5 Common mistakes that Spanish speakers make when learning English

The following list includes some of the mistakes that Spanish speakers most frequently make when learning English.  English is not easy to learn, but with this list you can receive some tips that will help you to improve!

1. Talking about age

This seems to be a problem for many beginner English learners.  Many people forget to use the verb to be when stating their age and instead use the verb to have.  Don’t forget that in English we say, he is 30 years old and not, he has 30 years.

2. Adding an ‘e’ sound at the beginning of words

This usually only happens with a specific type of word – words that start with an ‘s’  followed by a consonant.  Spanish speakers tend to pronounce words like street, scared, stop, smile, or snake, as estreet, escared, estop, esmile, and esnake.  The reason for this is there aren’t words in Spanish that begin with an ‘s’ followed by a consonant, but many words begin with ‘es’ followed by a consonant (estrella, esmalte, esfera).  Try to break this habit when you are speaking English!


3. “Knowing” a place

Remember! In English we don’t meet or know (conocer) places! In English we go to, see and visit places. We can also be at a place. So, the next time you want to ask someone if they have been to a place one or more times in their lives or have plans to go, you can use the verbs go, see, visit or be. Examples:


Do you know Barcelona?

Have you met Italy?

Correct options:  

Have you been to Barcelona?

Have you visited Barcelona?

Have you ever gone to Barcelona?

Have you seen the Egyptian pyramids?

Missing subject

In Spanish, verbs are conjugated depending on the subject, so sometimes putting the Spanish equivalent of “I” or “he”  in a sentence is not necessary.  For this reason, sometimes Spanish speakers forget to include a subject in their English sentences. In English, a subject is always necessary.  When there is no obvious subject, people forget to use the subject pronoun, “it”. In sentences such as, “it was sunny yesterday” or “it is a bad idea to eat pizza every day,” it can be easy to forget the subject pronoun!

Forgetting the ‘s’ at the end of verbs

Many people make this mistake, not just Spanish speakers. In the present simple tense when the subject is third person singular (he, she or it), you must add an ‘s’ to the end of the verb.  This is very important, so you should make an effort to correct this mistake!

Incorrect:  He eat lots of fruit and vegetables.

Correct:  He eats lots of fruit and vegetables.

Incorrect:  The park have many places to sit and relax.

Correct:  The park has many places to sit and relax.

In the above example, “the park” is singular.  Therefore, we must change have to has.


5 Common mistakes that Spanish speakers make when learning English