Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Tell me if my Spanish is wrong

Published:Wednesday | February 18, 2015 | 2:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I have watched 'Schools' Challenge Quiz' throughout the years. Anyone who calls me during a match is doing me great displeasure!

I have always had my concerns about Spanish, but Monday night's match forced me to ask if native speakers or persons with mastery in the language have a contribution in the writing of questions. Mrs Marlene Stephenson-Dalley read the sentence to be translated to Spanish: "I broke the toy." The Immaculate High School student who responded said, "He roto el juguete." That was ruled correct.

I read Spanish up to university level in the Hurricane Gilbert era with grammarians like Dr Sheila Carter, Annette Insanally, et al. I learnt about things that happened by accidents as opposed to deliberate acts. So breaking one's toy, in my mind, is accidental, especially if we are thinking of children.

FOUNDATION KEY

If I were the judge, I would have expected "Se me rompiÛ el juguete". In other words, "I did not deliberately break my toy; it was the toy that broke itself on me" - impersonal, as it were. It is like ripping one's shirt while retrieving a ball that has gone over the fence. One would not deliberately rip the shirt to retrieve the ball, but during the process, the shirt became torn!

I believe I was taught well the foundation having been established from Hampton School. Can a native speaker please tell me if I am wrong? I have listened for years, but no one else seems to have an issue with the quality, or lack thereof, of Spanish grammar.

BRENDA ELIZABETH SMITH

brendigo44@yahoo.com

Kingston 6