Spanish 301
Grammar and Syntax

Handouts | Quiz Descriptions | Due Dates for Semester Project | Composition Dates and Topics

Symbols Used to Correct Compositions

Categories for Scavenger Hunt Project

Spanish Newspapers on the Internet | Corpus del español | Automatic Word Analyzer | On-Line Grammar Exercises
On-Line Thesaurus, Verb Conjugator, and other great tools | Another Verb Conjugator

On-Line Spanish dictionaries | American Heritage Spanish-English Dictionary

How to type accent marks on your computer


Syllabus for Spring 2008

Professor Mark G. Goldin
Thompson Hall 233
Office Hours: Monday through Thursday, 3-4, and by appointment
Phone 993-1231 (voice); 993-1245 (fax)


E. Dozier and Z. Iguina, Manual de gramática, Grammar Reference for Students of Spanish. Fourth edition. Boston: Thomson/Heinle, 2008.
The publisher has an excellent web site, which you access here <>. You will be asked for a course code, which is DEDHCC863.

Course Objectives

1. Be able to supply a grammatical form when requested, such as the past subjunctive of traer, or the object pronoun necessary in a given situation. This involves knowing some grammatical terminology.

2. Be able to explain, by relating meaning to form, why a particular structure is used in a given context.

These two objectives will be evaluated in six or seven in-class quizzes. The dates of these quizzes will be agreed on in class. The last quiz, not a comprehensive final exam, will be given during the final exam period, and if you have taken all the other quizzes you may choose to skip the last one. You will receive two separate grades for each quiz: one for accuracy (objective 1) and one for analysis (objective 2).

3. Find examples of particular grammatical structures.

For this objective, as a semester project you will keep a portfolio in which you record examples of structures from a list of categories. You need to find only one example from each category. No one is expected to find all of the items on the list, but the grade for this project will be determined by the number of different examples you are able to find in internet sources, newspapers, magazines, and books, not including grammar books or grammar internet sites. (The hidden agenda here is to get you to read material that you have selected because of its interest to you personally.) The project will be submitted in four parts on specified dates.
If you voluntarily submit your examples early, you may have time to replace any unacceptable ones before the deadline.

4. Write narrative prose in Spanish with grammatical accuracy; spell accurately, including accent marks.

This objective will be evaluated in written paragraphs of 50-100 words. The papers will be graded entirely in light of the objective. An opportunity is provided to improve your grade by correcting inaccuracies. For this reason, please double space or write on alternate lines. Count or estimate the number of words in your paragraph and write the total at the end. The topics and due dates of these papers, together with guidelines for their format and evaluation, can be seen by linking to dates and topics.

Determination of Course Grade

Each of the four objectives counts 25% of your final grade. For objectives 1 and 2 (quizzes) and 4 (writing), the average of several grades will be computed; for the semester project (objective 3) a single grade will be assigned at the end of the semester. A final grade of A+ will be awarded for 98 per cent; A for 92, A- for 90, B+ for 88, B for 82, B- for 80, C+ for 78, C for 72, C- for 70, D for 60.

Policy for Late and Makeup Assignments

1. If you have taken all of the first six quizzes you may exercise one of the following choices: skip the last quiz on the final exam day, or take the final quiz and drop your lowest quiz grade in each of the two categories.

If you miss one quiz it does not need to be made up. Simply take the final quiz.

If you miss two or more quizzes you will have to make a proposal stating what you propose to do in place of each missed quiz. Further discussions will then take place to determine how the missed work will be made up.

2. A penalty of 10% on a scale of 100 should be expected when writing assignments are more than one day late. If you have an emergency on the date an assignment is due, you may have your paper delivered to the Department of Modern and Classical Languages within 24 hours. Fax and e-mail submissions will be accepted. Revisions of compositions are optional, and will be accepted only on the due date.

3. For the semester project it is unfair to allow anyone extra time; therefore, only examples submitted by the due dates will be counted.

Honor Code

The provisions of the George Mason University Honor Code apply to this course. Specifically, when quiz papers are exchanged for grading by a classmate and then returned to you for your review, it would be an honor code violation to change a response after the time for writing the quiz has ended.


References to the textbook are for the fourth (gray cover) edition.

The course is divided into seven units. The textbook and its exercises will not normally be discussed in class; they should be completed on your own and the answers checked with the answer keys which begin on page 468. Supplementary exercises will be discussed in class. These exercises will not be collected or graded, but they will form the basis for the quizzes.

Unit 1: Accent Marks, Spelling, Agreement, Prepositions
Read Chapter 1, section D (12-16), E2 (20-27); Chapter 2, section A2 (33-35); and
Chapter 4, sections A3.A, A3.D, A3.E, A3.F (115-129)
Do exercises 1.11 and 1.13 on page 319, 1.27-1.36 on pages 322-325, and exercises 4.8-4.10 on page 358

Unit 2: Present, Imperfect, and Preterit Tenses
Read Chapter 5, sections A1, A2.A and A2.B (160-168); and Chapter 6, sections A and B (188-197)
Do exercises 5.1-5.16 (skip 5.8 and 5.12) on pages 374-384, and exercises 6.4-6.6 on pages 406-407

Unit 3: Indicative vs. Subjunctive
Read Chapter 1, section C (6-12); Chapter 5, sections C1, C2, D1 (173-180); and Chapter 6, section G (212-242)
Do exercises 5.28-5.35 on pages 389-393; exercises 5.39-5.43 on pages 395-397; and exercises 6.29-6.31 on pages 417-418

Unit 4: Future and Conditional Tenses
Read Chapter 5, sections A3 and B1 (170-172); Chapter 6, sections D, E, F (208-212)
Do exercises 5.20-5.21 on pages 386-387; exercises 5.24-5.25 on page 388; exercises 6.22-6.27 on pages 414-415

Unit 5: Ser vs. Estar
Read Chapter 7, sections A, B, C, D (268-282)
Do exercises 7.1-7.8 on pages 439-442

Unit 6: Pronouns
Read Chapter 3, sections A, B (60-88); Chapter 6, sections I, J (247-260)
Do exercises 3.2-3.30 on pages 337-347; exercises 6.70-6.74 on page 431; and exercises 6.76-6.77 on page 432

Unit 7: Participles and Compound Tenses
Read Chapter 5, sections A2.C, A2.D (169), A3.B (171), B2 (172), C3, C4 (177-178), F (184-186); Chapter 6, sections C (200-207), H2 (245-247)
Do exercises 5.18-5.19 on pages 385-386; exercise 5.23 on page 387; exercise 5.26 on pages 388-389; exercises 5.56-5.61 on pages 400-402; and exercises 6.63-6.67 on page 429

Instructions for semester project

In a book, magazine, newspaper, or internet page, find exactly one example of each of the following grammatical categories. You are not expected to find all of the categories. Your grade will be based on the total number of categories correctly identified among the four parts of the project. Out of a possible 42 points, a grade of C- (70%) will be awarded for earning 12 points; B- (80%) for 20 points; A- (90%) for 27 points; and A+ (100%) for 32 or more points.

For each example you submit, please do the following:
(1) Indicate the category by number, using the same numbers as the list below.
(2) Present the example with sufficient context to demonstrate that it belongs to the category you claim; in most cases this means at least the complete sentence in which the example appears.
(3) Underline the word or phrase that constitutes the example.
(4) Using a standard format for bibliographic citations, indicate exactly where you found the example. Include as applicable, the author, title, publisher, date, and page number or URL. You must be able to return to the source in case there is a doubt. When citing a web page, you must provide the title or owner of the page, in order to demonstrate that the example comes from a reliable source, and not, for example, the web page of an intermediate level student.
(5) Remember that grammar books and web sites designed to teach grammar are not allowed. When citing a web page, be sure that a reliable organization has created the site, since anyone can post anything on the web. Particularly avoid student web pages. Be sure that you have not accidentally found a Portuguese or Italian site.
Please organize your examples in numerical order.

To find online newspapers in Spanish

Unidad 1: Acentos
(1) Una palabra acentuada del tipo A que tenga dos sílabas después del acento, por ejemplo, árbitro
(2) Una palabra acentuada del tipo B que tenga cualquier secuencia de vocales excepto ía; por ejemplo, creímos, grúa. El acento tiene que estar sobre una í o una ú.
(3) Una palabra interrogativa acentuada del tipo C en una pregunta indirecta. Hay ejemplos en la página 25 del Manual de gramática.

Unidad 2: Tiempos Presente, Imperfecto y Pretérito
For categories 4-10 be sure to collect actions, not states.
SER, ESTAR, TENER, QUERER, DEBER, PODER, SABER, and HABER are examples of state verbs which should not be collected.
(4) Un verbo en el tiempo presente que describa una acción en progreso
(5) Un verbo en el tiempo presente que describa una acción habitual o repetida
(6) Un verbo en el tiempo presente que describa una acción que está prevista para el futuro
(7)Un verbo en el tiempo imperfecto que describa una acción que estaba en progreso en un momento del pasado
(8) Un verbo en el tiempo imperfecto que describa una acción habitual o repetida en el pasado
(9) Un verbo en el tiempo imperfecto que describa una acción que estaba prevista para después
(10) Un verbo en el tiempo pretérito que describa una acción repetida un determinado número de veces (underline the number of repetitions)

Unidad 3: Subjuntivo
(11) Un verbo independiente en presente de subjuntivo que sea un mandato
(12) Un verbo independiente subjuntivo que no sea un mandato (con ojalá, quizás, tal vez o un pasado de subjuntivo del verbo querer, poder o deber)
(13) Un verbo dependiente en presente o pasado de subjuntivo con una de las siguientes conjunciones: como, cuanto, donde, mientras, quien
(14) Un verbo en el pasado de subjuntivo en una oración condicional hipotética (e.g. si fuera rico...)
(15) Un verbo dependiente de aunque (underline the verb that depends on aunque and state whether it is indicative or subjunctive)

Unidad 4: Tiempos Futuro y Condicional
(16) Un verbo en el tiempo futuro que describa algo que va a ocurrir en el futuro
(17) Un verbo en el tiempo futuro que represente una conjetura sobre algo que ya está ocurriendo ("futuro de probabilidad")
(18) Un verbo en el tiempo condicional que represente un mandato de cortesía
(19) Un verbo en el tiempo condicional que se refiera al futuro del pasado (e.g. dijo que vendría)
(20) Un verbo en el tiempo condicional que represente una conjetura sobre algo que ya pasó ("condicional de probabilidad")

Unidad 5: Ser vs. Estar
(21) Ser para indicar el lugar de una actividad (el nombre de la actividad es el sujeto de ser y la palabra inmediatamente después de ser es en)
(22) Ser con un participio en -do para indicar una acción
(23) Estar con un participio en -do para indicar un estado o resultado (atención: si el participio termina en -ndo es de la categoría 24)
(24) Estar con un participio en -ndo para indicar una acción en progreso

Unidad 6: Pronombres
(25) Pronombre(s) de objeto conectado(s) al final de un infinitivo
(26) Pronombre(s) de objeto conectado(s) al final de un gerundio
(27) Pronombre(s) de objeto conectado(s) al final de un mandato
(28) Objeto indirecto del tipo DAR/DECIR (con un verbo que no sea ni dar ni decir)
(29) Objeto indirecto del tipo QUITAR
(30) Objeto indirecto del tipo GUSTAR (con un verbo que no sea gustar)
(31) Objeto indirecto de posesión con una parte del cuerpo o un artículo de ropa
(32) Se reflexivo (alguien hace algo a sí mismo)
(33) Se recíproco (dos o más personas/cosas hacen algo unos a otros)
(34) Se impersonal

Unidad 7: Participios y Tiempos Compuestos
(35) Participio presente de modo para decir cómo
(36) Participio presente de simultaneidad
(37) Participio presente como complemento de ver, oír, u otro verbo de sensación (Be sure the present participle is not the verb ver or oír itself; rather, the present participle follows a previous form of ver or oír)
(38) Participio pasado como adjetivo verbal después de un sustantivo, sin ser, estar o haber (e.g. un traje hecho en Taiwan)
(39) Un verbo en el tiempo presente perfecto de indicativo
(40) Un verbo en el tiempo pluscuamperfecto de indicativo
(41) Un verbo en el tiempo futuro perfecto
(42) Un verbo en el tiempo condicional perfecto