Syntactic errors

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Syntactic Errors

The purpose of the present work is to highlight the main errors that Spanish students commit when learning English as a second language. The examples that are shown are takenfrom different web pages, from exercises made by school boys, and from my own experience as a student. The sentences to the left of the arrow are the ones with the mistakes, and the sentences to theright are the correct ones.

“I have 21 years (old)” → “I am 21 years old” This is a problem of direct translation from Spanish into English. Direct translation leads to most of the errors thatstudents commit when writting in English, like in the example:
“I born in Málaga” → “I was born in Málaga”

Capital letters: Spanish children do not write the months of the year, the days ofthe week, and nationalities in capital letters because in Spanish it is not necessary, while in English it is an spelling error to write those words in low case letters:
“Monday”
“November”“German”

There are specific but common words in English that in Spanish are singular but that in English are plural, like for example:
“ People is” → “People are”
“Police are coming”“News is / are...” goes always with final -s
“Cattle are in the farm”
“Sheep and Fish” do not have plural form, no -s is added
“Furniture” is always plural and uncountable: “afurniture” → “some furniture”
“Everybody have” → “Everybody has”

Many other different problems with the distinction between singular and plural are:
“I want two thousands pounds” → “I want twothousand pounds”
“He likes apple” → “He likes apples”
“Ten years are too long for us” → “Ten years is too long for us”

Most students use to write the article in front of words that donot need it also due to the problem of direct translation, as in the following examples:
“The people are” → “People are”
“The military service” → “Military service”
“I like the football”...
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