As I am returning to Spanish studies after a long break, I have been saying "Si, hablo español, pero he olbidado mucho porque no practico". This sentence was well accepted, but recently a native Spanish speaker pointed out there were several errors in it.

Help, please?

  • 3
    Errors are kind of mandatory in these kinds of statements otherwise people won't trust you… – jlliagre Mar 14 '17 at 1:18
  • I agree with @jlliagre. Your sentence is actually correct. I would not complain about grammar, although there are several orthography mistakes. Have you tried using any tool (like Microsoft Word or even some spell-checking plugin from your browser) to check for misspelled words? Did whoever who said that there were errors point them out to you? Also, Welcome to this site!! Please, visit the Tour and Help sections to understand the philosophy of StackExchange. – Diego Mar 14 '17 at 1:31
  • What errors? It sounds OK to me. I'd just rather use olvidar as a pronominal verb (me he olvidado), but the simple form is correct as well. – pablodf76 Mar 14 '17 at 1:33
  • 2
    Olbidado vs olvidado although writing it correctly might worsen the pronunciation of a foreign speaker. – jlliagre Mar 14 '17 at 1:39
  • there are obviously a hundred different ways to say it depending on what exactly you are trying to convey, but the closest to your phrase (straight and to the point) would be "He olvidado mucho español por falta de practica" – Rostol Mar 14 '17 at 3:17

Si = if Sí = yes olvidar with V, no B. Those are the only grammatical mistakes, so you get:

"Sí, hablo español, pero he olvidado mucho porque no practico."

But if now you have taken it up again, that "no practico" becomes inaccurate. You can then say:

"Sí, hablo español, pero he olvidado mucho porque hace mucho (tiempo) que no practico."

"Sí, hablo español, pero he olvidado mucho porque hacía mucho (tiempo) que no practicaba."

"Sí, hablo español, pero he olvidado mucho por falta de práctica." <--- my favourite

"Sí, hablo español, pero he olvidado mucho porque no practiqué durante mucho tiempo." <--- overly precise... nothing wrong with it, but not so natural

"¿Hablas castellano?" "Sí, lo hablo, pero estoy muy olvidado por falta de práctica."

(castellano = the real name of one of the many Spanish languages) (lo hablo = I speak it [in reference to Castilian]. A good way to shorten) (estar olvidado = dubious construct, but heard often, meaning "to be out of practice")

| improve this answer | |

The phrase is generally fine, however, "he olvidado mucho" sounds like a literal translation from "I have forgotten most of it". If you want to explain why did you forget most of it, you can use:

Lo siento, he olvidado la mayor parte de mi español por falta de práctica

I think this one is really well and most native speakers will be impressed.

Lo siento, hace mucho que no práctico mi español

You can use this one. It is easier and gets the job done.

That will do...

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  • Hola Javier y bienvenido a Spanish Language. Interesanta respuesta, ¿te importaría darle a edit para añadir elementos que la hagan más útil para quien realizó la pregunta? Esto se explica en How to Answer, pero básicamente consistiría en añadir explicaciones, ejemplos, referencias, etc., que den más empaque a la respuesta. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Mar 14 '17 at 15:19
  • Que tal, he modificado la respuesta, espero que sea mas útil, en realidad, la frase que @Loz utiliza no esta mal, solo suena un poco extraño. Saludos!! – Javier Llamas Mar 14 '17 at 16:50
  • ¡Mucho mejor! Gracias por tomarte el tiempo en contestar, ojalá sigas aportando. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Mar 14 '17 at 19:56

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