Common English errors for Spanish speakers

Summer is here, your classes have probably all finished now. You might be going to summer school here in Catalonia or maybe abroad. Better in England, where you might actually speak English to the other students. Or maybe you are relaxing on the beach, cycling in the mountains, or you might even be reading a book! It’s a time to relax, but it’s the perfect time to learn some English too!

A relaxed environment, without stress, free-time, is perfect to open up duolingo and do some classes, or watch a new film or tv series in English. You even have time to stop and look up words you don’t know! What a wonderful time that summer is.

Here are some common mistakes that you can think about and perhaps avoid making on your weekend trip to London.

 

Career

First up: Career is not your university studies. That is a course, or a degree.

I am doing the Engineering career at Pompeu Fabra.

            I am doing an Engineering degree at Oxford.

This is a very common and persistent mistake but in English career is focused on your working life. From the moment you graduate and start to get experience in a certain field (e.g. pharmacy, plumbing, insurance, etc), you are beginning your career. That career does not end until you retire.

He is a career man. He has worked his way up the company and thirty years later he became the boss.

            – What career path would you like to follow?

            – I would like to work in animal conservation.

 

Adjective placement

One of the most persistent mistakes from Spanish to English is the placement of adjectives after the noun. Obviously in Spanish you say mesa verde but in English it is the other way around: green table. It sounds simple but it is something that is surprisingly late-acquired.

The President Basque = The Basque President

A football player professional = A professional football player

A boy teenager = A teenage boy / A teenager

Fun/Funny

Oh what a good one. The amount of times that I have heard this one are innumerable. I can see why people get confused; the two words look and sound very similar and English grammar rules would make it seem that fun is a noun and funny the adjective form. Unfortunately, English does not always make sense and both of these are adjectives with slightly different meanings.

Fun is when you enjoy doing something, you like it, the person is exciting to be with, it is not boring, it is more than interesting, you are active and playing some kind of game. This is fun.

Oh I am having so much fun with you at the beach.

            This game of Monopoly is not very fun, shall we do something else?

            Do you want to have some fun?

Funny is when you laugh. Hahahahahaha (not jajajaj in English). South Park is so funny. Big bang theory is funny sometimes. Rick and Morty is hilarious! Hahahahahahah.

Oh my god. James is so funny, he cracks me up, I can’t stop laughing in his classes!

 

You are better than this. Please don’t make these mistakes. Or any of the mistakes from the previous common mistakes posts. Please.

 

Written by James R. McCance for Aston School