not exactly the reason of the main clause, we use the subjunctive; on the other hand, we use indicative to express the actual cause.
For example: si no puedes entender una conversación en español no es porque el español sea difícil, sino porque no has tenido el profesor adecuado. The actual reason is you have not had the appropriate teacher, not the difficulty of the language.
Aunque + indicative vs subjunctive
Concessive clauses are one of the most difficicult of the subjunctive uses. We’ll only show you here one of the possible explanations.
If the speaker wants to emphasize the problem that causes the clause introduced by aunque, he would use indicative. Nevertheless, if you want to play down its importance, you should use the subjunctive.
For example: Aunque tengo mucho trabajo, iré contigo al cine, pero me debes un favor. / Aunque tenga mucho trabajo, iré contigo al cine, eres mi mejor amigo y lo más importante para mí.
2. Advanced Spanish grammar rules: ser vs estar
From the very beginning of learning the Spanish language, students struggle with the differences between these two Spanish verbs. Today we’ll learn three of these differences.
A passive sentence expresses that the subject doesn’t do the verbal action but it suffers it. There are different types of passive sentences in Spanish, but we’ll focus on two of them: the passive of process and the passive of state.
The first ones are formed with the verb ser and the past participle of the main verb. They emphasize the process that the subject suffers: Hispania fue conquistada por los romanos.
On the contrary, the passives of state are formed by the verb estar and the past participle of the main verb and they highlight the state of the subject: Hispania estuvo conquistada por los romanos durante siete siglos.
Advanced rules about expressing dates
At the basic levels we teach this general rule: we use the verb ser to express dates… However, here you have more advanced Spanish grammar rules: we use the verb estar for dates if we use plural subjects in a colloquial register.
For example: Hoy es lunes. / En Japón ya estáis a martes. – En España es verano. / En Australia están en invierno. – Mañana ya es junio. / Ya estamos en junio.
Highlighting a subjective impression
You might probably have heard that the verb ser expresses a permanent feature and estar a changeable state. That sometimes works, but not always. We can use estar to mean a subjective impression that we might have when we describe something or somebody.
For example: Tu casa es fantástica / Tu casa está fantástica (it’s not a matter of changes but degrees on the adjective. Your house is more than great). La decoración es muy bonita / La decoración está muy bonita (the decorations are quite lovely).
Don’t be afraid of advanced Spanish grammar rules. If you are learning Spanish and have reached an advanced level, you have the required tools to understand and internalize them. Don’t forget that you have our help at your disposal: just reserve a trial lesson via Skype here and become an adavanced student.