Home Language Learning 22 Widespread Spanish Errors and Find out how to Keep away from Them

22 Widespread Spanish Errors and Find out how to Keep away from Them

22 Widespread Spanish Errors and Find out how to Keep away from Them



All of us make errors when studying a brand new language.

Chances are high you’ve made a number of the ones on this checklist. 

However as an alternative of letting a couple of errors damage your confidence, you should use them as a studying alternative.

On this publish, you’ll study 22 of the commonest Spanish errors and how you can keep away from them.

By studying a few of these frequent blunders and their corrections, you’ll be able to communicate with extra confidence, ease and accuracy! 


1. Utilizing ser when speaking about age  

In English we use the verb “to be” when speaking about age: “I’m 25 years outdated.” However in Spanish, the verb tener (to have) is used with age.

To say that you simply’re 25 years outdated, you’d say “Tengo 25 años”
(I’m 25). This interprets actually to “I’ve 25 years,” therefore the widespread mistake.

There are fairly a couple of different Spanish phrases that use the verb tener whereas their English counterparts use “to be.” Listed below are some widespread ones:

2. Mixing up ser and estar 

This can be a essential one as a result of it could actually actually change the which means of what you say. For instance, the Spanish adjective aburrido can imply “bored” or “boring” relying on the context.

Should you say “Soy aburrido,”
 it signifies that you’re a boring individual usually. However in the event you say “Estoy aburrido,”
 it signifies that you are feeling bored for the time being 

Do not forget that ser and estar each imply “to be,” however ser is mostly used for extra everlasting issues whereas estar is for non permanent states or situations

The complicated exception is when speaking in regards to the location of a sure place (estar) or the place an occasion takes place (ser). In these circumstances, it’s the alternative of what you may suppose:

¿Dónde está el hospital?
(The place’s the hospital?)
El concierto es en el estadio.
(The live performance is on the stadium.) 

3. Not altering the ending on adjectives

One other widespread mistake is forgetting to alter the ending of an adjective relying on the gender of who/what you’re speaking about and if it’s singular or plural.

To say {that a} male is bored, you’d use aburrido. When speaking a couple of feminine, you’d use aburrida.
For a couple of feminine, you’d use aburridas
 and for a couple of male or a mixed-gender group, you’d use aburridos.

That is additionally true for a lot of professions, similar to abogado
(male lawyer) and abogada
(feminine lawyer) or professor
(male trainer) and profesora
(feminine trainer).

4. Placing indefinite articles earlier than occupations

Should you attempt to translate straight from English to Spanish, “I’m a trainer” could be “Soy un professor.” However that is incorrect and exhibits why direct translation just isn’t at all times a good suggestion. 

When stating occupations in Spanish, don’t use the indefinite article (un/una). Relatively, simply use the verb ser (to be) plus the occupation. For instance:

Soy profesora.
(I’m a trainer.)
Eres artista.
(You’re an artist.)
Él es ingeniero.
(He’s an engineer.)

5. Misplacing adjectives

In English, our adjectives come earlier than the noun: a massive home, a blue shirt, a lovely smile. In Spanish, nonetheless, adjectives normally come after the noun: una casa grande,
una camiseta azul,
una sonrisa bonita.

Remember that there are sure cases the place the adjective does come earlier than the noun in Spanish, and the place can really change the which means of the adjective. For instance:

Ellos tienen su propia casa.
(They’ve their personal home.)
No es el vestido propio para el evento.
(It’s not the proper costume for the occasion.)

Es la única talla que tenemos.
(It’s the solely measurement now we have.)
Valeria es una persona única.
(Valeria is a distinctive individual.)

Es un gran músico.
(He’s a nice musician.)
Rusia es un país grande.
(Russia is a massive nation.)

You possibly can study extra about Spanish adjective placement on this video:

6. Avoiding double negatives

Double negatives within the English language typically make us cringe as a result of they’re merely poor grammar. However in Spanish, double negatives thrive!

For instance, take the phrase “I didn’t write something.” In Spanish, you’d say No escribí nada
(Actually: “I didn’t write nothing”).

As a normal rule, Spanish phrases don’t combine constructive and unfavourable phrases. So in case you have a “no” earlier than your verb, you’ll solely ever see a unfavourable phrase after the verb. With constructive verbs, you’ll use the constructive equivalencies:

Take a better have a look at these examples to get a greater really feel for the idea:

No la he visto nunca.
(I’ve by no means seen her.)

No hay nadie aquí.
(There’s no person right here.)

Nunca cube nada en clase.
(He by no means says something in school.)

Ella tampoco hizo nada ayer.
(She didn’t do something yesterday both.)

7. Utilizing the plural type with la gente (individuals)

In English the phrase “individuals” is a collective noun that should at all times be used with verbs within the third individual plural: “Individuals are good-hearted.”

In Spanish, nonetheless, the phrase for “individuals” (la gente) is singular. Sure, it’s an odd idea to get used to at first, however when you get the dangle of it the phrase shouldn’t trigger you any extra hassle.

Listed below are a couple of examples to get you extra snug with the thought:

La gente de Perú es muy amable.
(The individuals of Peru are very pleasant.)

La gente se divierte en el parque.
(Folks have enjoyable within the park.)

La gente mayor disfruta de la música clásica.
(Older individuals take pleasure in classical music.)

8. Overusing capitalization 

Capitalization guidelines are very totally different between Spanish and English, with considerably much less capitalization on the Spanish aspect. Phrases which can be capitalized in Spanish embrace:

• Names of individuals (Cristiano Ronaldo)
• Names of locations (Madrid, España)
Names of newspapers and magazines (El País)
The primary phrase of titles of flicks, books, articles, performs, and so on. 

Phrases that aren’t capitalized in Spanish:

• Days of the week (lunes, martes, miércoles – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
• Months of the yr (enero, febrero, marzo – January, February, March)
• Phrases in titles, besides the primary (“Cien años de soledad” — “100 Years of Solitude”)
• Languages (Estudio español. — I research Spanish.)
• Religions (Mis padres son católicos. — My dad and mom are Catholic.)
• Nationality (Soy estadounidense. — I’m American.)

9. Saying “Gracias para…”

Mixing up por and para is a quite common mistake for Spanish learners, as they each can imply “for.” Actually, they’re so generally confused that we created an entire publish about it.

One scenario the place they’re typically combined up is when saying thanks. To thank somebody for doing one thing for you or providing you with one thing, we use por, not para. For instance:

¡Gracias por invitarme a tu fiesta!
(Thanks for inviting me to your social gathering!)

Gracias por tu ayuda.
(Thanks on your assist.)

Gracias por el regalo tan hermoso.
(Thanks for the attractive present.)

10. Complicated muy and mucho

It’s quite common for Spanish learners to combine up the phrases muy and mucho. Muy is an adverb meaning “very” or “actually.” It goes in entrance of an adjective or adverb and by no means modifications. For instance:

Hablas español muy bien.
(You communicate Spanish very effectively.)
Estoy muy cansada.
(I’m actually drained).
Camina muy rápido.
(He walks actually quick.)

Mucho can be utilized as an adjective meaning “loads,” “many” or “a lot.” On this case, it goes earlier than a noun and modifications type (mucho, muchos, mucha or muchas) relying on the gender and variety of that noun:

Tengo mucha hambre.
(I’m actually hungry.)
Tomé mucho vino.
(I drank quite a lot of wine.)
¡Muchas gracias por la cena!
(Thanks a lot for dinner!)

It will also be used as an adverb to switch verbs, on this case translating to “loads” and going after the verb (with out altering type). For instance:

Ella trabaja mucho.
(She works loads.)

Right here’s a fast evaluation of the distinction between muy and mucho: 

11. Falling for false buddies

There are quite a lot of “false buddies” between Spanish and English. These are phrases that sound the identical however have totally different meanings. Listed below are a couple of that usually trigger (fairly embarrassing) errors:

  • Embarazada
    means “pregnant.” “Embarrased” in Spanish is avergonzado
     or tener verguenza
     (to be embarrassed).
  • Excitado
    means “excited,” however in a sexual means. To say that you simply’re excited in a non-sexual means, use emocionado
    as an alternative (or emocionada
     in the event you’re feminine).
  • Preservativo
    sounds loads like “preservative,” but it surely really means “condom.” If you wish to know if a sure meals or magnificence product incorporates preservatives, use conservante
    to keep away from a clumsy second. 
  • Dato
    may seem like the phrase “date,” but it surely really means “reality.” If somebody asks you for tus datos, they’re asking on your private data. If you wish to ask somebody out on a date, use cita
    as an alternative. 

12. Utilizing the flawed prepositions

As we’ve already seen with por and para, Spanish prepositions are tough. They typically don’t translate straight between English and Spanish, so now we have to memorize which prepositions go along with which verbs.

Listed below are a couple of verb/preposition pairs that create quite a lot of errors amongst Spanish learners:

13. Including prepositions the place they’re not wanted

Along with utilizing the flawed prepositions, Spanish learners typically add prepositions the place there shouldn’t be any. Listed below are a couple of of the commonest examples:

14. Forgetting the non-public a

The non-public a is a preposition we use in Spanish when a sentence’s direct object is an individual. It’s typically forgotten by English audio system just because it doesn’t exist in Spanish, and it doesn’t have a direct translation. For instance:

Voy a visitar a mis abuelos.
(I’m going to go to my grandparents.)

As you’ll be able to see, there’s no equal phrase within the English translation. However nonetheless, it’s required in Spanish. Listed below are a couple of extra examples:

Necesito llamar a mi amigo.
(I have to name my buddy.)

Los estudiantes respetan a su maestra.
(The scholars respect their trainer.)

Discover that when the direct object is changed with a direct object pronoun, the non-public a disappears:

Los estudiantes la respetan.
(The scholars respect her.)

15. Ordering meals utilizing “Puedo tener…?”

There are some ways to order meals or drinks in Spanish. However “Puedo tener…?” just isn’t considered one of them. This can be a direct translation of the English phrase “Can I’ve…?” and it may be heard in lots of eating places in touristy areas of the Spanish-speaking world. 

Sure, the server will perceive what you’re saying. However attempt utilizing considered one of these phrases as an alternative if you wish to sound much less like a vacationer and extra like a local speaker: 

Me da
  (Are you able to get me…?)
Me gustaría
(I’d like…)
Para mí…
(I’ll have…)
¿Puede traerme…?
(May you carry me…?)

16. Mixing up phrases that sound comparable 

Similar to in English, there are numerous pairs and teams of phrases in Spanish that sound comparable and are subsequently typically combined up. These are known as homophones, and it helps to know a number of the commonest:

(starvation), hombre
(man) and hombro
(pepper, as in salt and pepper) and pimiento
(pepper, as within the vegetable) 
(hair) and caballo
(drained) and casado
(howdy) and ola

17. Saying “Hice un error”

There’s nothing worse than making a mistake when making an attempt to acknowledge a earlier mistake! In Spanish, we don’t use hacer (to do/make) to say that we’ve made a mistake. 

As a substitute, we use the verb cometir
 (to commit). Listed below are some examples:

Cometí un error. ¡Por favor, perdóname!
(I made a mistake. Please forgive me!)

Por favor corrígeme cuando cometa un error. Quiero mejorar mi español.
(Please right me once I make a mistake. I need to enhance my Spanish.) 

Cometer errores es una parte pure del aprendizaje de un nuevo idioma.
(Making errors is a pure a part of studying a brand new language.)

18. Utilizing gustar incorrectly

Gustar is a complicated verb as a result of it capabilities in another way than its English which means. Whenever you say “Me gusta leer,” it actually signifies that studying is agreeable to you.

As a result of the verb gustar is definitely speaking in regards to the factor or the exercise, not the one who likes the factor or the exercise, you have to change its type relying on the gender and variety of the noun that comes after it. For instance:

Me gustan las galletas. (I like cookies.)
Les gusta la playa.
(They just like the seaside.)
Me gustas. (I such as you. — with a romantic connotation)

There are lots of different verbs like this in Spanish similar to encantar (to please) and preocupar (to fret)—try this checklist of 100 of them right here

Should you’re nonetheless confused about how you can use gustar, you’ll be able to take heed to this foolish tune that packs an entire lesson into lower than two minutes: 

19. Responding to gustar incorrectly

One other widespread mistake involving the verb gustar is saying, for instance, “Yo me gusta…” when it must be “A mí me gusta…”. That is solely obligatory whenever you need to emphasize what you want in distinction to another person. For instance:

No me gustan las peliculas de terror.
(I don’t like horror motion pictures.)
A mí me gustan mucho.
(I like them loads.)

Equally, we are able to’t reply with “Yo también” (Me too) or “Yo tampoco” (Me neither) when somebody tells us what they like. As a substitute, we should say “A mí tambien”
or “A mí tampoco.”

20. Forgetting accents

Accents in Spanish are vital as a result of they will inform you how a phrase must be pronounced. They’ll additionally change the which means of a phrase utterly. For instance:

(the) vs. él
(if) vs.
(as a result of) vs. por qué
(I eat) vs. cómo
(potato) vs. papá

Don’t get caught saying one thing like “My potato is a lawyer.” Keep in mind to make use of your accents after they’re wanted! 

21. Saying the h sound

In fact, there are numerous pronunciation errors that occur whenever you’re studying a brand new language. However one of the vital widespread in Spanish is with phrases with h, particularly when the h is in the midst of the phrase. 

It’s because in Spanish, the h is silent. Take heed to the way it’s pronounced—or, extra precisely, not pronounced—in these phrases: 

(financial savings)

Listen everytime you’re saying a Spanish phrase with an h and also you’ll sound way more like a local speaker! 

22. Forgetting to make use of the subjunctive 

This final one is for extra superior Spanish learners. Even when your Spanish is basically good, forgetting to make use of the subjunctive temper could be an apparent clue that you simply’re not a local speaker.

The subjunctive is used to precise doubt, uncertainty, need, feelings and numerous hypothetical or non-factual conditions. Listed below are some examples:

Ojalá sepa la respuesta.
(I hope he is aware of the reply.)

Es bueno que tu familia se lleve tan bien.
(It’s good that your loved ones will get alongside so effectively.)

No creo que el banco esté abierto hoy.
(I don’t suppose the financial institution is open as we speak.)

Estoy buscando un profesor que hable español con fluidez.
(I’m searching for a trainer who’s fluent in Spanish.)

Espero que hayas disfrutado la comida.
(I hope you’ve loved the meals.)

To keep away from the widespread mistake of utilizing the indicative when the subjunctive is required, attempt to study the triggers for utilizing the subjunctive. It’s also possible to follow and familiarize your self with widespread subjunctive phrases.


By studying to keep away from these widespread errors, you’ll enhance your self as much as an entire new degree of Spanish.

You’ll be even much less prone to make widespread errors in the event you use an immersive program to study the language, like FluentU. This and different immersion applications allow you to hear Spanish because it’s really utilized by native audio system, permitting you to study naturally and in context. 

And One Extra Factor…

Should you’ve made it this far meaning you most likely take pleasure in studying Spanish with participating materials and
will then love FluentU.

Different websites use scripted content material. FluentU makes use of a pure method that helps you ease into the Spanish language and tradition over time. You’ll study Spanish because it’s really spoken by actual individuals.

FluentU has all kinds of movies, as you’ll be able to see right here:


FluentU brings native movies inside attain with interactive transcripts. You possibly can faucet on any phrase to look it up immediately. Each definition has examples which were written that can assist you perceive how the phrase is used. Should you see an attention-grabbing phrase you don’t know, you’ll be able to add it to a vocab checklist.


Assessment an entire interactive transcript below the Dialogue tab, and discover phrases and phrases listed below Vocab.


Study all of the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s sturdy studying engine. Swipe left or proper to see extra examples of the phrase you’re on.


The most effective half is that FluentU retains observe of the vocabulary that you simply’re studying, and offers you additional follow with troublesome phrases. It’s going to even remind you when it’s time to evaluation what you’ve discovered. Each learner has a very personalised expertise, even when they’re studying with the identical video.

Begin utilizing FluentU on the web site along with your pc or pill or, higher but, obtain the FluentU app.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here