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Most common mistakes Spanish speakers make when communicating in English – Part 5
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“Thanks for call!” or “Sorry for forget the homework!” One of the more frustrating topics for English learners is gerunds (-ing endings) versus infinitives (unconjugated verbs). While most native speakers will understand you when you say “sorry for forget the homework,” it still sounds pretty awkward. Again, like many aspects of English, there is no clear cut formula or rule for remembering which phrases use gerunds and which ones use infinitives. It’s one of those things that you need to memorize and internalize bit by bit. Thanks for remembering to study, and sorry for not having a better explanation for you!
“Where is John?” → “I don’t know where is he.” Sentence structure in English is not easy. This is especially true when using some common expressions such as “Do you know…X?” Many students have trouble with what are called embedded questions, which are highlighted below in parenthesis. Some examples of these… He doesn’t know (where are we). → incorrect He doesn’t know (where we are) → correct. He asked me (how difficult was it.) → incorrect He asked me (how difficult it was) → correct Do you know (where does he work?) → incorrect Do you know (where he works?) → correct
“Thanks god that meeting was cancelled” The expression gracias a dios is common in both Spanish and English. However, many students incorrectly conjugate the verb when using this phrase. In English, we use this as a command, so you should always say “Thank god” without the S.