El Carnaval (Carnival) is finally here. Many cities and towns are preparing their best costumes and rehearsing their most scathing songs for the most colorful and uninhibited festival of the year. However, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Cádiz and Badajoz will be the top 3 of them.
Carnival was supposed to be a more permissive time, when religious authorities used to look the other way, as a kind of truce, because of the proximity of Lent. Due to this, people often committed sins, but, protected by their costumes, their identity was not compromised.
Well, Spanish native speakers also “commit linguistic sins”, as we learnt on this article. Today, we’ll know more of these mistakes that make Spanish speakers sinners and the region where they are more typical.
1. Habían muchos cursos de español en Spanishviaskype
If you are a Spaniard and you can’t find the mistake, you are probably from Cataluña (Catalonia). The use of the verb haber is quite confusing in Spanish. For us, there are no subjects in headline sentence: it’s an impersonal one. Cursos de español is the direct object. Because of that, the verb haber is used in the third person singular. Nevertheless, in the Northeast regions in Spain, they consider cursos de español as the subject.
2. Si tendría más tiempo, haría el examen DELE
Let’s go from Cataluña to País Vasco (Basque Country). Our northern friends usually mix up the conditional and the imperfect subjunctive tenses. This doesn’t happen only with conditional sentences but with other structures: Mi profesor en Spanishviaskye siempre me ayudó para que mejoraría mi nivel.
- Correct sentence: Si tuviera más tiempo, haría el examen DELE.
3. ¿Tenía una clase de conversación hoy? Me se ha olvidado.
Now, we’ll cross all the country from north to south. The use of pronouns is never easy for our students, but also for native speakers. Our teachers and parents usually said: las semanas van antes que los meses (weeks are before months)… With this rudimentary mnemonics, they tried to teach us that reflexive pronouns are always before indirect ones, and finally the direct ones, or, in other words, the pronoun se is always in the first place.
- Correct sentence: ¿tenía una clase de conversación hoy? Se me ha olvidado.
4. Confío que voy a acordarme que mañana es mi clase de prueba
For this last mistake, we are not focusing on a specific region but on all the country. There are prepositional verbs in Spanish. These are verbs that require a preposition to introduce an object (confiar en alguien, acordarse de algo, interesarse en algo…). During the last decades, all kind of speakers, even in the media, usually omit this preposition, if it’s introducing a verbal clause. So, they still use it if the object is a noun or an infinitive, but they don’t, if it’s a whole clause: me arrepiento de mis pecados, but me arrepiento que hayas venido.
- Correct sentence: Confío en que voy a acordarme de que mañana es mi clase de prueba.
In consequence, although native speakers might wear “the costume of the perfect language”, we are also sinners. If you want to be redeemed from your linguistic sins, try a free trial lesson here. Learning Spanish via Skype will be like a Carnival.