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This is a deliberate practice exercise to help you bridge the gap between the Spanish you don’t know and the Spanish you need to know to get out of Intermediate Purgatory.

The three sentences below contain 10 mistakes in total.

Each mistake has a corresponding reference sentence that contains the correct usage.

You only need to do 3 things to get value from this exercise:

  1. Pore over the reference sentences until you think you’ve noticed their subtleties.
  2. Try your best to find the 10 mistakes in the mistaken sentences.
  3. Match every mistake with its corresponding reference sentence.

Example:

Mistake: ¿Cuál es la problema?

Reference: Tengo un problema.

Correction: ¿Cuál es el problema?

If you post your corrections in the comments, I’ll send you the answer key.

Have fun!

Reference sentences

R1: No me creo que no sepa lo que está haciendo.
I (refuse to) believe that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

R2: No es que sea difícil, pero lleva su tiempo.
It’s not that it’s difficult, but it takes time.

R3: Es la primera vez que me pierdo mi programa favorito.
It’s the first time I miss my favorite program.

R4: ¿Estás aprendiendo a tocar la guitarra?
Are you learning to play the guitar?

R5: Me paso tanto tiempo sentado que me acaban doliendo las piernas.
I spend so much time sitting down that my legs end up hurting.

R6: Antes del examen estaba muy contento. Ahora, ya no tanto.
Before the exam I was very happy. Now, not so much.

R7: Te puedo dar una aspirina si te duele la cabeza.
I can give you an aspirin if you have a headache.

R8: Ayer fui a tu casa, así que hoy me quedo en la mía.
I went to your house yesterday, so today I’m staying in mine.

R9: Estás loco si piensas que te voy a dar las llaves del coche.
You’re crazy if you think I’m going to give you the keys to the car.

R10: Dime qué canciones quieres aprender y te las enseño.
Tell me what songs you want to learn and I’ll teach them to you.

Mistaken sentences

M1: Quiero aprender utilizar esta programa porque no creo que es tan dificil.

M2: Me lavo mis dientes todos los días, pero ayer estuve tan cansado que me quedé dormido con el cepillo en mi mano.

M3: Soy loco por saber cuáles músicas van a tocar el concierto de mañana.

Pro tips

  • The faster you finish, the less you’ll learn. Use this exercise as an excuse to slow down and enjoy the self-directed learning process.

  • The point is not finding all 10 mistakes; the point is noticing something that you would have normally missed in the real world.

  • You can rely on your gut for the first pass, but then I encourage you to Google anything that you’re not sure about.

  • You can also ask natives, but figuring it out on your own is much more satisfying (and easier to remember) than being told the right answer.

  • On Thursdays, I post challenges. On Mondays, I publish articles worth reading. Sign up below if you want more Spanish fun in your life.

Get out of Intermediate Purgatory

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