Chapter 21   -- The little words

The word too

The word too is used in both English and Spanish to indicate excess, and both languages have a collection of words and phrases which are used to express this idea.

in the sense of very It is too difficult. Es muy difícil.
It is too early. Es muy temprano.
in the sense of quantity It is too heavy. Es demasiado pesado.
It is too hot. Está demasiado caliente.
She has too many doubts.  Ella tiene demasiadas dudas.
in the sense of excess You gave me a dollar too much.  Me dió un dólar de más.
in the sense of luck That was too bad. Eso fue mala suerte.
It can’t be. No puede ser.
in the sense of also  I want to go, too. Quiero ir también.
She was rich, too. Además, ella era rica.


The word yet

In English, the word yet has a wide range of meanings, which are determined by the context.
In Spanish, several, more specific words are used whose English equivalent is the word yet.

in questions:  Is Mary here yet? ¿Está aquí María ya?
Has the plane arrived yet? ¿Ha llegado el avión ya?
in negatives My sister isn’t up yet. Mi hermana no se levantó todavía.
or They haven’t done it yet.   No lo han hecho aún.
to mean “still” Yet, the war continues. Aún, la guerra continua.
meaning to date It is the best picture yet. Es la mejor película hasta ahora.
meaning awaiting The report is yet to be done. El reporte está todavía por hacer.
meaning however He was told, yet he went anyway.   Se lo dijo, sin embargo se fué.

Note:            aún means yet; aun means even

The Spanish word ya

like the English word yet, the Spanish word ya has range of meanings, which are determined by the use in a sentence.


to mean already We already saw the castle. Ya hemos visto el castillo.
You finished the test already? ¿Tú completaste el examen ya?
Are you leaving already? ¿Ya se van?
to mean now I need the report right away. Necesito el reporte ya.
I want to start right now. Quiero empezar desde ya.
Oh, I understand now! Ya entiendo!
to mean no longer He doesn’t bowl any more. Ya no juega bolín.
She doesn’t want any more. Ya no quiere más.
It won’t happen any more. Ya no lo pasará.
to mean sure Well, he sure spends a lot. Pués, él ya gasta mucho.
I surely think so. Ya lo creo.
to mean very These are very high prices. Estos precios ya son altos.
to mean since Since she isn’t here, we’ll leave.    Ya que no está, nos iremos.
Since he has practiced, he’ll win.   Ya que ha practicado, ganará.
to mean soon Soon, you will get your turn. Ya te llegará el turno.


The forms of the word but

The Spanish language has four expressions for the word but.


1. pero - The word pero means but in the sense of never-the-less.

          example:   It looks like rain, but we will play baseball anyway.

                   This usage is the most common form of the word but.

2. sino - The word sino means but in the contrary sense.  It is also the translation for except or save.


He does not speak Italian, but Spanish. No habla italiano, sino español.
Everyone came except Joseph.  Todos vinieron sino José.
Every one applauded except him Todos aplaudieron sino èl.
No one but he would have dared. Nadie sino èl se habría atrevido.
Everyone survived, save one.  Todos sobrevivieron sino uno.
No one but John would think of that.  Nadie sino Juán pensaría de eso.

3. sino que   The expression sino que is used when the same subject is described in contrasting ways.

          example:      He did not close the door, but left it open.

                             No cerró la puerta, sino que la dejó abierta .

4. mas -        The word mas (not más; más means more) means yet, and its usage

                   is limited primarily to poetry and music, where two expressions are used

                   frequently, which are mas que (meaning although, or even if), and mas si

                   meaning perhaps).

And - Or?

There are two forms of the word “and” in Spanish, “y” and “e”.
The word “y” is used most of the time, but before words which begin with the same sound, y is replaced by “e”.

example :      blanco y negro       arriba y bajo         claro y oscuro        América y México

BUT   derecho e izquierdo         exterior e interior             padre e hijo           madre e hija


A similar circumstance occurs with the word “or”.   The Spanish words for “or” are o and u.
The word o is used most of the time, but before words which begin with the same sound, o is replaced by “u”.

example :      más o menos          verdad o falso        vivo o muerto

BUT   claro u oscuro       mujer u hombre     libre u ocupado


This book is available from under item number 3352644. Books purchased from Lulu are accompanied by a complete list of irregular verbs and all of their forms.

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