WHEN YOU WANT TO SAY ‘PUEDE SER’ DON’T SAY ‘CAN/COULD BE’:

Our Skype English students at Clasesinglesonline.com in Spain make this error a lot. If you just want to say ‘puede ser’ by itself in response to an affirmation, it is much better to say ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’ or ‘possibly’.

For example, if I say ‘creo que la economia esta creciendo’ and my partner says ‘puede ser’, it is much better to ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’ or ‘possibly’ since we are expressing doubt. ‘can/could be’ are OK and while you will be understood, it is not very natural. Hope this helps!

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maybe

COMMON ERROR BY STUDENTS IN OUR SKYPE ENGLISH CLASSES: COMMON VERBS WITH A PREPOSITION IN SPANISH BUT NOT IN ENGLISH:

This group of verbs is very problematic for students because you have a preposition after the verb in most, if not all cases, in Spanish. In English a preposition is not employed. So with the literal translation which students use at lower levels they nearly always get it wrong. So the phrase ‘he llamado a mi cuñada’ must not be translated by ‘I have called/phoned to my sister in law’. It should be ‘I have called/phoned my sister in law’. So there is no preposition after the verbs ‘phone/call’ neither after the verbs ‘access’, ‘attend’, ‘contact’, ‘trust’, ‘enter’, ‘influence’ ‘threaten’ or ‘ask’. However, be careful. Sometimes the verb can have a preposition switching the meaning of the verb. For example, when ‘attend’ means ‘asistir’ no preposition is used but when it means less commonly ’to deal with or help something or someone’ then we use the preposition ‘to’. For example, ‘the staff will attend to any problems you may have’.

Also, ‘to ask’ is a special case like ‘to attend’ as it can take a preposition in one context. This changes the meaning. For example, when you ‘ask for something or someone’ then the verb does in fact have a preposition and as you might have guessed, the preposition ‘for’ should be employed. An example would be when you ‘ask for a return ticket to Oslo’ or ‘she asked for 2 beers’. This can be roughly translated by ‘pedir algo’ in the sense of ‘to request something’. However, when you ‘preguntar a alguien’, ‘to enquire’ or ‘ask somebody’ then the preposition ‘for’ should be omitted. There should be no preposition directly after ‘to ask’ in this instance. For example, ‘I asked Jim to help’ or ‘she asked the police officer about the crime’. Another example is with the phrase ‘he preguntado a mi jefe’. It must not be translated by ‘I have asked to my boss’. It should be ‘I have asked my boss’.

A list of some of the most common verbs (along with their meanings in Spanish) that don´t take a preposition in English but can in Spanish, can be found below.

To discuss (discutir sobre)

To assist/help (asistir a)

To approach (acercar a)

To appreciate (apreciar a)

To stop (dejar de)

To invite (invitar a)

To remember (acordarse de)

To regret (arrepentirse de)

To cease (cesar de)

To leave (salir de, dejar de)

To pay (pagar a)

To affect (afectar a)

To visit (visitor a)

To contact (contactar con)

To convince (convencer a)

To impact (impactar a)

To control (controlar a)

To teach (enseñar a)

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prepositions

COMMON MISTAKE IN ENGLISH: TRANSLATING ‘OPERAR’ (TO OPERATE ON):

Unfortunately, in our Skype English classes online students have issues translating the verb ‘operar’. We don’t simply translate the word ‘operar’ just by the word ‘operate’ when we’re talking about getting some part of your body fixed. We have to add the preposition ‘on’. Thus the verb in English is ‘to operate on’. So we wouldn’t say ‘I will have my knee operated tomorrow’ but we would use the following phrase: ‘I will have my knee operated on tomorrow’.

In addition, and perhaps more simply, we have the option of not using the phrasal verb ‘to operate on’ and instead we can use ‘to have’. Thus: ‘I will have a knee operation tomorrow’.

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operation

‘CARRERA’ IS A FALSE FRIEND:

‘CARRERA’ IS A FALSE FRIEND:

In our Skype English online classesSpanish students often wrongly translate ‘carrera’. One of the meanings of ‘carrera’ in Spanish refers to studies which are done at university whilst this is not the case in English. ‘Career’ refers to your professional working life which is normally carried out after university, school or college is finished. It does not refer to studies done at university in English. When you study at university this is often called in the UK a ‘degree course’ a ‘degree’ or simply your ‘studies’. Happy New Year!

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3D Gradute