Reglas básicas para evitar errores comunes
Es imposible evitarlo. Hay estructuras, palabras y expresiones que siempre nos ponen trampas.
Para sortear en la medida de lo posible los errores que solemos cometer, os dejamos una guía de actuación con las principales reglas gramaticales para que las tengamos siempre en cuenta y podamos, poco a poco, ser más correctos que los propios ingleses
¿Y qué mejor, que hacerlo in English? A por ello!:
Verbs (in third person) or nouns that end in ‘X’, ‘S’, ‘CH’, ‘SH’ take ‘es’ at the end instead of just ‘S’.
Ex: The government taxes you.
The Costa Brava has good beaches.
2. Prepositions: in, at, on.
In (dentro): months, seasons, years..
At: times, places.
On (encima): days, dates..
3. To ask ¿de quién es…? we say ‘whose … is this.’
Ex: De quién es este bolígrafo – whose pen is this?
De quién son estos libros – whose books are these?
We DON’T SAY: who is this book, who’s is the book…
Often, to answer the above question, we say ‘it’s John’s book’. (NOT the book of John).
If the name ends in S, we simply add an apostrophe –‘- but we still pronounce it with an extra S: Jesus’ book [je-su-ses]
4. Be sure and follow the sentence order: Subject – verb- object (adjective – noun) – place – time. In Spanish you can say entra mucha gente, but you can’t translate this as ‘enter a lot of people’. The correct phrase would be, ‘A lot of people enter…’
5. If you are talking about a habit, general truth or fact, use the present simple. When you are talking about an action occurring at the moment of speaking, or a temporary, unfinished activity, we use the present continuous: I am speaking, you are reading a good book.
6. After modal verbs like ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘should’, ‘would’, ‘may’, ‘might’, you DO NOT USE ‘to’. Ex: I should go, you would go if you could take the day off…
7. If the activity or action started in the past, but continues now, or our time reference hasn’t ended, we use the present perfect: I have seen 3 films this month (this month is not finished). If the action was carried out in the past, or the time frame is in the past, use the past simple: I saw 2 movies last month. (Last month is finished).
8. When you use the past, be sure to pronounce it correctly:
Want – wanted [guan-tid]
End – Ended [en-did]
Buy – Bought [bot]
Fly – Flew [flu]
9. ‘I used to do it’ means that I did it habitually in past. ‘I usually do it’ means I do it habitually now. ‘I am used to doing it’ means it is not strange or new to me.
10. Some adjectives end in both ‘–ed’ and ‘–ing’. When they end in ‘-ed’ they are used to describe how a person feels:
He is bored = he feels bored
When they end in ‘-ing’ they describe the characteristics of something.
The movie is boring.
Calculus is confusing.
They can also describe what a person is like: The CEO is really boring. (this DOESN’T mean that the feels bored).
You CAN’T say the film is bored. Those that end in ‘-ed’ can’t be used to describe a thing.