Breaking myths about Spanish is very important for intermediate and advanced students. There’s a special moment in a student’s life when a teacher says: “all that you thought you knew about this topic is not true”.
When you start learning a language, the teachers provide general rules to you in order to make your learning easier. Eventually, the exceptions will be explained. However, those general rules might be learnt as a mantra and can be very difficult to change in the future. Because of that, we’ll show you today some of those contents for breaking myths about Spanish.
Breaking myths about Spanish: Estar for locations
During the first lessons, we often contrast the verbs ser and estar. Among other differences, teachers explain that the verb estar is used to express location, where somebody or something is. We have to correct many sentences like this one:
Mi libro es en la mesa = incorrect
Mi libro está en la mesa = correct
Nevertheless, for breaking myths about Spanish, we can say that the verb ser is used to express the location of an event.
El concierto será en el estadio
More myths: Subjunctive needs a trigger
Another common belief is the fact that a subjunctive verb needs a trigger, a linking word to be used. It’s obvious that most of the times this claim is true, we use subjunctive after quiero que, para que, cuando, aunque and many others. However, there are some phrases that use an isolated subjunctive form:
Hagas lo que hagas, piénsalo bien.
No hagas el examen DELE sin preparación.
¿Quieren guerra? Así sea.
Lo hagas solo o con un profesor, estudiar español desde casa es la mejor opción.
Breaking myths about Spanish: Preterite for actions and imperfect for descriptions
When students learn the past tenses in indicative, they need to deal with the contrast between the indefinite preterite and the imperfect tense. The first one expresses a past and complete action and the second tense describes circumstances and routines in the past. But, since we are interested in breaking myths about Spanish, let us show you some sentences:
Mi padre fue un hombre honesto y todos los días intentó ayudar a sus alumnos.
La Guerra Civil en España fue terrible.
Siempre aprobé mis exámenes en la universidad.
In the previous examples, we have some descriptions and frequent actions. However, we used the indefinite preterite. Why? The reason is that we set a specific time frame in the sentence (the life of my father, the Civil War and my life at the university) and we want to emphasize that the time frame and the actions are completed.
Last myth: the verb gustar always in third person
Many students think that the verb gustar is very difficult in Spanish because of the differences with English about the construction. On the other hand, they also think its conjugation is very easy because they only need to learn two forms: gusta and gustan. They soon start using sentences like these:
Me gusta España. Y a ti ¿te gustan los españoles?
No nos gusta aprender español sin profesor.
However, the forms gusto, gustas, gustamos and gustáis really exist. Look at this:
Cuando me miro en el espejo me gusto mucho.
Le gustas mucho a mi amiga. ¿Quieres una cita con ella?
A los chinos les gustamos mucho los españoles. Y vosotros, los italianos, les gustáis también a los chinos?
Obviously, most of the time you will say that you like something or somebody in the third person, but not always.
As you can see, breaking myths about Spanish is a good exercise to reflect on the language. If you want to know more myths to break, don’t hesitate and reserve lessons with us. Do you want to try it first? Just click here to reserve a free trial lesson: easy and convenient.