Tuesday, October 12, 2010

me gusta a...

Today I was working with a native speaking student (not literate in Spanish, but basically fluent) who had always thought that you said:

"me gusta + a + NP"

It seemed very strange to me that she would have internalized this grammar, but there's no reason it should seem that strange. The "a" is un-hear-able, so it's just as logical for her to think that we say "*me gusta a hablar" (incorrect) as it is for her to think we say "va a hablar" (correct).

I asked her if she would say "me gustan a los perros" or "me gustan los perros" and this was a no-brainer for her -- obviously just "me gustan los perros", so she really does speak the language correctly.

I'm sure this is no more strange than the fact that native-speaking English speakers mix up "they're" and "their", but I don't usually get to see these kinds of errors in Spanish so it struck me as interesting.

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