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Six common mistakes in Spanish you want to avoid

Six common mistakes in Spanish you want to avoid

1. Not including the “personal a”.

As we know, whenever the grammatical object is a person (or a pet), we must use the preposition a right before said object:

I call Mary. Llamo Mary.

I visited my parents in California. Visité a mis padres en California.

I helped my sister. Ayudé mi hermana.

I love my cat. Amo mi gato.

2. Using a instead of en when translating at from English.

Remember: At is always en in Spanish!

We sat down at the table. Nos sentamos en la mesa.

He works at a hospital. Él trabaja en un hospital.

Peter was at that party. Peter estaba en esa fiesta.

We were at the beach. Estábamos en la playa.

3. Using quedar instead of quedarse.

When translating to stay, we should always use quedarse, which is a reflexive verb.

I stayed at a very beautiful hotel in Cancún. Me quedé en un hotel muy hermoso en Cancún.

I stayed at home. Me quedé en casa.

4. Making nouns problemaprograma and sistema feminine.

They are masculine!

I have a problem. Tengo un problema.

I like this program. Me gusta este programa.

This system works very well. Este sistema funciona muy bien.

5. Using “preguntar por” or “pedir por” for asking for.

It's always pedir and it never has por.

asked her for an apple. Le pedí una manzana.

I’ll ask you for the keys tomorrow. Te pediré las llaves mañana.

Mary asked me for a glass of water. Mary me pidió un vaso de agua.

asked for a sign. Pedí una señal.

6. Translating gustar directly as to like, instead of “to please” or “to be pleasing”.

I like apples. Me gustan las manzanas.

Do you like cats? ¿Te gustan los gatos?

I like you. Me gustas.

Do you like me? ¿Te gusto?