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Spanish Matters - a blog in English and Spanish for those learning the language

This blog is entitled "Spanish Matters", because it does! Matter, that is. If you have committed to living in Spain, you should also make a commitment to learn some Spanish. So this is a blog about matters Spanish, as well as promoting the notion that Spanish does indeed matter. The blog contains articles in both English and Spanish. Don Pablo hopes it will be helpful to those learning the language.

The Three Big Problems in Learning Spanish 1. POR or PARA
Tuesday, November 29, 2022 @ 7:46 AM

By Don Pablo

When I was studying for my degree in Spanish back in the late 1960s/early 1970s we were made aware of three quite major problems for English-speaking learners of this most widespread language in the world.

Later, during my Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course in 1973-4, I naturally had lectures in Spanish pedagogy, ie HOW to teach Spanish.

The professor focused on the same three areas of usage which are deemed to be a problem for school pupils and students.

What are these three issues?


Over the next few weeks, in a series of separate articles, I shall tackle each in turn and hope that my thoughts are helpful.


1. POR or PARA

First up is POR or PARA. Both can mean "for", although they also have other meanings.

In the "Old Testament" of Spanish learning, A MANUAL OF MODERN SPANISH by Harmer and Norton (UTP 1935) the authors devote a whole 18 pages to the matter.

The "New Testament", AN ESSENTIAL COURSE IN MODERN SPANISH by H Ramsden (Chambers Harrap 1959) takes a similar amount of space.

My own university lecturer, Ken Mason, published his ADVANCED SPANISH COURSE (Pergamon 1967), in which he needs six and a half pages. 

But the best analysis I have seen is by fellow Eye On Spain blogger, mac75.

Therefore, I shan't attempt to better what mac75 wrote recently; I shall simply refer you to his article here: 


Keep listening and learning!


Tags: degree, Don Pablo, English-speaking, estar, Harmer, imperfect, mac75, Mason, Norton, para, personal 'a', por, Postgraduate Certificate in Education, PGCE, preterite, Ramsden, ser, Spanish

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