Common Spanish collocation mistakes.

When learning a language, we need to get a grasp of the grammar structures and rules but we also need to be aware about the cultural differences and complexities that make it nearly impossible to translate directly from your mother tongue.

Here I point out some of the most common collocation mistakes I used to make while learning English, but also that now my Spanish students encounter.

In Spanish we don’t MAKE decisions, we TAKE them. (No hacemos decisiones, las tomamos).
We take them, we embrace them and hope for the best.
  • He tomado la decisión de aprender portugués.
  • Mario ¡Tú siempre tomas las decisiones menos acertadas!
  • El año pasado tomé la decisión de viajar por Asia.
In Spanish we don’t PLAY and instrument, we TOUCH it. (No jugamos con los instrumentos, los tocamos)
It might sound a bit creepy at first, but the explanation comes from the fact that mastering the art of executing a melody is certainly not an easy task and cant be taken lightly. Therefore, we learn how to respectfully and skillfully touch it.
  • Juanito aprendió a tocar Claro de Luz en el piano cuando tenía 11 años.
  • Ed Sheeran toca la guitarra y canta al mismo tiempo.
  • Yo no puedo tocar el arpa.
In Spanish we don’t SPEND time, we let it PASS. (No gastamos tiempo, lo dejamos pasar)
We enjoy the time we have hanging out with family and friends or visiting a place we like, so we decide that we don’t have to account for it, we just let it be …. We let is PASS without worrying about anything else. However, if we regret the time we have dedicated to a person, job on in a place, then we spend it but if if you consider that was the worst mistake of our lives we misspend it (malgastamos). I know, we are a bit dramatic.
  • Pasamos el fin de semana en la casa de campo de los Rodríguez.
  • Paso mucho tiempo cocinando en la cocina, ¡me encanta!
  • No veas la peli de horror que está en cartelera, la historia y los efectos especiales son terribles, malgasté 2 horas de mi vida viéndola.
In Spanish we don’t PAY attention, we PUT our focus ON the subject of interest or we LEND you our time and consideration. (No pagamos atención, ponemos atención o prestamos atención)
I mean, why do we have to pay for it? You need to earn it :)
  • ¡Que clase tan larga y aburrida! Nadie le está poniendo atención, queremos salir a tomarnos un café.
  • Necesito prestarle atención a las instrucciones del instructor de yoga, quiero mejorar mi postura.
  • No le prestes atención, ya sabes que Camila dice muchas cosas que no son ciertas.
In Spanish we don’t change our MIND, we change our IDEAS AND JUDGEMENTS (no cambiamos la mente, cambiamos de ideas y de parecer).
How can we change our mind if we only have one? nevertheless we can be set with an idea and change it overnight without a problem….
  • Ver el documental en Netflix me hizo cambiar de idea sobre el consumo de carne.
  • Mi madre cambió de idea, ya no quiere celebrar su cumpleaños en el restaurante italiano sino en el cubano.
  • ¿Sabes? He cambiado de parecer sobre Juan Carlos, es un chico muy simpático.
In Spanish we don’t MAKE mistakes, we COMMIT them (No hacemos errores, los cometemos)
How could you not pay any mind to this topic? We are very serious about it (like with the instruments) and we need to make a big deal about it in order to learn our lesson and make sure it does not happen again.
  • Cometí un error en la pregunta 5 del examen.
  • Haber compartido habitación con Laura fue el peor error que pude cometer, ¡ronca muchísimo!
  • El árbitro del partido cometió un error al momento de decretar el penalti a favor del otro equipo.
Can you think of other common mistakes you have made-seen before?
September 27, 2018
$19.00
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Margarita

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Colombia
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Speaks:
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¡Hola! I'm Margarita and I live in sunny Colombia. I'm a Lawyer, university lecturer, freelance translator and of course a Spanish tutor here at Verbling. I'm comfortable and have all the skills to teach beginners to more advanced students. my method for tutoring Spanish focuses on understanding the culture and the context, as I consider a language to be better understood within its environment. I use a student centered teaching approach as I feel that one of my greatest strengths is my ability to understand and meet the needs of each individual student. As any language and especially with Spanish, there is nothing better than getting the student to build their confidence in speaking and practice his/her knowledge on a continuous basis combined with essential grammar lessons. Any questions? Don't hesitate to ask ;) Spanish assignments, Business Spanish, Conversational Spanish, Grammar, Exams,
Flag
Spanish
globe
Colombia
time
4.104
Speaks:
Spanish
Native
,
English
C1
,
Portuguese
B1
¡Hola! I'm Margarita and I live in sunny Colombia. I'm a Lawyer, university lecturer, freelance translator and of course a Spanish tutor here at Verbling. I'm comfortable and have all the skills to teach beginners to more advanced students. my method for tutoring Spanish focuses on understanding the culture and the context, as I consider a language to be better understood within its environment. I use a student centered teaching approach as I feel that one of my greatest strengths is my ability to understand and meet the needs of each individual student. As any language and especially with Spanish, there is nothing better than getting the student to build their confidence in speaking and practice his/her knowledge on a continuous basis combined with essential grammar lessons. Any questions? Don't hesitate to ask ;) Spanish assignments, Business Spanish, Conversational Spanish, Grammar, Exams,