Spanish Mistakes and Difficulties
Certain aspects of Spanish tend to be difficult for students, so
here are some lessons to help you avoid making common Spanish
There are several different Spanish equivalents for the English verb
"to become," depending on several factors.
Spanish and English capitalization are quite different, as it is
much less common in Spanish. Many words that must be capitalized in
English cannot be in Spanish, so read through this lesson to make
sure that you're not over-capitalizing your Spanish.
A Spanish sentence can have both a direct and an indirect object pronoun.
These "double object pronouns" have specific rules about word order and can
cause changes in the sentence. Study this lesson for more info.
Enlace or encadenamiento is the phenomenon in Spanish
whereby each word seems to run into the next, as if there are no
boundaries between them. In fact, this is exactly the case: there
are no phonetic boundaries in Spanish, and words do run together, in
three different ways.
Falsos Amigos - False
There are a lot of words that look similar in Spanish and English,
but that mean very different things. Avoid misunderstandings by
memorizing this list of common false cognates.
A list of masculine words that end in A and feminine words that end in O.
There are a number of Spanish verbs which are regular in all but the first
person singular. These are known as G verbs, because the first person
singular requires an unexpected G: caer,
hacer, poner, salir, traer, valer.
Hard and Soft Vowels
Spanish vowels are divided into two categories: hard and soft. Hard vowels
cause the consonant that precedes them to be pronounced with a hard sound,
while soft vowels are preceded by a soft sound.
There are about a dozen Spanish verbs which must be conjugated with
an indirect object pronoun. This grammatical construction does not
exist in English, but it's not difficult once you get used to it.
Por vs Para
The Spanish prepositions por and para tend to be difficult for
Spanish students, because they can - but don't always - both mean
for. Learn the difference in meaning and uses for por and para with
Position of Spanish Adjectives
Spanish adjectives may be found before or after the nouns they modify,
depending on various factors. Generally speaking, descriptive adjectives
follow nouns, while limiting adjectives precede nouns.
Learn the difference between the two most common Spanish past
R - Pronunciation
The pronunciation of the Spanish letter can be difficult for
students. It is pronounced by rolling or trilling the tip of the
tongue against the roof of the mouth.
In Spanish, you will often see an object pronoun, either direct or indirect,
used in addition to the actual noun that it would normally replace. This
redundant object pronoun may be required or simply stylistic.
Reflexive Se with Unplanned
The reflexive construction is used mainly with reflexive verbs and
reciprocal verbs. It can also be used to describe accidental and unplanned
These verbs must be used with a reflexive pronoun in order to
indicate that the subject is performing the action of the verb upon
itself. Reflexive verbs exist in English, but they are much more
common in Spanish.
Pronouns (Que, Quien, El Cual, El Que, Donde)
Just like in English, a Spanish relative pronoun links a
dependent/relative clause (i.e., a clause that cannot stand alone)
to a main clause. This lesson is a comparative summary of the
Spanish relative pronouns que, quien, el que,
el cual, and donde. Depending on context, the English
equivalents are who, whom, that, which, whose, or where.
Saber vs Conocer
Saber and conocer can both be translated by the English verb to
know, but they are used in completely different situations.
Ser vs Estar
There are two Spanish verbs that mean "to be." Each of these verbs
is used to express a different type of being - they are not
Many students of Spanish have a hard time with si clauses (also
known as conditionals or conditional sentences), but they are really
quite simple. Study the lessons on each of the main types and then
take the quiz.
Figuring out how to pronounce a new Spanish word is usually easy,
but there are two silent letters.
Spelling Change Verbs
Spelling change verbs undergo consonant changes in certain
conjugations, due to a certain aspect of Spanish pronunciation.
Stem-changing verbs are those that have a spelling change in the
stem of most forms. Many common Spanish verbs are stem-changing, so
be sure to learn how to conjugate them with this lesson.
The subjunctive is usually considered the most difficult Spanish
verb form for students, but hopefully this lesson will simplify
matters for you. Here are conjugations and detailed explanations of
Verbs with Prepositions
In Spanish, many verbs must be followed by a preposition, which may
or may not correspond to the preposition (if any) used in English.
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