As I was writing for my Spanish course, I wrote the sentence:

Juego al tenis, pero no hacerlo bien.

I interpret this to mean "I play tennis, but I don't do it well." However, it was marked wrong. Why is it incorrect?

  • Short short answer: you forgot to conjugate the second verb. Minimalist correction: Juego al tenis, pero no bien. Sep 7 '17 at 12:17

Yes, it is wrong. Realize (I know I'm pointing the obvious here) that

hacerlo = hacer + lo.

The relevant part I want to point out is that you are using the verb hacer in infinitive, and that is not the verb tense you want to use (you would be saying the equivalent of "I play tennis, but I to do it not well").

One of the correct way of expressing it would be

Juego al tenis, pero no lo hago bien.

That sentence is using a present form, and not an infinitive1. You could also have used

Juego al tenis, pero no hacerlo bien.

Which is trickier, because now "saber" is the verb which goes in present tense and "hacerlo" is just a direct complement2.

1 You need to to move that pronoun. While you could have said "no hágolo bien" that would sound weird to most native speakers. Check other existing questions about pronouns.

2 With another tricky stuff: the infinitive has many uses in Spanish (can be used as a noun), so that verb "hacer" is the direct complement of saber.

  • Diego should you change CD by Direct Complement instead on the last sentence? One to say it all in English and two for readability.
    – DGaleano
    Sep 6 '17 at 21:41
  • Another alternative: Sé jugar al tenis, pero no hacerlo bien (literally: "I can play tennis, but not do it well").
    – pablodf76
    Sep 6 '17 at 21:59

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