fire and light

If you want to light a cigarette, don’t ask for fire.

Say Can you give me a light?  Have you got a light or a lighter?

Fire is fuego but it is also incendio.

Electricity bill (la factura de la luz) is for more than just light. And if there are roadworks in the street outside your house, you might have all of your electricity cut off, not just the light.

familiar

This means well-known. Its meaning is not associated with family.

Examples:

A familiar place/ a well-known place

A familiar person/ a well-known person

I’m not familiar with this place.

You can use the word family as an adjective.

Examples: 

family holiday

family finances

family day

 

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EXPLÍCAME

Explain me. – No, I can’t. I can’t explain you. But I can explain why I was late for the class.  In this example, me here functions as DIRECT OBJECT. Direct object is the thing you need to explain.

In the example above, the speaker meant me as the INDIRECT OBJECT, hence, it should have been “to me” NOT me. Explain to me. 

Concrete example:

Explícame la persona. Explain the person to me/ Explain (the person) to me.

Person is the DIRECT ...

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parents

Mis padres – parents (NOT fathers)

Most people in the world only have one father but Spanish people have more than one- when they say mis padres  as my fathers. This is a common mistake for Spanish people.

If you ask a British person “Do you have brothers?” (¿Tienes hermanos?), he might say Yes I have two not mentioning the sisters he has, because you only ask about brothers.

This is the correct one:

¿Tienes hermanos?  = Do you have brothers and sisters ...

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POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS

mío/mía/míos/mías = mine (NOT the mine or mines or the mines)

tuyo/tuya/tuyos/tuyas = yours (NOT your or the your or the yours)

nuestro/nuestra/nuestros/nuestras = ours (NOT our or the our or the ours)

vuestro/vuestra/vuestros/vuestras = yours (NOT your or the your or the yours)

de él = his

de ella = hers

de ellos = theirs

 

EXAMPLES:

¿De quién es este reloj? = Whose is this watch?

Es mío. = It’s mine.

¿Es tuyo? = Is it yours?

Sí, es mío. = Yes, it’s mine.

¿De quién son estas ...

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bribery

bribery- the act of practice of offering, giving, or taking a bribe.

Bribe- is the money or some other benefit offered to a person to induce to do something. Its synonym is suborn. (soborno)

to suborn/to bribe- sobornar

Even some native English speakers don’t know that suborn does exist in English.

Example: Police will let me off without penalty if I pay him a bribe. Policía me dejará ir sin multa si le doy una mordida.

 

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draw

This word confuses a lot of people.

Have a look at the examples below:

To draw a picture- dibujar

The cowboy draws his gun- means move that the cowboy was taking or moving his gun to shoot the bad man.

He was the fastest draw in the West- NOT the fastest drawer

Drawer– is not a person; this is something you draw (move) out of a table (el cajón)

to draw a breath- to take air into your lungs

draw (noun)– an informal lottery at a party (una ...

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driver

We’ve heard many Spanish people saying “Fernando Alonso is a pilot.” Alonso is a racing driver.

A pilot is someone who is licensed to operate an aircraft in flight and also who is licensed to conduct a ship into and out of port or through the dangerous waters.

Logically, a person who drives is called a driver.

Examples: taxi driver, bus driver, train driver, etc.

Also, driver means force. Example: a screwdriver- is used for forcing screws into wood.

 

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Prepositions of Time at/on/in

Many Spanish people are translating incorrectly.

For example:

El viernes-  The friday 

We need to remember that we cannot translate literally all the time.

We need to think that in specific day/date, we need to use ON. Examples: on Monday, on Friday, on my birthday, on easter Sunday, etc.

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