Hardest things to learn in Spanish for an English speaker

Spanish is a gendered language

In Spanish, every noun has a gender, e.g. table is feminine and couch is masculine. This can be very confusing for a native of non-gendered languages, like English. Similarly, the pronoun ‘it’ doesn’t exist. You will need to know the gender of each word and use either her or him to refer to it.

Grammar & verb tenses

Spanish has many verb tenses and each person is conjugated in a different way. So for English speakers - which has two verb forms in the Present but usually just one other tense - it is easy to be overwhelmed by 6 different forms in each verb tense.

Ser & Estar

Both translate as to be, but for us they have different meanings. Ser means to be (something) and estar means to be (somewhere). For us, there is no confusion. But English speakers struggle with this time and again because there’s no equivalent in English.

What are the easiest things about learning Spanish?

It’s easy to practice

If you live in the United States, there is a vibrant Spanish-speaking community. There are 41 million Spanish speakers in the US, plus 11 million speaking it as a second language (see, not so hard to learn!). But you’ll probably meet Spanish speakers all around the world and there are dozens of Spanish TV channels and media wherever you go.

The vowels are always the same

In Spanish, every vowel is always pronounced the same way. In English the same letters correspond to many different sounds, but in Spanish, once you have figured it out, you have really figured it out. Reading could not be more straightforward.

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