Wed | Jan 23, 2019

Tell me if my Spanish is wrong

Published:Wednesday | February 18, 2015 | 12:00 AM


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.


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.


Kingston 6