Speed Up Your Spanish: Strategies to Avoid Common Errors, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Speed Up Your Spanish

Strategies to Avoid Common Errors, 1st Edition

By Javier Muñoz-Basols, Marianne David, Olga Núñez Piñeiro


260 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2009-09-29
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‘Excellent book. The chapters put together and systematise a lot of material that is often taught in an anecdotal or haphazard sort of way, if at all. Students will learn a great deal from the book and have their confidence in using Spanish considerably boosted as a result.’ – Jonathan Thacker, Merton College, University of Oxford, UK

‘An invaluable, highly original and methodically sound approach to correcting and eliminating common, yet difficult-to-eliminate errors.’ – Manuel Delgado, Bucknell University, USA

‘The user-friendly format and page layout makes Speed Up Your Spanish a highly practical reference source for students and teachers.’– Ma Victoria García Serrano, University of Pennsylvania, USA

False friends, idiomatic expressions, gender and capitalization are just some of the areas that cause confusion for students of Spanish. Learning how to avoid the common errors that arise repeatedly in these areas is an essential step for successful language learning.

Speed Up Your Spanish is a unique and innovative resource that identifies and explains such errors, thereby enabling students of Spanish to learn from their mistakes while enhancing their understanding of the Spanish language.

Each of the nine chapters focuses on a grammatical category where English speakers typically make mistakes in Spanish. Each chapter is divided into sections that classify the concepts and errors into subcategories. Full explanations are provided throughout with clear, comprehensive examples and exercises to help the learner gain an in-depth understanding of Spanish grammar and usage.

Key features:

  • carefully selected grammar topics and examples based on the most commonly made errors
  • exercises throughout to reinforce learning
  • shortcuts and mnemonic devices providing vital learning strategies
  • a Companion Website available at www.speedupyourspanish.com providing supplementary exercises as well as audio files.

Suitable both for classroom use or self-study, Speed Up Your Spanish is the ideal resource for all intermediate learners of Spanish wishing to refine their language skills.

Javier Muñoz-Basols is an Instructor in Spanish at the University of Oxford.

Marianne David teaches Spanish at the Trinity School in New York.

Olga Núñez Piñeiro is Senior Lecturer in Spanish at the University of Westminster.


"La estructura del manual es muy clara y permite al lector introducirse progresivamente en él de manera sencilla y entretenida. […] Todos los capítulos tienen un fuerte componente didáctico y pedagógico, ya que están pensados para captar la atención del estudiante, entretenerlo, y hacer que se identifique en el tipo de situaciones comunicativas propuestas. […]

Las secciones denominadas "Mnemonic devices" ofrecen al lector unas estrategias sencillas para memorizar las normas gramaticales y sus excepciones y, al mismo tiempo, estimulan el lector para que vaya elaborando sus propias estrategias. […] El objetivo de los autores es que los alumnos sean capaces de ver y comprender las similitudes y diferencias que existen entre las dos lenguas. […]

Se trata de un producto completo, bien estructurado y de práctica consulta que resultará de gran utilidad para estudiantes anglosajones que deseen perfeccionar su conocimiento de la lengua." -Gironzetti, Elisa. Reseña de "Speed Up Your Spanish. Strategies to Avoid Common Errors". Revista RedELE 19. Junio 2010.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Gender and Number 2. Mastering False Friends – Verbs 3. Mastering False Friends – Nouns 4. Mastering False Friends – Adjectives and Adverbs 5. Verb Pairs and Other Misused Words 6. Common Verb Phrases and Idiomatic Expressions 7. Non-existent Words, Words with Double Meanings and Other Misused Expressions 8. Accents (with audio files) 9. Spelling and Punctuation (with audio files); Answer key (book and website exercises) Index

About the Originator

About the Series

Speed up your Language Skills

The Speed Up Your Language Skills series publishes innovative, high quality textbooks focusing on common errors as an effective tool to improve one’s skills in a foreign language. Such errors are often either driven by linguistic transfer from English or caused by common misperceptions about the grammatical structure of a foreign language.

The primary objectives of the series are to explain and illustrate in context the most common errors made by English-speaking students in a foreign language and to classify them in easy-to-reference categories. Students can thus learn the appropriate usage of words and expressions and understand the reasons why they persistently make the same mistakes. The inclusion of exercises, shortcuts, mnemonic devices and much-needed strategies, not usually seen in conventional grammar books, facilitates vocabulary acquisition and mastery of essential grammatical elements.

Books in the series are intended as primary or supplementary texts at the intermediate and advanced levels. Due to its self-explanatory approach and user-friendly format, the series is also recommended for self-learners who wish to "speed up" their language skills. Proposals for the series will be welcomed by the Series Editor.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: