What is the hardest thing about learning Spanish?

The Hardest Thing About Learning Spanish

The Hardest Thing About Learning Spanish

Spanish language

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. While learning any language can come with its own set of challenges, several aspects make learning Spanish more challenging than other languages. In this article, we will take a closer look at the hardest thing about learning Spanish.


Question Answer
What makes learning Spanish difficult? There are various reasons why Spanish may be a challenging language to learn. Some of these include conjugation overload, knowing where to place accents, the rolled “R”, different dialects, and keeping up with native speakers.
What is conjugation overload? Learning a verb in Spanish entails much more than just a single word. In Spanish, verbs change form depending on the tense, the subject pronoun, and the conjugation. So, there are multiple versions for each verb, and it can be tough to memorize these versions.
Why is knowing where to place accents difficult? In Spanish, the placement of the accent on a word can completely change the word’s meaning. This is particularly difficult for non-native Spanish speakers as they are not always sure which syllable should be emphasized to pronounce the word correctly.
What is the rolled “R” sound? In some Spanish-speaking countries, particularly in Spain, words with “R” are pronounced differently. Instead of a regular “R” sound, the tongue vibrates or rolls in the mouth, which can be tough to learn and reproduce.
How is “ser” different from “estar”? “Ser” and “estar” both mean “to be” in English, but they are used in different contexts. Knowing when to use which one can be confusing for non-native Spanish speakers, as it requires an understanding of the situation and context in which the verb is being used.
Why is dealing with different dialects difficult in Spanish? Spanish is spoken in several countries throughout the world, and each region may have a different dialect or accent. This can be confusing for learners as they may encounter different expressions, intonations, and vocabulary that are unique to certain dialects.
How can one keep up with native speakers? Native speakers have a natural rhythm and speed when speaking Spanish. This can make it challenging for non-native speakers to understand what they are saying. However, the best way to keep up with native speakers is to practice speaking and listening as much as possible.
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Conjugation Overload

Conjugation chart

One of the hardest things about learning Spanish is the overwhelming number of verb conjugations. In English, verbs generally only change form for the past tense, adding an “ed” at the end of the word. However, in Spanish, verb conjugation is much more complex, and different forms are used depending on the tense, the subject pronoun, and the conjugation.

For example, the verb “hablar” (to speak) has several different forms, depending on who is speaking, and when it is being said. Here are the different forms of the verb “hablar”:

Subject Pronoun Present Tense Preterite Tense Imperfect Tense Future Tense Conditional Tense Subjunctive Mood
yo hablo hablé hablaba hablaré hablaría hable
hablas hablaste hablabas hablarás hablarías hables
él/ella habla habló hablaba hablará hablaría hable
nosotros/nosotras hablamos hablamos hablábamos hablaremos hablaríamos hablemos
ellos/ellas hablan hablaron hablaban hablarán hablarían hablen

As you can see, knowing all of the different conjugations can be a challenge for learners. One way to make this easier is to practice verb conjugation regularly and to focus on specific tenses and pronouns that are most important for your level of proficiency.

Knowing Where to Place the Accent

Accent mark

Another challenging aspect of learning Spanish is knowing where to place the accent on certain words. Spanish is a language that stresses specific syllables within words, which means that misplacing the accent mark in written Spanish can completely change the meaning of a word.

For example, the word “computación” (computing) has an accent mark on the “o” to indicate that the stress is on that syllable. Without the accent mark, it becomes “computacion,” which means “commerce.” These small differences can be challenging for non-native speakers to master, but it is essential to learn how to use accent marks correctly in Spanish.

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That Rolled “R”

Rolling R

In many Spanish-speaking countries, the letter “R” is pronounced differently than it is in English. Instead of pronouncing it as a single sound, Spanish speakers roll their R’s by creating a vibration in the tongue. This is a difficult sound for non-native Spanish speakers, and it takes practice to master.

You can practice rolling your R’s by making a sound similar to “d” or “t” while touching your tongue to the roof of your mouth. You can also practice by singing or listening to Spanish music and focusing on the sound of the R’s in the lyrics.

Ser vs. Estar

“Ser” and “estar” are both verbs that mean “to be” in English, but they are used in different contexts in Spanish. “Ser” is used to describe essential characteristics and permanent states, while “estar” is used to describe more temporary or changeable states.

For example, you might use “ser” to indicate that someone is tall or that they have brown eyes – characteristics that do not change over time. Similarly, you might use “estar” to describe how someone is feeling or their current location, as these are temporary states that can change.

Knowing when to use “ser” and “estar” correctly can be tricky for non-native speakers and requires an understanding of the context and situation in which the verb is being used.

Many Different Dialects

Spanish is spoken in many countries across the world, with each region having its own unique dialect, accent, and pronunciation. For example, Mexican Spanish is different from Spanish spoken in Spain, and Argentinian Spanish has different vocabulary and expressions than Spanish spoken in Colombia.

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While all these dialects share the same grammar and vocabulary, it can be challenging for non-native speakers to understand the different intonations and expressions used in each region. Exposure to different dialects can help in understanding different accents and making communication with various Spanish speaking people easier.

Keeping up with Native Speakers

Native Spanish speakers have a natural rhythm and speed that can be tricky to keep up with for non-native speakers. However, the best way to improve your ability to keep up with native speakers is to practice speaking and listening as much as possible.

Watching Spanish movies or TV shows with subtitles in your native language can also help you get a better understanding of spoken Spanish. Speaking with native speakers or joining language exchange programs is another way to enhance your listening comprehension in Spanish.


Learning Spanish can be challenging, but with consistent practice and exposure to the language, you can overcome these hurdles. Understanding the grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary can take time, but the benefits of being bilingual are vast.

Spanish language

By knowing the hardest things about learning Spanish, we can direct our focus to the areas that need more attention in our studies. Practice makes perfect, and with enough dedication and practice, anyone can master the Spanish language.


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