Getting better at noticing mistakes is one of the best ways of taking your Spanish to the next level.

This challenge has been carefully designed to do just that.

Here is a bare-bones example in English:

Sentence with mistakes: What is you problems?

Reference 1: Is this your bag?

Reference 2: I think I know what the problem is.

As you can see, the reference sentences hint at the mistakes in a way that is neither too obvious nor too obscure. The final answer would be:

What is **your** (from Ref. 1) **problem** (from Ref. 2)?

Now for the real challenge

Find the mistakes in these four sentences (in red) using the reference sentences (in blue).

M1: Después del cine, me decidí ir a una heladería porque hacía meses que no me he tomado un helado.

R1: Al final nos hemos decidido a empezar nuestro canal de YouTube.
We ended up deciding to start our YouTube channel.

R2: Me acuerdo de esas noches locas cuando nos íbamos a bailar.
I remember those crazy nights when we would go dancing.

M2: No estoy seguro sobre lo que voy a hacer en mi viaje próximo a México.

R3: ¿Estás seguro de lo que vas a hacer? No quiero que luego te arrepientas.
Are you sure about what you’re going to do? I don’t want you to regret it later.

R4: ¿Qué te parece si la próxima vez vamos a mi casa?
How about if next time we go to my house?

M3: Aparece un hombre simpático, pero si le dijera que he besado a su hija no creo que le haría mucha gracia.

R5: Las cosas no siempre son lo que parecen.
Things are not always what they seem.

R6: Aunque se lo pidieras de rodillas, no creo que te perdonara.
Even if you begged on your knees, I don’t think she’d forgive you.

M4: Este último parágrafo es demasiado largo. No sé cómo me lo puedo hacer más corto.

R7: Lo que más me gusta de tu libro es que me sale una carcajada cada dos párrafos.
What I like the most about your book is that I laugh out loud every couple paragraphs

R8: ¿Por qué me lo has dado sin funda? Ahora no sé cómo lo voy a tapar.
Why did you give it to me without a cover? Now I don’t know how I’m going to cover it.

To really squeeze the learning out of this exercise, do it in two steps:

  • In the first step, go with your gut and correct whatever you think is wrong without looking at the reference sentences.
  • In the second step, double-check your gut to make sure that each mistake you found corresponds to one of the reference sentences. If you have more mistakes than reference sentences (or more reference sentences than mistakes), you’re still missing something.

If you think this exercise is too difficult, focus on the reference sentences. Treat them as scaffold sentences and try to recall them from memory. Once you’ve internalized them, it will be much easier to spot the mistakes.

You can email me your attempt (or if you like public accountability, post it in the comments), and I’ll reply back with the answer key.

Have fun!