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Everybody's doin' it! Common mistakes in Spanish.



There are some mistakes that almost everyone makes when first learning Spanish.

1) When using adjectives:
In Spanish, proper syntax (the arrangement of words) requires that you place an adjective after the noun it describes.  In English, you would say large desk (adjective + noun), but in Spanish, this order is reversed: escritorio grande (noun + adjective).


2) When asking about the time:
When you want to know what time it is, you can ask the question literally.  What time is it?  Many students of Spanish make the mistake of translating this sentence directly into Spanish as ¿Qué tiempo es?,but this phrase is a question about the weather and not the time.  In Spanish, when you want to know the time, you ask for the hour: ¿Qué hora es?  (What hour is it?).  When referring to the weather, you use tiempo.


3) When talking about age:
In English, we respond to the question "How old are you?" by saying "I am ___ years old."  In Spanish, however, the verb tener(to have) is used instead of a being verb (ser or estar).  Do not ask, "¿Qué es tu edad?" (What's your age?)  or "¿Cómo viejo eres?"  (How old are you?), but "¿Cuántos años tienes?"  (How many years do you have?).


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