English To Spanish Translation: 6 Major Grammar Differences

English To Spanish Translation: 6 Major Grammar Differences
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Spanish is one of the biggest Romance languages, which originated from a language spoken by the Romans. Despite being closely associated with the Italian and Portuguese languages, Spanish is markedly different from the English language. There are various differences between English and Spanish – making translation a tricky job to do. As a result, translators need to be very careful while translating text from English to Spanish or vice versa. Lets have a close look at the 6 major grammar differences between the Spanish and English languages.

Adjective Placement

In the English language, an adjective is often placed before the noun, for example, she has bought a red car. However, this is not the case with the Spanish. Adjectives are often placed after the noun in the Spanish language.

Tense Usage

In Spanish, there is no one-to-one correspondence when it comes to tense usage. This can lead to incorrect usage of tense while translating in English, often using a simple tense instead of a future tense. Also, Spanish doesn’t have any auxiliary in negative or interrogative sentence structures.

Sentence Order

Both English and Spanish follow the same sentence order of subject-verb-object. However, the Spanish language enjoys the flexibility to use stressed words at the end of the sentence.

Using Personal Pronoun

In the Spanish language, there is no need to use ‘I’, ‘he’ or ‘it’, because the verb tenses alter with the subject. In English, this is not the case. One cannot simply skip the subject in the subject in the sentence formation. For example, ‘went to school yesterday’, alone doesn’t make any sense.

Verb forms

English has three basic types of verbs; the past tense, the past participle, and the infinitive. In Spanish, there are 15 types of each of the verbs, along with the past participle and gerund. And then, within these 15 types, there are 6 specific styles to indicate the speaker or the originator of the action.

Spelling-sound connection

In the Spanish language, there is a strong connection between the sound and the spelling of a word, which is not the case with English. Another major difference is the double-letter combinations, which is only three in Spanish; cc, ll and rr. In English, the count is not limited to three.

Also Read: Spanish vs Portuguese: A Linguistic Comparison

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.