I love to help people with their Spanish. Every week I’m exposed to many beginners and people just starting their journey down the road to Spanish fluency. With that said, I hear a lot of the same errors over and over again. So this is the first of a new series of posts called Spanish Blunders to help you identify and correct (and hopefully prevent) your mistakes.
I also do a lot of socializing with up and coming Spanish speakers, and it’s not uncommon for me to get messages like this after a social event:
Tuve un buen tiempo
I had a good time
Bless their hearts, I’m so glad my friends are enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, that’s not how you say I had a good time.
In their defense this is a very common mistake, so today I’m going to talk about the right way to say this.
The correct expression in Spanish to talk about having a good time is Pasarla bien.
La pasé bien anoche
I had a good time last night
¿La pasaste bien?
Did you have a good time?
¿La pasaron bien?
Did you all have a good time?
La pasamos super bien en el cine
We had a really good time at the movies
Que la pases bien
Have a good time
Que bien lo paso contigo
I’m having a good time with you
No la pasé bien
I didn’t have a good time
Notice in some examples I used la and in others lo. So what I really should have said earlier is you can Pasarlo bien or Pasarla bien. What’s the difference? In all honesty, I would just chalk this up to a regional difference. Based on my experience I would say Pasarla bien is used in Latin America and Pasarlo bien in Spain. The truth is you can use which ever version you like, because at the end of the day, nobody cares.
You’ll see how fun it is when snows, they said. You’ll have an amazing time, they said.
Pobrecito, looks like he’s not having much fun at all.
Lastly, I’m going to point you to a book that will help you fix a lot of the common mistakes people make.
I have a copy of Correct Your Spanish Blunders myself. It’s certainly helped me out a lot. While there are a lot of Spanish books out there, very few of them give you the return on your investment like this one will. If you’re serious about learning Spanish, you need to have this book in your collection.
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