Gramática para la composición

cover art
436 pp., 8.5 x 11
ISBN: 9781589011717 (1589011716)

August 2007
LC: 2007007011


Table of Contents
Instructor's Manual
PDF of web exercises and answers

Author's Website

Gramática para la composición

Segunda edición
M. Stanley Whitley and Luis González

Integrating grammar and composition, this comprehensive new edition guides the advanced student through progressively more complex types of writing by organizing the grammar lessons on a functionalist basis around the needs of composition. This innovative approach to teaching Spanish grammar and composition promotes systematic language development and enables students to strengthen their expressive and editing skills in the language in order to write more effectively and more confidently. Refined by years of classroom testing and analysis of the problems students encounter, this bestselling textbook has been substantially rewritten and incorporates current research in composition, pedagogy, second-language acquisition, and linguistics. Expanded self-correcting exercises are also available online, making Gramática para la composición one of the most valuable textbooks available for advanced students of Spanish.

• Focuses on work in six level-appropriate types of composition: description, synopsis, personal narrative, creative narrative, exposition, and argumentation;

• Based on ACTFL guidelines for students progressing from intermediate to advanced levels of proficiency;

• Covers syntax, dictionary skills, problematic word distinctions, and rhetorical features of discourse structure;

• Contains exercises on grammar practice, working with sentences and paragraphs, guided essays, and free composition.


• Each lesson has been clearly divided into two distinct parts: Presentación (material that students prepare before class) and Aplicación (the activities they do in class or as homework);

Prácticas individuales have been expanded and recreated as self-checking exercises that provide immediate feedback and scoring. These prácticas are available for free online at;

• Images from William Bull's Visual Grammar of Spanish help with distinctions that seem difficult;

• An Instructor's Manual—available for free online—reviews teaching and grading methodology for writing-intensive courses, offers suggestions for syllabus organization and for teaching each lesson, and provides additional exercises and activities. To download this free PDF, visit;

• Free website created by authors contains self-checking exercises at

M. Stanley Whitley is professor of Spanish and linguistics at Wake Forest University. He is the author of Spanish/English Contrasts: A Course in Spanish Linguistics and coauthor of Pronouncing English: A Stress-Based Approach with CD-ROM.

Luis González is associate professor of Spanish at Wake Forest University.

"Students who master the work that's assigned in this superlative coverage of grammar and composition will end up possessing an enviable command of Spanish. There is no important topic that Gramática para la composición does not cover, and cover very well. Explanations are accurate and concise, the underlying theory is sound, and the applications are enviable for the catholicity of approach that they take."—Richard V. Teschner, The University of Texas at El Paso, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"This innovative text . . . sets a new standard in its genre and deserves to be widely adopted for the teaching of grammar and composition."—Modern Language Journal, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"This comprehensive text is an invaluable contribution to materials for the teaching of Spanish at upper-intermediate and advanced levels. . . . Highly recommended: it will be used with pleasure by students and teachers alike."—

"One of the most attractive features separating Gramática para la composición from other textbooks of its kind is the descriptive adequacy of grammatical explanations. . . . The instructor finds sound and insightful explanations of complex issues of Spanish grammar. . . . Learning activities include a rich variety of exercises that combine mechanical practice with open-ended tasks, always carefully designed to assist the learner. Indeed, this is a very good textbook for the advanced undergraduate learner of Spanish."—Hildebrando Ruiz Morales, University of Georgia

"With its clear explanations and wide variety of exercises, this textbook provides ample opportunity for students to acquire both the linguistic knowledge and the organizational skills needed for producing well-written compositions in Spanish."—Michael Reider, West Virginia University

"The breadth and depth of each lesson's treatment of the requisite and relevant grammar points is remarkable: the ins and outs of Spanish structure and vocabulary (especially points troublesome to English speakers) are here clarified and invaluable review and reference grammar which students will consult again and again, as they likely make this one textbook that they will not sell back to the bookstore at the end of the semester."—Philip W. Klein, University of Iowa

Table of Contents
Capítulo I: La descripción
Lección 1: El presente del indicativo y el infinitivo
Lección 2: La flexión de sustantivos, artículos y adjetivos
Lección 3: Los verbos copulativos
Lección 4: La conjunción, la negación, la ubicación y las preguntas
Lección 5: El uso del diccionario
Lección 6: Composición: La descripción

Capítulo II: El reportaje
Lección 7: El sujeto, el objeto directo y los reflexivos
Lección 8: Los pronombres personales
Lección 9: El objeto indirecto
Lección 10: El presente de subjuntivo y el imperativo
Lección 11: El discurso indirecto las cláusulas sustantivas y el modo
Lección 12: Composición: El reportaje y las instrucciones

Capítulo III: La narración
Lección 13: El pretérito y el imperfecto: su formación
Lección 14: Pretérito vs. imperfecto: su función
Lección 15: El pasado de subjuntivo
Lección 16: Los adverbiales de manera y tiempo
Lección 17: La gramática de la narración
Lección 18: Composición: La narración personal

Capítulo IV: La narración compleja

Lección 19: El participio y los tiempos perfectos
Lección 20: El futuro y el condicional
Lección 21: Las cláusulas adverbiales y condicionales
Lección 22: El gerundio y los progresivos
Lección 23: El tiempo y los tiempos
Lección 24: Composición: La narración compleja

Capítulo V: La exposición
Lección 25: La frase sustantiva y la referencia
Lección 26: Las cláusulas relativas
Lección 27: Los números
Lección 28: La sustantivación y el neutro
Lección 29: La comparación
Lección 30: Composición: La exposición

Capítulo VI: La argumentación
Lección 31: Las preposiciones
Lección 32: Cambios de estructura I: el énfasis
Lección 33: Cambios de estructura II: el "desénfasis" (impersonalidad)
Lección 34: Conectores
Lección 35: La cláusula sustantiva y su reducción infinitiva
Lección 36: Composición: La argumentación

Capítulo VII: Lecciones facultativas
Lección 37: Las abreviaturas
Lección 38: La derivación
Lección 39: Repaso de vosotros

Apéndice A: Distinciones problemáticas
Apéndice B: Ejercicios sobre "Distinciones"
Apéndice C: Resumen de la conjugación del verbo
Apéndice D: Glosario bilingüe e índice de materias