This blog post is from an email that I sent to my customers back in 2007 before I moved to Medellin and still lived on the Atlantic coast of Colombia in Barranquilla. The email covered the topic of a common mistake that Spanish-language learners make when saying “someone got married” in Spanish.
Here is the email that I sent:
Yesterday, I met a man from Hoboken, New Jersey named “Ben.” (Not his real name to protect his privacy.)
Ben asked me what do I do and I told him that I help people learn how to speak real Latin American Spanish.
When I told Ben that’s what I do he suddenly switched from speaking to me in English to Spanish and told me that last year he spent two weeks in a Spanish immersion program in Costa Rica.
So as soon as he told me that he had attended an immersion program before, I wanted to know is that the reason why he is here in Colombia now.
“No,” he replied “estoy en Barranquilla porque casé a una mujer de acá.”
Did you notice the mistake that Ben made?
I noticed the mistake right away:
He made the BIG but COMMON mistake of thinking in English but ‘trying’ to speak in Spanish.
To be more specific, he made TWO mistakes.
How To Say I Got Married In Spanish
Uno, he overlooked the fact that the verb “casarse” (to get married) is reflexive.
Dos, in English, we say things like “I married a girl from here.”
But in Spanish, you must say “I got married WITH a girl from here.”
So what is the CORRECT way to say what Ben said to me?
“Estoy en Barranquilla porque ME casé CON una mujer de acá.” (emphasis added)
I just wanted to share this with you so that you don’t make the same mistake that Ben made in Spanish.