Grammar Games for Teaching Spanish
Spanish is Easy
Spanish is thought by many to be an easy language to learn compared to German, French or even English. However, there are some aspects of Spanish grammar that may require a little extra effort, depending on the ability and interest of your students.
Among these aspects are notably the Subjunctive mood and its use in commands. It becomes even more difficult when combined with direct and indirect object pronouns.The combination of these pronouns with the infinitive in turn becomes a bit too much for some students. You want to enforce that the direct and indirect pronouns follow the verb in the infinitive, and in affirmative commands, and that they precede the verb in negative commands with the indirect object preceding the direct object. Sentences are used with these combinations every day. Let us look at some examples.
Some Examples of Everyday Expressions
I am going to buy it - Voy a comprarlo
You need to explain it to me - Necesitas explicarmelo
Send it to them – Enviáselo a ellos
Should I turn off the Light? Yes, turn it off. - Debo apagar la luz? Si, apáguela.
Tell me, what time is it? - Dígame, ¿qué hora es?
Write me - Escríbeme
Give it to me - Démelo
Bring it - Tráelo
We use these and many similar expressions on a daily basis. Teaching your students grammar combination through games can be very helpful. Let us put some of these expressions along with some more into games for your students. You can use your imagination and form many other combinations. Have your students prepare short skits as an exercise and then act them out. This will go a long way in helping them to retain the rules.
Have your students choose which verbs they would like to use, or suggest basic everyday verbs such as comprar, dar, mandar, hacer, traer and mostrar. Divide them into groups of families including a dog or cat as desired. You can also form a group of office workers using these very verbs and/or other useful ones such as decir, ir, poner, venir, etc.
Next, have the families and office workers plan entire conversations using the grammar points, then act them out. Give points and prizes to the family or office workers who make the least mistakes in their presentation. Here are examples of conversations you can give them to use as models in their role play.
Mama – ¡Teresa, ¡apaga la luz! ¡Apagala ahorita!
Mother – Teresa, turn off the light immediately.
Teresa: - Mamá, estoy buscando mi bolígrafo.
Teresa - Mom, I’m looking for my pen.
Ana (hermana) - Mira, Rocco(el perro) lo tiene.
Ana (sister) Look, Rocco (the dog) has it.
Teresa – ¡Rocco! Ven aquí! Tráelo No lo masticas! No lo hagas! !Dámelo!
Teresa _ Rocco! Come here! Bring it! Don’t chew it! Don’t do it! Give it to me!
Papa - ¿Qué pasa?
Papa – What is going on?
Teresa – ¡Oh Papa! Rocco ha masticado mi bolígrafo.Necesito un bolígrafo. Cómprame otro, por favor.
Teresa – Oh Papa! Rocco chewed up my pen.I need a pen. Buy me another one, please.
Papa – Bueno, voy a comprarlo mañana.
Pap – Okay, I’ll buy it tomorrow.
Mama – Acuéstate tu ahora. Tu también Ana.
Mama – Go to bed now. You too Ana.
Teres y Ana – Sí Mama, vamos a acostarnos ahorita.
Teresa and Ana – Yes Mom, we’re going to bed right away.
El jefe – Escriba una carta a esta señora. Pídele el cheque.
The boss – Write this lady a letter. Ask her for the check.
Empleada – Si, señor. Voy a escribirla ahora.
Employee – Yes, sir. I’m going to write it now.
El jefe – Muéstramelo antes de ponerla en el correo.
The boss – Show it to me before mailing it.
Empleada – Carlos. Tiene la dirección de la Señora Martínez?
Employee – Carlos, do you have the address of Mrs. Martinez?
Carlos - Sí Maria.
Carlos - Yes, Maria.
Empleada – Dámela por favor.
Employee – Give it to me please.
Carlos – Tu vas a escribirle una carta?
Carlos - Are you going to write her a letter?
Empleada – SÍ; entonces, voy a mandársela hoy.
Empleada – Yes, then I am going to send it to her today.