The Spanish language is not the most difficult one to learn, at all. Lists on the net don’t agree about the hardest one. Most of them include Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic and Finnish in the top 5. However, the majority of experts coincide on one thing: Spanish is not one of them.
So, you might wonder why you make so many mistakes using such an easy language. The answer is simple, you need to err in order to learn. That’s why we are here at Spanishviaskype.com, to help you.
Today, we continue our series of “Common mistakes” articles where you can find real mistakes made by our students.
Es necesario garantizar el por venir de mi familia – incorrecto
Es necesario garantizar el porvenir de mi familia – correcto
(I need to guarantee the future of my family)
This a spelling mistake made by a C1 student. There wouldn’t be any problem in the oral language, because both sentences are pronounced in the same way. “Por venir” is a prepositional group, formed by the preposition “por” and the infinitive “venir” and means “it’s going to come” (la Navidad está por venir). On the other hand, “porvenir” is a noun, a synonym of “futuro” (mi porvenir es incierto).
En el templo fuimos solos – incorrecto
En el templo estuvimos solos – correcto
(We were alone in the temple)
Students struggle with the differences between ser and estar at all levels. Here, a French woman in the B1 level meant that she and her husband were the only two tourists in the temple. “Fuimos” could be a good option, only if she had referred to the movement of going to the temple (we went to the temple alone). Let’s remember that we don’t use the verb “ser” to express location, unless we mean the place where an event happens (el concierto será en el estadio).
Necesito cancelar la clase. Lo siento, fue una noticia corta. – incorrecto
Necesito cancelar la clase. Lo siento, fue un aviso / notificación con poca antelación / repentino/a. – correcto
(I need to cancel the lesson. I’m sorry, it was a short notice)
Again, a B1 level student, but this time a false friend caused the mistake. “Noticia” is “news” in English. It’s the announcement of something. However, “notice” means a warning or a notification. In this case we use “aviso” or “notificación”. In addition to this mistake, he also mixed up “corto”. In the student’s sentence, we would understand “a short length notice” rather than “a little in advance”.
A mí me parece que no valga la pena – incorrecto
A mí me parece que no vale la pena – correcto
A mí no me parece que valga la pena – correcto
(I think it’s not worth it)
Our B2 level student thought that it was necessary to use present subjunctive in this sentence. The mistake probably was motivated by the secundary negative clause “que no vale la pena”. The problem is that the expression of opinion “me parece que” is affirmative, so the student is saying his real opinion; he thinks that the information he’s providing is true. In consequence, he should have used indicative. Just in the case he had denied the main verb (no me parece que) it would have been correct the use of subjunctive.
There are not so many mistakes this month and the reason is not we have discounts in mistakes because of Black Friday. Maybe our students are improving quickly. If you want to do it, too, don’t hesitate and reserve a free trial lesson here. You will not err doing that.