When you learn a new language it is obvious you are going to be making a few mistakes to begin with. The best way to not get disheartened is to embrace your mistakes, laugh at them and make sure you don’t make them again!
In this blog post I will go through some of the most common mistakes that beginners make that can cause a few laughs.
Tengo hambre = I am hungry. Literally, “I have hunger”. However, particularly with beginners this often comes out as “Tengo hombre” which means “I have a man.” This is one you don’t really want to mix up!
Embarazada = pregnant, NOT embarrassed! So many people have made the mistake of saying they were “embarazada” thinking they were saying they were embarrassed however what they have actually said is “I am pregnant”. This would be especially embarrassing mistake to make for men!
If you want to say “you are feeling hot”, in Spanish you say “Tengo calor” – Literally, “I have heat”. You don’t want to tell people, “I am hot” as they will get the complete wrong idea!
With just one letter added this totally changes the meaning. “Cansado” = tired. Casado = married. If you mistake this word you might end up asking someone if they are tired instead of married or vice versa which would be totally out of context.
año = year
ano = anus
When you tell someone your age, in Spanish you say you “have x years” so you don’t want to be telling them that you “have x anuses”!
enfermo = ill
enfermero = nurse
When you are feeling ill you should say, “Estoy enfermo”. You don’t want to say “Estoy enfermero”. They will think you are currently working as a nurse!
With some adjectives they change meaning depending on whether you use them with “ser” or “estar”.
Estoy aburrido = I am feeling bored
Soy aburrido = I am boring
So if you ask someone if they are bored, you would say “¿Estás aburrido?” If you made the mistake of using “Ser” and said “¿Eres aburrido?” you would be asking them if they are boring?
When you haven’t learnt exactly what this word means, you would immediately think it means something serious like “gracious”, however it actually means “funny”. Your reaction to this word may be a little strange if you think they are talking about something “gracious” instead of “funny”!