Does your Spanish interfere with your English too much?
Are you unhappy that your English still sounds kind of "SpAnglish" at times?
On this page you can find a growing list of the most common mistakes that Spanish speakers make in English, and ways to correct them.
Not reallly. This sounds a little off. The word “delay” is usually used when we refer to projects, transport, processes etc. When you can’t complete a task in time (in this case to reply to an email), I would suggest other forms such as:
- My apologies for answering late.
- I am sorry for answering late.
- My apologies for not answering earlier.
A student’s question:
I usually use this form to ask about someone’s availability for a meeting:
“Do you have availability next Tuesday?” Is it correct?
Well, I would not say it’s incorrect, but it sounds quite unusual to use “availability” this way. When asking about people’s timetables, the following would sound better:
- Are you available on Tuesday 20th?
- Would Tuesday 20th be good?
- Can you do Tuesday 20th?
Observe how “good” and “do”, which are basic and simple words, are used in business communication when confirming timetables and.
Note: If you want to use the word “availability”, then “What is your availability next week?” is the way to ask (instead of “
Do you have availability …”).
Spanish “somos” and English “we are” can have different uses.
Somos profesores. (job/description of people)
Somos tres. (number of people)
In English “We are + a number” usually means “We are _______ years old“.
We are teachers. (job/description of people)
We are 20. (age)
So, saying “We are 20 in the group” sounds strange a little if you mean the number of people.
If your focus is the number of people, you could say:
There are 20 people in the group.
If you want to include yourself in the group (Spanish “Somos 20 en el grupo”):
We are a goup of 20 people. / There are 20 of us in the group.
Note: if your focus is not the number of people but a definition (description) of the people you mention, then it’s fine to say “we are”, like in this example:
We are three math teachers who also like music and dancing.
This one is often heard in other expressions too. The problem is simple: in Spanish the word “no” is often used after mentioning what it refers to: “Comes fruta?” – “Bueno, cada día no.”
In English it is more common to do it the other way around, plus the word to use to express the negative in this case is “not”.
– How often do you eat fruit?
– Well … not every day.
Here is another example:
– Is there a shopping centre near here?”
– Not in this town, but there’s a new one in the next town, about a 10 minute drive from here.”
When an activity or a place is fun, it means you enjoy doing it or being there. That is you have a good time.
Playing board games is fun. / I like reading about dinosaurs. My friends find it boring, but I think it’s fun.
When something is funny, it makes you laugh. It means that it is humorous.
This is a funny story. / She is a funny person. / What a funny situation!