Eighteen years later, I’m resurrecting my high school Spanish abilities and trying to re-learn the language. While some of the grammar and vocab is coming back easily, other things aren’t.
For instance, pronunciation:
The accent falls on the syllable based on two rules:
Consonant: If the word ends in a consonant, the last syllable is accented.
VNS2: If the word ends in a Vowel, an N, or an S, the 2nd to the last syllable is stressed.
Both rules are trumped by an accent mark.
Or the “Personal A”
If the direct object of the sentence is a person (or a pet), then the preposition “a” is used after the verb and before the direct object. As in Stpauler calls Cecil Adams: Stpauler llama a Cecil Adams. The personal a is not used when it is a non-descript person like a police officer or doctor. It’s also not used following verbs tener (to have) or “hay” (there is/there are). My favorite way to remember this is off of Goya’s painting “Saturn Devouring His Son” which in Spanish is: “Saturno Devorando a Su Hijo”.
So for you Spanish speaking/writing dopers out there, share some of your favorite grammar bits.