5 common Spanish mistakes foreign language learners make10/5/2016
This post highlights the 5 most common Spanish mistakes that foreign language learners make. If you are learning Spanish, you will possibly make some of the following mistakes. Learn from them and avoid repeating these mistakes. You can achieve this goal if you practice writing and speaking with Spanish speakers.
This is one of the most common mistakes Spanish learners make. In Spanish different verbs are used to express “to be”. “Ser” is used to address a condition (the car is broken -> el coche está roto), while “estar” is used to address an essential quality (the car is red -> el coche es rojo). Let’s see an example of this mistake:
English: I’m sad
Incorrect: Soy triste
Correct: Estoy triste (we are addressing a condition here)
In Spanish, the nouns that refer to a collectivity are singular, therefore, the verb is also singular:
English: People in Spain are very kind
Incorrect: La gente en España son muy amables
Correct: La gente en España es muy amable
USE OF LIKE
The use of this verb in Spanish differs from English. Check this example:
English: I like black beer
Incorrect: Yo gusto la cerveza negra
Correct: A mí me gusta la cerveza
QUÉ / CUÁL
This is a typical mistake made by English speakers. Usually, they translate “what” to “qué” and “which” to “cuál”. But this is not a general rule and can lead to mistakes like this one:
English: What is your name?
Incorrect: ¿Qué es tu nombre?
Correct: ¿Cuál es tu nombre?
ACORDARSE / RECORDAR
These two verbs have a similar meaning, but they are used with different structures.
Recordar is a transitive verb and acordarse is intransitive. In short, If you want to say “I remember…something”, then, the structure for recorder is:
And for acordarse the structure is:
Acordarse de algo.
Let's see an example of this mistake:
English: Oscar didn't remember he had an appointment with the dentist
Incorrect: Oscar no se recordó de que tenía con el dentista
Correct: Oscar no se acordó de que tenía cita con el dentista