10 Frequent Mistakes In Spanish, With Explanations

This Romance language lends itself to many errors, due to its complexity.

Frequent mistakes in Spanish

Spanish is a fairly extensive and rich language in terms of its expressions. This is partly why people often make mistakes when using Spanish.

In this article we are going to see what are several of the most frequent errors in Spanish, which tend to appear during everyday life, and sometimes they can go unnoticed by anyone.

How is the Spanish language?

Castilian is a language originating from Latin, and therefore a Romance language. It comes exactly to Castilla, a region belonging to the Iberian Peninsula. The regions where Spanish is spoken as a mother tongue are Spain, Latin America, and Equatorial Guinea.

Before seeing the frequent errors in Spanish, it is necessary to know that the term Castilian is used as a synonym of “Spanish” and “Spanish language”, especially to make a distinction with the other languages ​​spoken in other areas of the territory Spanish.

The 9 most frequent mistakes in Spanish

In the next few lines we will see a selection of the most common mistakes in the Spanish language.

1. Error of omission

This error is quite common today, and has even become normalized by a large number of people by using the Internet to communicate via chat, or through text messages through a telephone company.

The error consists in voluntarily or involuntarily omitting letters, words, or even the omission of entire articles, or prepositions, perhaps with the intention of simplifying a text or adapting to a socially accepted but incorrect form of communication.

2. Generalization error

In this error, also quite common in the Spanish language, what happens is that the subject applies the same rules for all things, globally, without stopping to discriminate in details. For example, “I don’t like to go anywhere at night.”

3. Gender concordance error

In these cases, what happens is that what comes before the word does not match its gender. This is one of the most frequent and least detected errors in Spanish among those that we will see in this list.

For example, you could say · the water is cold “instead of the correct thing, which would be to say” the water is cold “, but some people will not notice the difference. Among other cases, like “the pajamas” instead of saying “the pajamas”.

4. Time match error

When the error is of temporal agreement, what happens is that the person intertwines several verb tenses with each other in the same sentence.

Let’s look at some examples of this situation: “I went to the supermarket yesterday and I haven’t seen milk.”

5. Substitution error

What happens in this case is that the speaker exchanges one word for another that resembles him and gives it the same meaning, even if this is totally wrong, in any context. For example, it is common for “aptitudes” to be exchanged for “attitudes”, even though they both mean different things.

6. Errors in colloquia

These errors occur when a colloquial phrase is modified, substituting any of the words that compose it. The colloquial phrases do not allow changes, since their meaning is not literal.

This occurs, for example, with the phrase “no stall at all”, when the word cove is replaced by impale, although both words are synonymous, it is not correct to replace it in the sentence.

7. Noun error

This type of error is presented when referring to a collective that is in plural or singular and then the verb is changed. What is accepted is that when a reference is made in the singular or plural, the verb remains in the same way in the singular or plural.

Clear examples of this error would be the following, “the employees of this store are very nice” “the people in this job are very friendly”, among other similar cases that often appear frequently in Spanish.

8. Linguistic interference error

It is the phenomenon that occurs when we interpret the sound of a language foreign to us as a sound from our mother tongue and we give it the same meaning.

This happens a lot with English song lyrics, a good example is the song “sweet dreams” by British lavender Eurythmics, which says in the chorus “Sweet dreams are made of this” (sweet dreams are made of this), and in Spanish that sound could be understood as “Blue jeans at noon.”

9. Errors in capitalization

In Spanish it is often seen how people write the initial letter of the days of the week or the months of the year with a capital letter, regardless of where the word is found in the text.

Doing so is a mistake, because the correct way is to write them in lowercase, unless they are after a period or at the beginning of a text. Despite the normalization that this custom is receiving, it is still incorrect, like those previously mentioned.

10. Change from b to v and vice versa

In Spanish, the pronunciation of v and b have become almost indistinguishable, so it is a very common mistake to exchange both letters with each other. For example, using “walloon” when you mean “ball”.

Bibliographic references:

  • Crow, JA (2005). Spain: the root and the flower. University of California Press.
  • Royal Spanish Academy (2010) Spelling of the Spanish language, of the Royal Spanish Academy.

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