3.3 Grammar

AS students will be expected to have studied the grammatical system and structures of the language during their course. Knowledge of the grammar and structures specified for GCSE is assumed.

In the exam students will be required to use, actively and accurately, grammar and structures appropriate to the tasks set, drawn from the following list. The mention of an item in this list implies knowledge of both its forms and its functions at an appropriate level of accuracy and complexity.

The examples in italics in parentheses are indicative; they serve to illustrate the part of speech or structure that the student must know and do not represent an exhaustive specification of the required grammatical knowledge. For items marked (R), receptive knowledge only is required.



Singular and plural forms

Plural of male/female pairs (eg los Reyes)

Affective suffixes (R)


Definite and indefinite

El with feminine nouns beginning with stressed a (el agua)

Lo + adjective




Apocopation (eg gran, buen, mal, primer)

Comparative and superlative (eg más fuerte; mejor, peor, mayor, menor)

Use of adjectives as nouns (eg una triste, la roja, las norteamericanas)

Demonstrative (eg este, ese, aquel)

Indefinite (eg alguno, cualquiera, otro)

Possessive (weak and strong forms) (eg mi / mío)

Interrogative and exclamatory (eg ¿cuánto? / ¡cuánto!, etc, including use of ¿qué? / ¡qué!)

Relative (cuyo) (R)


Cardinal (eg uno, dos)

Ordinal 1–10 (eg primero, segundo)

Agreement (eg cuatrocientas chicas)

Expression of time and date


Formation of adverbs in -mente

Comparative and superlative (eg más despacio)

Use of adjectives as adverbs (eg rápido, claro)

Adjectives as equivalents of English adverbs (eg Salió contenta)

Interrogative (eg ¿cómo?, ¿cuándo?, ¿dónde?)


(eg muy, bastante, poco, mucho)



Object: direct and indirect; use of se for le(s); ‘redundant’ use of indirect object (eg Dale un beso a tu papá)


Unstressed/stressed forms (eg me/)

Position and order

Relative (que, quien, el que, el cual)

Demonstrative (este, ese, aquel; esto, eso, aquello)

Indefinite (eg algo, alguien)

Possessive (eg el mío, la mía). Expression of possession by the use of the indirect object pronoun (Le rompió el brazo) must also be included.



Regular conjugations of -ar, -er and -ir verbs, including radical-changing (eg recordar/recuerdo, pedir/pido) and orthographic-changing (eg abrazar/ abracé) verbs in all tenses and moods, finite and non-finite forms

Regular and irregular verbs, in all tenses and moods, finite and non-finite forms

Agreement of verb and subject

Use of hay que in all tenses

Use of tenses:

  • present
  • preterite
  • imperfect
  • future
  • conditional
  • perfect
  • future perfect
  • conditional perfect
  • pluperfect.

Use of the infinitive, the gerund and the past participle

Verbal paraphrases and their uses. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • ir a + infinitive
  • estar + gerund
  • acabar de + infinitive
  • estar para + infinitive
  • llevar + gerund
  • ir + gerund (R)
  • venir + gerund (R).

Use of the subjunctive


Conditional sentences

After conjunctions of time

After para que, sin que

In relative clauses (R)

After other subordinating conjunctions (R)

With verbs and verbal expressions of wishing, commanding, influencing, emotional reaction, doubt, denial, possibility, probability (R)

Sequence of tense in indirect speech and other subordinate clauses


Use of the reflexive as a passive (eg El puente se construyó para unir a las comunidades)

Use of the reflexive to express an impersonal subject (eg ¿Cómo se llega a la estación?)

Use of ser + past participle

Use of estar + past participle

‘Nuance’ reflexive verbs (eg caerse, pararse)

Modes of address (tú, usted; vos (R))

Constructions with verbs

Verbs followed directly by an infinitive (eg querer, poder)

Verbs followed by a preposition plus an infinitive or noun phrase (eg insistir en, negarse a)

Verbs followed by a gerund (eg seguir)

Verbs of perception (eg Vi asfaltar la calle)

Uses of ser and estar


All prepositions, both simple (eg bajo) and complex (eg encima de)

‘Personal’ a

Discrimination of por and para


Coordinating conjunctions (eg y, o, pero)

Subordinating conjunctions. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • cause (porque)
  • purpose (para que)
  • proviso (con tal que)
  • supposition (a no ser que)
  • time (cuando)
  • concession (aunque).

Use of que to introduce a clause (eg ¡Cuidado, que se va a quemar la tortilla!) (R)




Word order

Subject following verb (Ha llegado el profesor; Me gustan las patatas)

Focalisation ( ¿qué opinas?; A Cristiano lo odian) (R)

Other constructions

Time expressions with hace/hacía and desde hace/hacía

Cleft sentences (Fue en Madrid donde nos conocimos)

Comparative constructions. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • tan... como..., etc
  • más... que..., etc.

Tiene más dinero de lo que creía (R)

Indirect speech

Discourse markers

(eg Es que..., Por ejemplo, Ahora bien...)


(eg pues, bueno)