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English for Spanish Speakers

Este libro de Mike O’Neill es una guía que resuelve los errores y problemas más comunes del inglés, dirigida a estudiantes de cualquier nivel (incluyendo avanzados).

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1 To wait es la traducción de ‘esperar’ en el sentido de tiempo (ver TO EXPECT (3))

¡Paciencia! Tendremos que esperar.
Be patient, we’ll just have to wait.

2 Cuando to wait va acompañado de un complemento directo, la palabra for debe precedir al objeto. Si la acción es en futuro, hay que decir I’ll (etc) wait, no ‘I wait’ en presente.

Te esperaré después de clase.
XI’ll wait youX / XI wait youX after class.
I’ll wait for you after class.
Esperaba el tren.
He was Xwaiting the train.X
He was waiting for the train.

3 Cuando to wait va seguido de una clausula, hay dos construcciones posibles:

(a) wait + until + someone / something + el tiempo correspondiente del verbo

Esperó a que llegara su hermano antes de preparar la cena.
He waited until his brother arrived before making the dinner.

(b) Sin embargo, si se utiliza wait + for, la construcción es otra:
wait + for + someone / something + el verbo en infinitivo.

Esperó a que llegara su hermano antes de preparar la cena.
He waited Xthat his brother arrivedX before making the dinner.
He waited for his brother to arrive before making the dinner.


1 To want debe ir seguido de to cuando precede a otro verbo.

Quiero viajar por (toda) Europa.
I want XtravelX round Europe.
I want to travel round Europe.

2 Va seguido de un objeto y un infinitivo cuando dos sujetos diferentes están involucrados.

¿Quieres que te ayude?
Do you want Xthat I help you?X
Do you want me to help you?

3 To want to say quiere decir ‘tener ganas de decir’. To mean significa ‘querer decir’ en el sentido de ‘significar’ (ver TO MEAN).

No te entiendo - ¿qué quieres decir?
I don’t understand you – what do you Xwant to say?X
I don’t understand you – what do you mean?
No tengo ganas de decir nada por ahora.
I don’t want to say anything at the moment.




To watch es similar a to look at pero normalmente lo usamos para espectáculos de todas clases porque debe ir asociado a una idea de movimiento. To watch a person significa más que solamente to look at porque el verbo to watch implica seguir los movimientos de una persona, jarse en sus gestos, etc.

Miró la tarjeta con atención.
He XwatchedX the card carefully.
He looked at the card carefully.
¿Viste aquel programa anoche?
Did you watch that programme last night?
Fue vigilado por detectives durante dos semanas.
He was watched by detectives for 2 weeks.


1 Way significa ‘recorrido’, ‘ruta’, ‘ir a un lugar’. No lo podemos usar como sinónimo de ‘camino’ o ‘pista’; en estos casos debemos emplear path o track.

¿Sabes ir a Oxford?
Do you know the way to Oxford?
Hay un pequeño camino que lleva a la cima (de la montaña).
There is a small XwayX that leads to the top (of the mountain).
There is a small path that leads to the top (of the mountain).
No te puedes perder – solo tienes que seguir el camino.
You can’t lose your way (o:You can’t get lost) – just follow the path / track.

2 Decimos on the way to a place, no in. To be in the way significa ‘entorpecer’, ‘estar en medio’.

-¿La Garriga? Sí, está camino de Vic.
“La Garriga? Yes, it’s XinX the way to Vic.”
“La Garriga?
Yes, it’s on the way to Vic.”
-¿Puedes apartarte, por favor? Me estás tapando / No me dejas pasar.
“Could you move, please? You’re in my way.”



WELL ver también ADVERBS

Well es el adverbio derivado del adjetivo good, con el que frecuentemente se confunde. Solamente usamos well como un adjetivo cuando se re ere a la salud de alguien.

Juega bien al ajedrez.
She plays chess veryX good.X
She plays chess very well.
-¿Qué tal la película?
“What’s the film like?”
-Está bien / Es buena.
“It’s very Xwell.X
“It’s very good.
-¿Cómo está tu abuela?
“How is your grandmother?”
-(Muy) bien, gracias.
“Very XgoodX, thank you.”
“Very well, thank you.”

Es importante tener presente el orden de las palabras en las siguientes frases:

Habla muy bien el inglés.
He Xspeaks very well English.X
He speaks very good English.
(o: He speaks English very well.)


To wet es la traducción del verbo ‘mojar’ pero cuidado con la traducción del reflexivo ‘mojarse’ (que es to get wet) porque existe en inglés el verbo to wet myself / yourself / himself (etc.) pero significa ‘orinarse encima’!

Como me había dejado el paraguas en casa ¡me mojé completamente cuando se puso a diluviar!
I had left my umbrella at home so XI wet myselfX in the sudden downpour!
I had left my umbrella at home so I got really wet (o: I got soaked) in the sudden downpour!
El niño se puso muy nervioso y se hizo pipí encima.
The child got very nervous and wet himself.


Ejercicio 1.

En cada uno de los siguientes textos mira las palabras que parecen en azul y tacha los que no son correctas.

Texto A

I have to admit I don’t hope / expect to pass my exams next month because I haven’t studied hard / hardly. I know I should have / must have done a lot more work but I’ve also got a part-time work / job now, that / which is really interesting but also takes up a lot of my time, so that’s part of the problem. If I’m really honest about it, although / though, the main problem is that I’m not enough motivated / motivated enough to do / make the effort required to get really good marks / notes / qualifications in my exams.

My mum always says / tells me that the most important / the most important thing is to finish my career / degree and then look for a proper work / job, but you know how / what things are like: your fathers / parents are always giving you advice / advices but you don’t always take care of / take notice of what they say / tell you, do you?

Texto B

I woke up late and lost / missed the train, so I had to take / must have taken the bus, that / which takes over half an hour longer to get to the city centre. The result was that I arrived late to work / got to work late and the boss wasn’t pleased. He was even more angry / angrier when I told him I had forgotten / left my work mobile at home, so I couldn’t be contacted if I would go / went off-site. I then had a discussion / an argument with one of the senior guys in accounts who’s been there for / since over ten years, about something quite trivial, actually. All in all, it was quite a stressing / stressful morning!

Texto C

The better / best fillm I saw / have seen last year was Nebraska, a movie of / by / from Alexander Payne. The history / story is about an elderly man who believes he has won a large quantity / sum of money as a prize 170 English for Spanish Speakers in an internet competition, but all his family notice / realise that this is a scam, just a trick for / to cheat the people / people. Anyway, that / what the fillm pretends / tries to show is how it is never too late / too much late to improve a dif cult relationship with a parent. It really liked me! / I really liked it!

Texto D

One of the most interesting travels / trips I’ve ever / never been on was a ten-day holiday in Egypt many years ago. The first evening was / has been memorable – when we arrived to / at our hotel, it was / there was a power cut, so we were completely in the dark for the first twenty minutes, but fortunately we could / were able to find our room and let / leave the cases there before to go / going out to get something to eat. The problem had been arranged / solved when we got back and after that we had no / any more problems during our holiday, that / which was absolutely wonderful!

Texto E

Remember / remind me to send that report to head of ce later on this morning, do you / will you? It’s too / so important, and they’ve waited / been waiting for it for / since three days, but you know how / what my memory is like, so please don’t let me to forget / forget; unless / otherwise, I’ll be in trouble!

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