Spanish Study Card

Intermediate to Advanced

If you have used the basic to intermediate card, you may already be familiar with the colour-coded system, so you can skip this explanation if you want to.

In this section, you will find easy-to-understand explanations of each grammar table to help you get the most out of your Spanish Study Card.


You will find explanations of the layout, the content, and the grammar points with examples.


If you come across an English grammar word you are not familiar with, such as pronoun, verb tense, etc., you can check the Glossary section here.

Remember that you can use your Spanish Study Card with any textbook you may be using.



The Spanish Study Card intermediate to advanced level, displays 30 independent tables.



The Subject Personal Pronouns or los Pronombres Personales determine the three main colours used throughout the card.


The three main colours used in the grammar charts are yellow, purple and green.


As you can see, the table has also two shades, light and dark. The light column shows you the persons in the singular, and the dark column shows you the persons in the plural form.


Always think of the Subject Personal Pronouns as the persons who do the action. In English, they are the words I, you, he, she, it, we, you, and they.


They are divided into first, second and third persons, in the singular and plural forms.


Think of the persons in terms of priority. The first person is the most important for you. This pronoun includes you on your own I, or with someone else, we. These are represented in light and dark yellow.

The second level of priority is the one you are talking to, you, in singular or in the plural. These persons are represented in light and dark purple.

The third most important person is whoever is not in the room, she, he, it, they. These persons are represented in light and dark green.


Singular Pronouns

1st person: I yo

2nd person: you

3rd persons: he/she and it él/ella

Plural Pronouns

1st person: wenosotros, nosotras

2nd person: you vosotros, vosotras

3rd person: theyellos, ellas

*2nd person singular : you usted

*2nd person singular : you usted

*2nd person singular : you usted

Usted means you in English, but it’s the formal way to address someone. It’s in the group of green colour because it’s conjugated like the third person él and ella.


*2nd person plural: youustedes

Ustedes means you (plural) in English. In Spain, ustedes is the formal way of vosotros y vosotras. It’s in the group of green dark colour because it’s conjugated like the third person plural, ellos and ellas.


In Latin America, this is the only form of you in the plural. Vosotros and vosotras isn’t used.


Spanish has masculine and feminine pronouns.


In English, when you talk about a group of women or men, you use the word they. In Spanish, you need to use a specific word according to the gender that it refers to.


Get familiar with the colour pattern to easily identify the word or ending you need according to the person you’re using.

With your card in hand, go through this section to find the explanations on the content of your Spanish Study Card. Or you can also skip to the name of the table you wish to expand your information on.

The section below is intended to be a general explanation of grammar created for you to understand the layout of your card in order to take full advantage of it. By no means should this section be considered a course on its own.

The Compound Tenses
have two parts, the helper verb haber and the action verb in past participle

Your table shows you four indicative tenses.

They all help express that an action happened in the past or before a specific time in the past. 

For example:

Ya he comido“. 

Pretérito Perfecto – Action in the past without mention of specific time. 

Cuando llegó, ya habíamos comido”. 

Pluscuamperfecto – An action happened before another action in the past.

           “Mañana a esta hora, ya habremos comido”. 

Futuro Compuesto – An action that will have happened by this time in the future.  

           “Si hubieras llegado temprano, ya habrías comido”. 

Condicional Compuesto – It talks about an action that could have happened but it didn’t.  

 The past participle is the action verb and it’s formed by replacing the ending –ar for-ado or –er/ir for –ido. 

hablar – hablado

comer – comido

vivir – vivido 

This table shows 10 common irregular past participles that don’t end in –ado or –ido.

For example:

No había visto que habías roto la carta“. 

As you know, HABER is also used to express existence: there is, there are, there was, etc.

This verb is impersonal, that means there is no plural form like in English (there are).

This table shows you the different tenses and the equivalent in English. Note that the Imperfecto de subjuntivo has two options, hubiera, o hubiese. Both are correct and you can use either one.


“No compré nada, había pocos juguetes” . – I didn’t buy anything, there were few toys

           “Había una fila enorme”. – There was a long queue”.

These tables show over 40 common expressions using hacer, estar, tener y dar.

They are handy because many of them are used with the verb to be in English, which can be confusing. It’s best to memorise these and use them as much as possible.


“Lo siento, no puedo hablar, tengo prisa”. –  “I’m sorry, I can’t talk, I’m in a hurry”.

“No lo sé, me doy por vencido”. – “I don’t know, I give up”.

“Siempre están al día con las tendencias”. “They always keep up with the trends.”

  • El subjuntivo is a mode that is used when you want to express doubt, desire, order, suppositions, uncertainty, a possibility or judgements.

  • It often has two different persons; I would like you to…


            (Yo) necesito que (tú) compres estos libros.


  • You also use the subjunctive when the main clause ends in que.


Es necesario que (yo) haga esta parte del proyecto.


  • It’s also used with some conjunctions that link a cause and an effect.


            Te llamo tan pronto como pueda.

Cuando tengas tiempo revisa los datos de junio.

The whole third page in your card is dedicated to the subjunctive.

The first table at the top shows you how to form the subjunctive in the present.

You remove the ending –ar,-er and –ir and add the endings given.


Hablar – …yo hable

Comer – …yo coma

Vivir – …yo viva


There are ten verbs in your card that have an irregular stem. To conjugate them, you use the same ending for the regular verbs.

You may already know these stems as these are the same irregular verbs in the first person in the present indicative.


            Procura que lo que digas empodere a otros.

  • This table in your card shows the colour-coded conjugation of six of the most common irregular verbs in present subjunctive: ser, estar, haber, ir, dar and saber.

You may already know some of these verbs that go through a vowel change when they are conjugated in the present indicative. It’s the same in the present subjunctive.

Remember that the change happens in all the persons except in nosotros and vosotros.

The green box shows you which vowel changes. In this case, the –e in the verb is changed to –ie when you conjugate the verb in the present subjunctive. 

The yellow and purple coloured small tables in the box with a line across, indicate that you don’t change the vowels in the persons that those colour correspond to: nosotros (we), and vosotros (you plural informal).


querer –  to want

…que quiera – … that I want 

…que quieras – …that you want

…que quiera – …that he/she wants

*…que queramos – …that we want

*…que queráis – …that you want (plural informal)

…que quieran – …that they want

  • The change o > ue  follows the same rule as above, nosotros and vosotros don’t suffer any change.


            encontrar – to find

            …que encuentre

            …que encontremos

            …que encontréis

  • e > i In the case of these vowels, as you can see, the change happens in all the persons, there is no exception.


pedir – to ask for

…que pida

…que pidamos

…que pidáis

You can practise the conjugation of these irregularities with the 12 common verbs in your card.

In your table you can see that there is a rule to form the stem for the pretérito imperfecto de subjutivo:

Raíz de la tercera persona plural en pretérito.

 Conjugate the verb with the third person in plural, ellos in pretérito, remove –ron and add the ending shown in your table.


            (ellos) hablaron → habla- → hablara / hablase

            Aas you can see, the stem is taken from ellos hablaron minus –ron.

                (ellos) comieron → comie- → comiera / comiese

                (ellos) vivieron → vivie- → viviera / viviese


Here are some examples of some common verbs to show you how to get the stem:

There are two endings ra/se, both are acceptable though ra is more common.

  • You use the imperfect subjunctive to express emotions, doubts, possibilities, etc., about something that happened in the past.

  • If the main clause is in the imperfect or preterit, then the subordinate clause is in the subjunctive.


                Tenía miedo de que no llegaras / llegases.

                Les di dinero para que se compraran / comprasen un bocadillo.

Nosotros gets a tilde () before the ending.


                No parecía que tuviéramos / tuviésemos 20 años de casados.

                Como quisiste que esperáramos hasta el último momento, la mercancía se agotó.  

  • This table shows you the key elements for the subjunctive:
  1. Person 1
  2. Link or connector (que, cuando, etc.)
  3. Person 2

Quiero          que       vayas.

Esperaba             que        ella fuera.


  • This table shows that you also use the subjunctive with some connectors such as cuando, hasta que. The meaning of the subjunctive part has a future meaning.

  • In this case, the person that takes the subjunctive doesn’t need to be a different person than the one in the main clause.

(yo) Te llamo      cuando                 (yo) llegue.

(yo) No me iré                    hasta que            (ellos) terminen.

These are 30 useful expressions you use with the subjunctive to express doubt, emotion, wishes, orders, etc.


Querer un(a) … que

Quiero un abrigo que tenga bolsillos amplios e inclinados.  


These tense needs the auxiliary verb (haber) and participio pasado ( –ado, –ido)

Remember that the past participle is the action verb formed by replacing the ending –ar for-ado or –er, –ir for –ido.


  • Your table gives you the colour-coded conjugation of haber in subjunctive.

  • The perfect subjunctive is used to express doubts, possibilities, emotions, orders, and opinions about actions that have been completed or that will be completed in the future.


Espero que hayas tenido una semana productiva.

Podremos hablar con Joel cuando su jefe haya salido de la oficina.


Your table gives you the colour-coded conjugation of haber in imperfect subjunctive. You can use hubiera or hubiese. Both are correct.

Then you need to add the past participle –ado or –ido. Refer to the first page of your card for some irregular participles.

  • In subordinate clauses when an action in past has finished.


Me sorprendió que hubieras llamado tan tarde.


  • You use it to talk about something that could or would have taken place in the past, but it didn’t.


                Hubieras comprado más pan.


  • In conditional sentences


Si me hubieras dicho antes, hubiera cocinado más comida.

This table shows you which tenses are used in the subjunctive (subordinate clause) when you use certain indicative tenses (main clause).


Espero que hayas llegado con bien.

The present indicative is in the main clause, and the present perfect subjunctive is in the subordinate part.


Esperaba que vinieras.


The imperfect is in the main clause, and the imperfect subjunctive is in the subordinate part.

More Examples:

       PRINCIPAL                       C.SUBORDINADA

                 INDICATIVO                          SUBJUNTIVO                

Futuro   →      Pretérito perfecto       

  No podrá creer que haya ganado el concurso.  

Pretérito Perfecto →   Pretérito perfecto 

Me ha alegrado que me hayan acompañado.   

Imperfecto →  Imperfecto 

Esperaba que tuvieras tiempo para tomar un café.

Pluscuamperfecto → Imperfecto 

Me había alegrado que supieras tocar el violín.                       

This table shows the three types of conditionals with an example.

When you have si, it shows there is a condition being expressed.

Condicional real

This first part of your table shows the condicional real, if A happens, B happens, or will happen or an order happens.

There is a coma on the condition part of the sentence.

Condicional Potencial

If the actual situation was different, something could potentially happen. You use pretérito perfecto de subjuntivo in the condition part, and the conditional mode in the result.

The conditional endings are in your Spanish card beginners to intermediate.


                Si tuviera más tiempo, cocinaría más.


Condicional irreal

This condition expresses that something happened, or it didn’t happen and what the result could have been. That’s why it’s called irreal because it can’t change.


                Si hubieras llegado a tiempo, no estarías ahora sin asiento / no te habrías quedado parado / habrías (hubieras) alcanzado asiento.

This table gives you a few examples of subordinate conjunctions.

There are two types of conjunctions in your table, the condicionales, which connect a condition. You use the subjunctive with these conjunctions.

 And the concesivas, which  express that something happens in spite of the obstacles.

With the concessive conjunctions, you can use the indicative or the subjunctive.


                Conjuncion condicional

                Este protocolo te ayudara, siempre y cuando hagas un esfuerzo en comer más sano.

                Conjunción concesiva

                Aunque no tengo todas las respuestas, tengo confianza de que saldrá todo bien.

                Aunque no tenga todas las respuestas, tengo confianza de que saldrá todo bien.



Your card shows you the endings you need to use the imperative.

Because the imperative expresses orders, you give the order to the person or people you are talking to, these are the 2nd persons: , vosotros y usted o ustedes.

Your card also shows you shortcuts that will help you see how the endings are endings you have already used:

This means it’s the same ending as the one you learnt for the present for he and she for –ar, –er, and –ir verbs.


        Ella habla – ¡Habla!

        Ella come – ¡Come!

        Ella vive – ¡Vive!

This means that to give orders to more than one person (vosotros) you use an infinitive verb (verbs without conjugation: hablar, comer, vivir), but you change the ending from r to d.


      Hablar – ¡Hablad!

      Comer – ¡Comed!

      Vivir – ¡Vivid!

This means it’s the same ending as the one you learnt for the present subjunctive for ellos, ellas, and ustedes for –ar, –er, and –ir verbs.


      Es necesario que ellos hablen – ¡Hablen!

      Es necesario que ellos coman – ¡Coman!

      Es necesario que ellos vivan – ¡Vivan!

* The asterisk in and vosotros directs you to the table beside it that shows an exception in the endings when the orders are negative.

You don’t normally change the endings for affirmative and negative sentences but there is an exception with the imperative for and vosotros.

The ending is the same you learnt for the present subjunctive: Necesito que hables.

                The table in your card shows you the endings:


() – Affirmative – ¡Habla! ¡Come! ¡Vive!

() – Negative – ¡No hables! ¡No comas! ¡No vivas!

(vosotros) – Affirmative – ¡Hablad! ¡Comed! ¡Vivid!

(vosotros) – Negative – ¡No habléis! ¡No comáis! ¡No viváis!

This table on your card shows you the conjugation of eight of the most common irregular verbs in the imperative in affirmative:

Decir, hacer, ir, poner, salir, ser, tener, and venir.

This table shows you nine different tenses in the direct and indirect speech.

Just like in English, in Spanish you also change the tenses when you report something.


                “I am tired.” – He told me he was tired.

The table shows you which tense you need to change the direct message to.


                Presente > Pluscuamperfecto

                “Me dormí a las once.” > Dijo que se había dormido a las once.


When you report a message, there are certain words that need to change as well.

Your table shows seven common words in reported speech and how they change.


                Hoy > aquel día

                “Hoy voy a viajar” > Dijo que aquel día iba a viajar.


This table gives you seven more verbs you can use instead of:  Dijo que…

Some of these verbs have a different meaning to to say, but when they are used, they follow the same rules of reported speech.


                “Está bien, no puedo resolver el problema sin tu ayuda”.

                Admitió que no podía resolver el problema sin mi ayuda.

This is a very practical table that shows you the different uses of por and para with examples. It is best if the uses are memorised as they can be confusing for English speaking students because por and para can meanby, for, around, or to.

This table shows you 20 different expressions that are widely used in Spanish.

Por eso, para nada, por si acaso, etc.


                There are two ways to answer the question ¿para qué? (what for)


                ¿Para qué moviste estas cajas?

  1. Para tener más espacio. (in order to) – Infinitivo
  2. Para que haya más espacio. (so that) – Subjuntivo

This table on your card shows you 18 common verbs that use a specific preposition. It’s best to memorise these expressions as the meaning in English can’t be translated literally.


                Acabo de ver a tu hermano. – I have just seen your brother.

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