Mistakes to Avoid While Learning Spanish

Do you want to learn Spanish and sound like an expert? Below are 10 mistakes you should avoid while learning the Spanish language;

1. Being Scared To Make Mistakes

The fact is that everybody makes mistakes at some point when they are learning a foreign language, and mistakes can still occur with our native language. The big news is that no matter where you find yourself in a Spanish-speaking community, your sincere effort in learning the language will most likely be admired, even when your vocabulary is not large and your grammar is not perfect. Also, anytime you are corrected, you should be appreciative, seeing it as an opportunity to be better rather than feeling insulted.

2. Concluding That Spanish Words That Are Similar To English Words Have the Same Meaning

Cognates are words that appear similar or have the same form or structure in both languages. It is already known that Spanish and English share a wide vocabulary that originated from Latin. This means that frequently words that are similar in both languages share the same meanings. However, there are so many exceptions, and they are referred to as false friends. For instance, the Spanish word embarazada looks like “embarrassed” in English, but it actually means pregnant.

3. Not Understanding the Subjunctive Mood

We rarely make a distinction when a verb is in the subjective mood in English. The subjective mood is a type of verb form mostly used when one is not making a factual statement. But in Spanish, the subjective mood cannot be avoided if you want to do more than just stating simple facts and asking simple questions. Although the indicative mood is the verb form first learned by Spanish students, maintaining this will make you sound like one who is not concerned about using verbs correctly.

4. Concluding That the Textbook Knows Best

Spanish grammar rules are usually easy to understand and follow, but the texture and sincerity of the language spoken by the locals can be missing these rules. So, once you are a bit fluent in the language, do not hesitate to imitate the Spanish you hear from the locals and forget what the textbook or site says. It is important to note that you may learn some words from the people around you, words that may not be appropriate in formal settings or when talking with people outside your circle.

5. Not Knowing When To Use Articles

Normally, foreigners learning English usually have a difficult time learning when to use or not use articles like “an,”  “a,” and ” the,” and it is the same case for English speakers attempting to learn Spanish. When learning Spanish, the definite article, el, la, los, and las and the indefinite articles, un, una, unos, and unas can be confusing, and the rules on how to use them are not clear. However, misusing articles will not prevent you from being understood.

6. Always Following English Word Order

Except for using adjectives after the nouns they modify, you can naturally follow English sentence order and still be understood. While learning Spanish, take note of the number of times the subject is placed after the verb. Altering the word order can sometimes cause a slight change in the meaning of the sentence. Also, your usage of the language can be improved as you learn various word orders. Again, placing a preposition at the end of a sentence should not be used in Spanish.

7. Not Paying Attention To Proper Pronunciation

Spanish pronunciation is not a difficult task, and you should try to imitate the locals whenever you can. The most popular learner errors include pronouncing the “l” of fútbol like the “ll” in football, pronouncing the “b” and “v” sound differently as the two sound alike in Spanish.

8. Unnecessary Use of Pronouns

English sentences usually require a subject, with few exceptions. But this is not always true in Spanish. In cases where the sentence would be understood clearly by the context, pronoun subjects like we, it and she can be ignored when translating to Spanish. This doesn’t mean that including the pronoun is wrong, but just that it can sound awkward or give it irrelevant attention.

9. Translating Idioms Word for Word

Both languages, Spanish and English have idioms and phrases that can not be explained from the meaning of the individual words involved. While some idioms translate just as they are written, many do not. For instance, bajo control means “under control,” but the idiom “en el a ton”  means “on the spot” instead of “in the act,” and en efectivo means in cash instead of ‘in effect.”

10. Not Knowing How To Use Prepositions

Prepositions can be particularly difficult. It would be beneficial for you to learn about each preposition’s purpose as you come across them, instead of their translation. This will prevent you from making blunders like “pienso acerca de ti” which means “I’m thinking near you,” instead of “I’m thinking about you,” which is “pienso en ti.”

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