Difference between Spanish and English

Spanish and English are the two most widely spoken languages in the world. There are many of us who believe that English is the most widely used language in all parts of the world, but Spanish is equally popular and is the mother tongue of millions of people in Europe as well as in the Americas.

Spanish and English are very different in all aspects from their vocabularies and the way they are written to the way they are spoken, the way the sentences are structured and even the way they handle sounds and punctuation. It is only when the two languages are studied in detail that the root differences between the two can be understood.



English can be best defined as an Indo-European language belonging to the West Germanic branch; it is the official language of Britain and the United States and most of the Commonwealth countries. In fact it is an official language in about 65 countries, with 35 listing English as their sole official language.

Spanish vs English

Spanish is a Romance language and part of the Ibero-Romance language family; it is closely related to Italian and Portuguese. It has over 400 million native speakers in Spain, Latin America and the USA, and is the majority language in 21 sovereign states.

Spanish vs English

Spanish and English are two different languages with their own vocabularies and ways of speaking, grammar, spelling and pronunciation which set them apart from each other.

Spanish and English use the same alphabet although the Spanish alphabet has an extra letter, therefore it has 27 letters instead of 26. There is an “extra” n which looks like this: ñ.

Another difference which sets the two languages apart is the several special Spanish phonic groupings which are totally alien to English pronunciation: CH, RR and LL which are pronounced a bit differently too and spoken with a longer roll of the tongue. The Spanish dictionary has a separate section of these words too as these are special words and characters and require different sounds.

Another difference between Spanish and English language is that of adjectives. In Spanish, the adjective generally comes after the noun instead of before. For example, to say “the black suit,” in Spanish, would be el traje negro which literally means ‘the suit black’.

Another big difference between Spanish and English is the use of the article ‘the’. While English has only one ‘the’ for everything, Spanish language has 4 words for ‘the’; they are lo, la, los and las. Lo is for singular, masculine nouns, La is for singular feminine nouns, Los for plural masculine nouns and Las for plural feminine nouns.

Comparison Chart

Spanish English
Spanish places emphasis on noun genders and just like male and female people, Spanish has make and female nouns (names of things) English does not have any concept of noun gender for things as opposed to people
Spanish has a typical rolling R sound when spoken English language has one R only and it is spoken normally without any stress
In Spanish, the adjectives become plural as well as the nouns e.g. ‘el dia esta soleado’ and ‘los dias estan soleados’ In English, only nouns become plural e.g. ‘the day is sunny’ and the plural is ‘the days are sunny’
Spanish has 5 pure vowels and 5 diphthongs English has 12 pure vowel sounds and 8 diphthongs
Spanish has 4 words or uses for ‘the’, for singular, plural and feminine and masculine usage English language only has one ‘the’ which is used according to need