Mistakes from our StudentsThe weather is changing in Europe. After a hot summer in countries where they are not used to suffer high temperatures, autumn is knocking the door. Clouds are invading the sky, the wind is blowing its song and trees are shedding their leaves.

At www.spanishviaskype.com, our students have returned from their holidays and they are full of motivation to resume their lessons. However, after some weeks with no much contact with the Spanish language, it’s understandable that some mistakes might be done during our lessons. Today, we’ll show you some mistake that our students made, some of them about weather.

The usage of different verbs to express weather phenomenons, causes confusion among the students. ‘Hacer’, ‘haber’, and ‘estar’ have their own rules.

Está  calor hoy – incorrecto
Hace calor hoy – correcto
Está caluroso hoy – correcto
(It’s hot today)

The verb ‘estar’ requires an adjective, because it expresses states. ‘Calor’ it’s a noun and it can be used with the verb ‘hacer’.

En mi región nunca hace tormentas – incorrecto
En mi región nunca hay tormentas – correcto
(In my region there are never any storm)

In this case, both verbs, ‘haber’ and ‘hacer’ can be followed by a noun. The problem here is the fixed usage in the language. Some weather expressions can be preceded by the verb ‘haber’ such as hay viento, hay niebla, hay nieve, but others need this verb. Hay tormenta is one of them.

Mi amiga me dijo que ella se va a casa – incorrecto
Mi amiga me dijo que ella se iba a casa – correcto
(My friend told me she was going home)

We change the topic here. This is a reported speech sentence. Her friend said some words in the past and now, the speaker is reproducing her words in the future. This movements in the time cause a change in the verbal tenses too. So, when we speak in reported speech, we should go a step back into the past. In consequence, we should change the present (‘va’) into the imperfect (‘iba’).

La tienda la más cerca está a 11km de mi casa – incorrecto
La tienda más cercana está a 11km de mi casa – correcto
(The closest store is 11km far from my house)

The word ‘cerca’ is an adverb but in this sentence what we need is an adjective that complements the noun ‘tienda’. The adjective for ‘cerca’ is ‘cercano/a’.

Tuve que coger a mi hermano al aeropuerto – incorrecto
Tuve que llevar a mi hermano al aeropuerto – correcto
(I had to take my brother to the airport)

The verbs ‘coger’, ‘recoger’ and ‘llevar’ usually are mixed up when students try to talk about transporting people. ‘Coger’ is actually ‘to take, catch or grab’ somebody, and in Spanish America, to have sexual relations with a person. ‘Recoger’ means ‘to pick somebody up’ from a place. Finally, ‘llevar’ is taking somebody to a place, usually by car.

Finally, haga calor o frío, llueva o haya tormentas, your teachers will always be there for you if you learn Spanish via Skype. Te dijimos que no iba a ser fácil pero el camino más cercano for learning Spanish is taking a free trial lesson here. You will not need anybody para que te lleve a las clases.