Spanish Grammar Rules: 4 Common Mistakes
Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the US, and first in many other countries. Want to know you’re not messing up easy sentences, phrases, and grammar points? Do you keep making these mistakes in Spanish grammar rules? We here at FactSumo discuss four simple errors that you can fix to take your Spanish speaking skills to the next level! Let’s begin.
Ser / Estar
These two verbs are pretty confusing. They represent a common mistake that we know about in English, but often mess up in Spanish. It’s even more tricky for English speakers because ser and estar both technically mean to be. So how do they differ?
Ser is a verb used to show identity, or how you would describe someone by their appearance. Soy nerviosa, for example, means that I am a nervous person in general. It is a way to describe someone who has habits that one would describe as nervous. Estoy, on the other hand, would be used to describe how someone feels in the moment. Estoy nerviosa means I am nervous currently. A good way to remember the distinction is ser shows identity, while estoy shows condition.
Here’s an important Spanish word you should be familiar with. It means “I”, so naturally, we need to use it for every sentence that includes or references ourselves, right? Well, Spanish differs from English on this one. When yo is implied, Spanish speakers tend to omit it entirely. It’s weird to get used to it for English speakers, because we would never say, am hungry, because we see that as an incomplete sentence. But this isn’t a problem for native Spanish speakers to say it without the subject!
To Have / To Be
In English, we use the verb “to be” to signify a lot of different things. For English speakers, to be signifies a state of being. That can be something simple like your age. You are twelve years old. It can also relate something like an event or condition. She is tired. The weather is very nice today.
In Spanish, and indeed other Romance languages, to be is used far less often. Instead, these languages use to have to indicate these conditions. tener sueño, for example, means to be sleepy, though it would literally translate into to have sleepy. The same goes for talking about age or weather, too. Be careful when using these adjectives and descriptors when speaking Spanish!
This word can trip English speakers up, because we only have one word for time. In Spanish, there are multiple words for time that can be used in different scenarios. Hora, for example, specifically refers to the time on a clock. Vez means time, but for a specific event. This time, that time, one time, etc. For all other instances of time, tiempo is the word to use!
We hope you enjoyed this quick list about common Spanish grammar rules. Though these are just the top 4 Spanish grammar rules we found beginners made in error, there are a lot more out there, so remember to keep studying! Want to kickstart your studying process? Find out how at our site!