Spanish Grammar Guide

Common Anglicisms to Avoid

In this section: Description, Questions, Exercises


Questions about Common Anglicisms:

Q: Why is it Tengo 24 años and NOT Soy 24 años?

Some expressions that use the verb "be" in English require the verb "have" (tener) in Spanish. For example, while English uses expressions like I am hungry, I am thirsty and I am afraid (all with the verb be), these use the verb tener in Spanish, i.e.: tengo hambre, tengo sed, tengo miedo

Q: Can I write Él fue dicho la historia por su hijo?

No, although passives are possible in Spanish, the indirect object of a ditransitive verb cannot be the subject of a passive in Spanish, unlike in English. Instead, only the direct object can be passivized, e.g.: La historia fue dicha a él por su hijo.

Q: Why is it Ellos me lo dieron and NOT Ellos dieron me lo?

Object pronouns in Spanish must be placed before the conjugated verb, unlike in English. The only time they can go after the verb is when they are attached to an infinitive, if there is one present, e.g: Ellos querían decírmelo. (See more about placement of object pronouns at this link.)

Q: Why is it Te presento a Clara and NOT Te introduzco a Clara?

The verb introducir in Spanish means to introduce a theme/topic, not a person. Use the verb presentar means to introduce a person.

Tags: anglicism avoir être peur
In this section: Description, Questions, Exercises

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