The resumptive lo: a Spanish gotcha for English speakers

‘Are you mad at me?’—’¿Estás enojada conmigo?’ ‘I am’. In Spanish, the equivalent answer is ‘estoy’, right? Not quite. The correct answer is ‘lo estoy’. The lo in ‘lo estoy’ is called the resumptive lo. Like the last missing piece of a puzzle, without it, you can still see the whole picture, but it is …

Nifty tool determines CEFR difficulty level of Spanish text

My previous post introduces Common European Framework of Reference for Languages(CEFR), the de facto standard of measuring one’s Spanish language proficiency level. Now that a learner knows roughly their level of proficiency, they may want to know if a specific Spanish text is about the right level for them. Materials that are too easy or …

How is language learning analogous to learning to play piano

In many ways, learning a language is like learning to play a musical instrument such as the piano or guitar. You are learning several things all at once, a new vocabulary analogous to musical notes, a new grammar analogous to music theory, and a new culture analogous to music history. Piano learners are often frustrated …