3.3 Grammar

The grammar requirements for GCSE are set out in two tiers: Foundation Tier and Higher Tier.

GCSE students will be expected to have acquired knowledge and understanding of Spanish grammar during their course. In the exam they will be required to apply their knowledge and understanding, appropriate to the relevant tier of entry, drawing from the following lists. The examples in brackets are indicative, not exclusive. For structures marked (R), only receptive knowledge is required.

Students will be expected to develop and use their knowledge and understanding of this grammar progressively throughout their course.

3.3.1 Foundation Tier Nouns


singular and plural forms Articles

definite and indefinite

lo plus adjective (R) Adjectives



comparative and superlative: regular and mayor, menor, mejor, peor

demonstrative (este, ese, aquel)

indefinite (cada, otro, todo, mismo, alguno)

possessive, short form (mi)

possessive, long form (mío) (R)

interrogative (cuánto, qué) Adverbs


comparative and superlative: regular

interrogative (cómo, cuándo, dónde)

adverbs of time and place (aquí, allí, ahora, ya)

common adverbial phrases Quantifiers/intensifiers

(muy, bastante, demasiado, poco, mucho) Pronouns


object (R)

position and order of object pronouns (R)


relative: que

relative: quien, lo que (R)

disjunctive (conmigo, para mí)

demonstrative (éste, ése, aquél, esto, eso, aquello)

indefinite (algo, alguien)

interrogative (cuál, qué, quién) Verbs

regular and irregular verbs, including reflexive verbs

all persons of the verb, singular and plural

modes of address: and usted

radical-changing verbs

negative forms

interrogative forms

reflexive constructions (se puede, se necesita, se habla)

uses of ser and estar


  • present indicative
  • present continuous
  • preterite
  • imperfect: in weather expressions with estar, hacer
  • imperfect (R)
  • immediate future
  • future (R)
  • perfect: most common verbs only
  • conditional: gustar only in set phrases
  • pluperfect (R)
  • gerund (R)
  • imperative: common forms including negative
  • subjunctive, present (R) in certain exclamatory phrases (¡Viva! ¡Dígame!)
  • subjunctive, imperfect: quisiera
  • impersonal verbs: most common only. Prepositions

common, including personal a

por and para Conjunctions

common, including y, pero, o, porque, como, cuando Number, quantity, dates Time

Use of desde hace with present tense (R)

3.3.2 Higher Tier

Students entering for Higher Tier assessments will be required to apply all grammar and structures listed for Foundation Tier, in addition to the new grammar and structures listed for Higher Tier. Articles

lo plus adjective Adjectives

comparative and superlative

possessive, short and long forms (mi, mío)

relative (cuyo) Adverbs

comparative and superlative Pronouns


position and order of object pronouns

relative: all other uses including quien, lo que, el que, cual

possessive (el mío, la mía) Verbs


  • future
  • imperfect
  • imperfect continuous
  • perfect
  • pluperfect
  • conditional
  • passive voice (R)
  • gerund
  • present subjunctive: imperative, affirmation and negation, future after conjunctions of time (cuando), after verbs of wishing, command, request, emotion, to express purpose (para que)
  • imperfect subjunctive (R). Time

  • use of desde hace with present tense
  • use of desde hace with imperfect tense (R).