Most common mistakes when starting to study Spanish

We know that starting to study Spanish as a foreign language is not easy. As we mentioned before Spanish grammar can be tricky.

Today we bring you the most common mistakes we have detected in our students when they start studying Spanish. We hope you find these tips useful to learn their correct use:

La problema. Problema (problem) in Spanish, even if it ends with an “–a” is a masculine substantive. All the words that finish with -ema are masculine. Then, it should be “el problema”.

Soy tarde. When we are late for a meeting or a date we do no use the verb “ser” (to be), but the verb “llegar” (to arrive). We would say “llego tarde al médico”.

Mí/mi. In Spanish we distinguish with an ortographic accent “mi” (possessive adjective: “mi casa”; just like E.T. the Extra-Terrestial says in the Spanish dubbed version of the 1982 famous movie) from “mí” (personal pronoun: “me lo dice a mí).

Me peino mi pelo; me lavo mis dientes; me duele mi cabeza. In all these examples we can find a common mistake: the use of the possessive adjective “mi” instead of the corresponding definitive article. We would say: “Me peino el pelo; me lavo los dientes; me duele la cabeza”.

Mi también. For expressing that we also do/feel the same in Spanish we do not use the object pronoun but the subject pronoun. So, we say, “yo también quiero ir al parque”.

Una otra vez/un otro vez. When we mean that something happens again we can use the expression “otra vez”, which has no gender adaptation or goes with any indefinite article. We say, for example: “he suspendido otra vez matemáticas” or “mañana iré otra vez al hospital”.

He escribido. Some common mistakes we have detected are related with the use of the irregular past participles. Since the regular past participles end in “-ado” and “-ido” is a common mistake to keep using this formula with irregular verbs. However, we say “he escrito una carta”, “he dicho algo mal” o “he visto una película”.

What are the most common mistakes you have found when starting to study Spanish?

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