Understanding Spanish Grammar Using the Ten Commandments, Part 3

Okay, here we go again! I hope you are ready for a bit more Spanish grammar. I am using the Ten Commandments because they are familiar to everyone, and I am explaining Spanish grammar because so many people in the world who speak English want to speak Spanish too. The Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20: 1-17.

Dios sabe que los padres tienen influencia encima de sus hijos. (God knows that parents have influence on their children.) Photo by Emma Bauso on Pexels.com
Dios sabe que los abuelos Tambien tienen influencia sobre sus nietos. (God knows that grandparents have influence on their grandchildren.)Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Dios quiere que tengamos buena influencia sobre nos ninos. (God wants us to have good influence on our children.) Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Verse 5. No te inclinaras a ellas, ni las honraras. porque yo soy Jehova’ tu Dios, fuerte, celoso. que visto la maldad de los padres sobre los hijos hasta la tercera y cuatra generacion de los que me aborrecen.

no te inclinaras a ellas – “Don’t bow yourself to them.” If you remember, in verses 3 and 4, God said not to make idols to worship, and to make him number one. This means that “ellas” (them) refers to the idols, and “a” means “to.” “inclinaras” means “you bow.” “Te” is a direct object pronoun meaning “you.” “No” is a negative like in English, and in this case, it means “don’t,” so this means “Don’t bow yourself to them.”

ni las honoras – “ni” means “neither.” “las” means them.” “honoras” means you honor. So, this means, “neither honor them,” and in English, we have that “understood you.”

porque yo soy tu Dios – because I am your God. “porque” means “because.” If it were two words, it means, “why,” but one word is “because.” “yo” means “I.” “soy” comes from “ser.” “Ser” is the “to be” verb that identifies things, and “soy” is the first person singular form. You could say “I am” by either saying “yo soy” or just “soy.” “tu” can mean “you” if there is a mark over it, but there is no mark over this “tu,” and it is before a noun, so it means “your.” “Dios” is the word for “God” in Spanish.

fuerte – strong

celoso – jealous. You can tell this is an adjective because of the ending, “oso.”

que visto la maldad – “that viewed the evil.” This is a relative clause that describes “Dios.” “Que” can mean “what,” but it can also mean “that” as a relative pronoun, and it is a relative pronoun here. “visto” a the third person singular, past tense, verb. It comes from “ver.” “la” means “the.” It is feminine, and it goes with “maldad.” meaning “evil.”

de los padres – “of the parents” or “of the fathers.” “de” means either “of” or “from,” and in this case, it is “of.” “los” means “the, and it is masculine and plural which means it goes with a masculine, plural noun. “Padre” means “father,” and “padres” can mean either “fathers” or “parents.” It is the masculine noun that “los” accompanies.

sobre los hijos – “on the sons” or “on the children.” “hijos” can mean either “sons” or “children.” It is a masculine noun, and if there are both girls and boys, it can encompass both. It is plural, so “los” is used and not “el” for “the.”

hasta -until

la tercera – the third. Both words are feminine and singular because they end with “a..”

y – and

cuatra – fourth, again, it is feminine, and goes with the “la” before “tercera.”

generacion – generation. (Sometimes, Spanish gets really easy for English speakers.)

de los que me aborrecen – “of those that abhor or abandon me.” It is a prepositional phrase with a relative clause. “Que” = “that,” the relative pronoun. The relative clause describes “Los.” “me” = me, but it is pronounces differently between English and Spanish. In Spanish, it is “mey,” and in English, it is pronounced, “mee.” The Spanish “me” is a direct object pronoun. It is placed before “aborrecen” because it receives the action of “aborrecen.” “Aborrecen” comes from “aborrecer” which means “to abandon” or “to abhor” or “to hate.” It is third person plural, simple present tense. “They” is actually in the word, so “me aborrecen” means “they abhor or abandon me.”

If you put all this together, it is translated, “Don’t bow yourselves down to them, neither honor them, because I am Jehova, your strong, jealous God that saw the evil of the fathers on the sons until the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.”

Dios hace Misericordia sobre nosotros si lo amamos y guardamos us manamientos. (God has mercy on us if we love him and keep his commandments.)Photo by Rodolfo Quirós on Pexels.com

Verse 6: Y hago misericordia a millares, a los que me aman y guardan mis manamientos.

Y – And

hago – I make or do. It is the first person singular, present tense verb, hacer.

misericordia – mercy

a millares – to thousands, “a” = “to.”

a los – to those

que me aman – Again, this is a relative clause. “Que” is used as a relative pronoun here, “that.” “me” is before “aman” because it is a direct object pronoun that receives the action of “aman.” “Aman” comes from “amor,” to love. “Aman” is the third person plural, present tense form of “amor.” “Me Aman” means “they love me.”

y guardan – Again, “y” means “and.” “Guardan” comes from “guardar” which means “to put away” or “to keep.” “Guardan” is the third person plural, present tense form which means it means “they keep.” “Que me aman y guardan” means that love me and keep…”

mis mandamientos – my commandments. “Mis” comes from “mi” which means “my.” It is the plural form because “mandamientos” is plural. “que me aman y guardan mis mandamietos” means “that love me and keep my commandments.”

The whole verse is literally translated: “I make mercy to thousands, to those that love me and keep my commandments.”

La gente de Los Estados Unidos quieren ser amigos con la gente de Mexico. Son nuestros vecinos. (People from the United States want to be friends with the people from Mexico. They are our neighbors.) Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Okay, her are two more verses of the Ten Commandments. I hope explaining the grammar in each one will help your grammar understanding grow in Spanish. Compared to some other languages, Spanish is actually pretty easy. I understand that you have to study a lot of verb endings to, but the rest of it just isn’t that complicated. It helps a lot that Spanish and English are both western languages, so the word order and grammar is similar. They have a few rules we don’t like the plural “the” or making sure masculine nouns get a masculine adjective or article, etc., and we have to get used to those, but we are lucky because some words just need to be written or pronounced slightly different, and it is the same word in both English and Spanish as well as our word orders being similar. If you are just beginning in Spanish, don’t worry, it will get easier because the more you do something, it always gets easier. It is always harder in the beginning.

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