Galician Grammar

If you're trying to learn the most essential topics about Galician you will find some useful resources including a course about adjectives, adverbs, articles, gender (feminine, masculine...), negation, nouns, numbers, phrases, plural, prepositions, pronouns, questions, verbs, vocabulary, excercises... to help you with your Galician grammar Enjoy our courses!


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Galician Lessons

Learning Galician can help you communicate with other people who speak Galician. The following courses will provide you with some help based on the lessons you choose. Here is a list of what we offer:

1-    Plural Lesson

While in English, the plural is formed by adding (s) to the singular. In Galician, to form the plural of nouns and adjectives we add (-s) to words ending in a vowel and (-es) to words ending in a consonant. Here are some examples:

Words ending in –r add -es

Words ending in –z add –es and change –z for c

Words ending in –y add –s

Some words don’t change: luns, martes, mércores, xoves,(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)

Un amigo (a friend) becomes: Uns amigos (some friends)

UnHa muller (one woman) becomes: Unhas mulleres (some women)

Ese é o meu coche vermello (this is my red car) becomes: Eses son osmeuis coches vermellos (these are my red cars)

O mar (the sea) é moi fermoso (is very beautiful) becomes: Os mares son moi fermosos

Apaga esa luz (turn of that light) becomes: Apaga as luces (the lights)

Un leon (a lion) becomes: uns leons (some lions)

Merquei un spray (I bought an spray) becomes: Merquei uns sprays

 

2-    Adverbs Lesson

While in English adverbs are usually formed by adding (-ly) to adjectives. In Galician many adverbs are formed from adjectives, simply by adding the suffix -mente to the singular feminine form of adjectives. Examples:

 

Lento (slow) becomes lentamente (slowly)

Perfecto (perfect) becomes perfectamente (perfectly)

However that’s not always the case. Some words are adverbs by nature. For example:

Agora (now), de veras (really), and axiña (soon) are all Galician adverbs.

 

 

3-    Adjectives Lesson

While in English an adjective doesn’t change when the noun changes, in Galician an adjective should agree in gender and number with the noun. For example:

a)    Masculine to feminine example:

Este é o meu fillo pequeno (this is my little son) becomes: Esta esta é a mina filla pequena (this is my little daughter)

As you can see from the example above, the adjective comes after the noun and also takes the feminine form.

b)    Singular to plural example:

Este é o meu gato branco (this is my white cat) becomes: Estes son os meus gatos brancos (these are my white cats).

As you can see from the example above, the adjective comes after the noun and also takes the plural form.

 

 

4-    Numbers Lesson

In Galician numbers from 1 to 20 are unique and therefore need to be memorized individually. Numbers from 21 and upwards are formed by using the following pattern: for example 21 can be formed by using 20 + 1 while connecting them. 22 = vinte e dous. 45 can be formed by using 40 + e + 5 while connecting them: 45 = corenta e cinco.

 

5-    Articles Lesson

Definite Article:

Unlike English, which has only one definite article “the", Galician has 4 definite articles:

O (masculine singular), o libro (the book)

A (masculine singular) a casa (the house)

Os (masculine plural) os libros (the books)

As (feminine plural) as casas (the houses)

 

Indefinite Article:

While we have (a / an / some) in English as indefinite articles, we also have un/ unha. uns/ unhas in Galician .

In general, whenever (a, an) are used in English you, you need to use (un) or (una) to say the equivalent in Galician.

Un (masculine singular), un libro (a book)

Unha (masculine singular) una casa (a house)

Uns (masculine plural) uns libros (some books)

Unhas (feminine plural) unhas casas (some houses)

 

Example: Os libros que teño son para un amigo (The books I have are for a friend)

 

6-    Verbs Lessons

-       Present Tense

In Galician, verbs  can be divided in 3 conxugacións (infinitive ending) –AR, -ER, -IR

Cant-ar (to sing), beb-er (to drink), escrib-ir (to write)

 

They take the following endings to form the present tense:

-AR                                                     -ER                              -IR

Eu                              –o                                                        -o                                 -o                                

Ti                                 –as                                                      -es                               -es

El/ela/vostede            –a                                                        -e                                 -e

Nos                            –amos                                                 -emos                         -imos

Vos                             –ades                                                  -edes                           -ides

Eles/elas/vostedes    –an                                                      -en                               -en

These endings can help you a lot, because with them you can conjugate most of verbs into the present tense, you only need the stem of the verb, for example the stem of (cantar: to sing) is (cant).

 

-       Past Tense

In Galician as well as in English the simple past tense (pretérito) is used to describe past events. The endings for the past tense verbs are:

-AR                                                     -ER                              -IR

Eu                              –ei                                                       -ín                                -ín                               

Ti                                 –aches                                                -iches                          -iches

El/ela/vostede            –ou                                                      -eu                               -iu

Nos                            –amos                                                 -emos                         -imos

Vos                             –astes                                                 -estes                          -istes

Eles/elas/vostedes    –aron                                                  -eron                           -iron

 

 

So just take any regular verb stem and add it to the endings above, for example our previous verb cantar (to sing), its stem is “cant”, plus the endings above becomes eu cant-ei (I sang).

-       Future Tense

 

-AR                                                     -ER                              -IR

Eu                              –arei                                                    -erás                           -irá                             

Ti                                 –arás                                                   -erás                           -irás

El/ela/vostede            –ará                                                     -erá                             -irá

Nos                            –aremos                                             -eremos                      -iremos

Vos                             –aredes                                              -eredes                       -iredes

Eles/elas/vostedes    –arán                                                  -erán                           -irán

 

Just take it as an infinitive and add the above future endings to it.

 

7-    Asking a Question Lesson

The question mark goes at the end

In Galician there are 4 ways of asking a question to get a yes or no answer, and they are the following:

-Verb + pronoun: Unlike English, the auxiliaries do and does are not used. Tene (ela) tempo libre? (Does she have free time?)

-Pronoun + verb: Only the intonation makes the sentence interrogative: (Ela) ten tempo libre? (Does she have free time?)

-Verb +...+ pronoun. The pronoun goes last  Ten tempo libre (ella)? (Does she have free time?)

-Finally you can also make a question by adding a tag question to the end of a statement. Ela ten tempo libre non?

Ela ten tempo libre, verdade(She has free time, doesn’t she)

 

8-    Negation Lesson

 

In Galician, negation can be made simply by placing "Non" before the main verb. But sometimes a double negative is required. "Non" is the most common negative.

Non  podo facelo (I can't do this). 

Non teñen nada que facer (they don't have anything to do – Double Negative). 

Non o quiero (I don't like it)

 

9-    Feminine Lesson

To form a feminine word from the masculine in Galician, you simply add (-a) if the word ends in a consonant. But if a word ends in a vowel then you need to remove the vowel before adding the “a”. Here are some examples:

 

Fillo (son) becomes Filla (daughter), alumno (student masc.) becomes alumna (student fem.)

 

Note that some words cannot change into feminine; instead a whole new word should be used, example: Home (man), Muller (woman).

 

10- Pronouns Lesson

In English personal pronouns are (I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they), and (me, you, him, her, it, us, you, them), In Galician, the personal pronouns are:

Eu  (I),  (you), Ti (he), Ela (she), 

Nós (we), Eles (they masc.), Elas (they fem.)

Examples: Eu aprendo (I learn), Ti aprendes (you learn), El aprende (he learns), Ela aprende (she learns), Vostede aprende (you learn [polite]), Nós aprendemos (we learn), Vos aprendedes (you learn [plural, friendly]), Eles aprenden (they learn), Elas aprenden (they learn), Vostedes aprenden (you learn [plural, polite]).

 

Indirect Object Pronouns:

Indirect object pronouns are words that replace the indirect object, which is usually a person.

Me (me), te/che (you), lle (him, her, you (formal), nos (us), vos (you), lles (them):

Examples: Dameol libro (give me the book). Quérote (I love you).

 

Possessive Pronouns:

Meu (mine masc.), miña (mine fem.), meus (mine, plural masc.), miñas (mine, plural fem.), teu / túa (yours), seu / súa (his, hers), noso / nosa (ours), voso / vosa (yours), seu / súaa (theirs).

We hope the lessons above helped you learn Galician. To learn other topics please check our homepage here: Learn Galician. Don't forget to bookmark this page.


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