In today’s world, becoming fluent in Spanish holds more benefits than ever. Not only does Spanish fluency open up a world of amazing cultures and wonderful travel destinations, but it looks great on a resume in just about any field (especially in areas with a prominent Spanish-speaking population). Although it is considered to be one of the easiest languages to learn, several aspects of the Spanish language still pose problems for many English speakers. Did you know, Spanish is fast becoming Britain’s favorite foreign language!
The first problem many novice Spanish speakers face early on is the concept of gender. masculine: el perro = the dog feminine: la chica =the girl The fact that every noun is either masculine or feminine can be a confusing idea to a native speaker of English, especially when it comes to noun-adjective agreement. The Spanish language requires that adjectives agree not only in gender with the nouns they are describing, but also in number. This often seems strange to English speakers, and for this reason noun-adjective agreement is often overlooked or forgotten by fledgling Spanish speakers. masculine (singular): el pen-o negro = the black dog feminine (plural): las chicas bonitas = the pretty girls.
Another noticeable between English and Spanish is word order. Anyone newto Spanish will quickly notice howthe language does not alwaysfollowthe subject-comes-first pattern that is so central to English, as when one is dealing with questions or exclamations. In addition, the orientation of nouns and the adjectives describing them changes depending on the situation. This flexibility in order can easily fluster a newcomer to the language, causing a good bit of unnecessary frustration. La casa roja =the red house (literally “the house red”) Otras cosas = other things (same as literal)
Living in places like California, Texas or Florida, residents improve communication and job opportunities by learning Spanish. Spanish is one of the romance languages, but it is considered one of the easier languages to learn for a native English speaker. Even though it is easier to learn, Spanish has its difficulties and rules that make it somewhat less intuitive for an English speaker. Some Spanish words are very similar to English words, so these words are more easily recognized when translating between Spanish and English. Before you decide to jump into the Spanish language and culture, here are some difficulties you encounter while learning the language.
Adjectives are Written after the Noun
English speakers are used to pladng the adjective before the noun. Describing a “tall man” in English means you place “tall” before the noun “man.” In Spanish, the adjective (adjetivo) is placed after the noun. Therefore, when you speak or write “tall man” in Spanish, the grammatically proper way to write the phrase is “hombre alto.” “Hombre” means “man” in Spanish and “alto” means “tall.”
Learning Feminine and Masculine Nouns
The Spanish language relies heavily on masculine and feminine nouns Generally, a noun ending in “a” is feminine. A noun ending in “o” is masculine. For instance, the noun “casa” (meaning “house”) is feminine, so the correct phrase is ‘la casa.” The noun ‘9ibro” (meaning ‘book”) Is masculine, so the correct phrase is “el libro.” Some exceptions to this rule make It difficult for English speakersto recognize a feminine noun from a masculine noun. Exceptions Ind ude “el mapa,” “el dia,” and “la foto.”
Spanish Has Two ‘To Be” Verbs
The verbs “estar” and “ser” both mean “to be” In Spanish. The difference between the two verbs Ishow they are describing objects. The verb “estar” is generally used to describe something that changes “Estar” is used for location, feelings and temporary descriptions such as temperature. “Ser” is used to describe something permanent. “Yo soy de Estados Unidos” means “I am from the United States.” This description does not change, so the verb “ser” is used.
Use the Verb ‘Tener” for Age English speakers are used to describing one’s age with the phrase ‘9 am 22 years old.” in Spanish, the direct translation for describing your age is “I have 22 years.” The verb “tener” means “to have” In Spanish. Spanish grammar requires the “tener” verb for phrasesthat describe age. Therefore, you write “Yo tengo veintidos Mos.” Some English speakers write “Yo soy veintidos altos,” which is grammatically incorrect.
Capitalization and Punctuation in Spanish
English speakers capitalize proper nouns, places and things. Spanish requires capitalization for people, but many proper nouns do not require capitalization. For instance, the months of the year, holidays, days of the week and nationality are not capitalized. In addition, punctuation for questions and sentences with exclamation points require the punctuation at both the beginning and the end of the sentence.
These examples are a few of the difficulties when teaming Spanish. Practicing Spanish each day and listening to audio conversations help ease the difficulties. With increased practice, you can learn to speak Spanish naturally without the common mistakes.
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