Even though Spanish is a relatively easy language to learn for English speakers, there are nuances that can throw off Spanish students sometimes. Here are some common errors to avoid when learning Spanish.
English uses pronouns more oftenOne of the things you have to get used to in Spanish is that pronouns do not need to be used as much. The listener can figure out from the verb form what the pronoun should be. When you want to emphasize the pronoun, use "yo," "tu" and "el."
Gender-coded termsSpanish nouns are gender based. Spanish words that end with the letter "a" have a feminine connotation while other endings are masculine. Adjectives that describe nouns must use consistent gender.
Different WordingSpanish uses adjectives after nouns, which is the opposite of English. In English, for example, we say "friendly neighbor" whereas in Spanish it would be said "neighbor friendly."
Formal vs InformalThe “tu” form of a verb is used for informal purposes, whereas the “usted” is used to address people in a formal way. In general, “usted” is used when speaking to people who are either older or more powerful than you are. Native English speakers tend to choose one form that they use for everyone.
Wrong DialectSpanish students commonly learn the regional dialects of their teachers, who may not disclose the dialect being taught. Spanish is spoken differently in each region of Mexico and in other countries. The differences can be in pronouns, pronunciation and cultural aspects based on region.
MispronunciationSome people forget that the "h" is silent in Spanish. Yet the "j" is pronounced just like "h" sound. The letter "z" is usually pronounced like the letter "s." One of the main consistencies in Spanish is how vowels are used. In Spanish, there are five vowel sounds that are always pronounced the same way.
Making mistakes is natural in the course of learning a new language. Don’t hesitate and keep going. Learn about these errors and speak Spanish to the best you can!