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Common mistakes in Spanish – H

Hacer presión

Use presionar, since it is simpler.

El gobierno presionó a los sindicatos.


Althoug this is a feminine noun, it is used with the article "el", as are other nouns that begin with A- or HA and in which the stress falls on the first syllable (such as agua, águila, etc.) Adjectives used to describe these nouns must be modified as they are with other feminine nouns and the article in the plural is las.

El hambre es muy duradera en este país.

Haber / a ver

The problem here arises from the fact that in Spanish the B and the V are often pronounced the same. The confusion that occurs in spoken Spanish can cause errors in the written language. 

Haber: Infinitive of the verb.
Example: Haber se escribe con "h" y con "b".
A ver: Expression formed by the preposition "a" followed by the verb "ver".

Vamos a ver este problema.


The form of "hay" only uses the singular in all tenses:

Hay tres personas en la habitación.
Había tres personas en la habitación.
Never * Habían tres personas


Although this is a feminine noun, it is preceded by the article "el". In the plural, use "las" and the indefinite articles "una" and "unas". More rules for these types of nouns can be found above with the word hambre.

Compró el hacha demasiado grande.
Tiene en casa unas hachas enormes.


The verb "hay" is never followed by the determiners "el", "la", "los", "las", but rather by the indefinite articles: "un", "una", "unos", "unas" or by numerical determiners: "dos", "tres"…

Incorrect: * Hay el coche rojo en la calle.
Hay un (dos...) coche rojo en la calle.

Hecho / echo

Hecho: Participle of the verb "hacer".
Echo: First person of the present indicative of the verb "echar":

Ese ejercicio ya lo he hecho.
Yo echo azúcar en el café.


We should use this term to refer to those countries in America where Spanish is the official language.

México es uno de los grandes países de Hispanoamérica.


Incorrect form of the verb "haber" that occurs due to confusion with the form "tuvo" of the verb "tener". The correct form of the simple past of the verb haber is hubo.

Aquí hubo un cine, hace años.

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