Common Mistakes: Saying "hacer un error" instead of "cometer un error"



Hi, I'm Joel from Today I want to talk about a common mistake that a lot of Spanish students make.

Instead of saying the correct way, “cometer un error” which means to make a mistake, we tend to translate from English and say “hacer un error,” but that doesn’t sound good to a native Spanish speaker.

So, we want to sound fluent right? So we should say it the way they say it, which is “cometer un error.” So, that literally is to commit an error or to commit a mistake, which doesn’t sound that great to us in English but to them it sounds natural.

And after I learned Spanish, I actually went about 2 years without even knowing about this mistake. So you guys have the benefit of knowing now. I was in Costa Rica talking with my friend Shary and she actually told me, “No, it’s not ‘hacer un error.’ It’s ‘cometer un error.’” And I was like, “Oh, okay.”

So then I changed and stopped saying “hacer un error.” Of course, you know every once in a while it still comes up, but that’s normal. The important thing is just to do your best to get rid of that bad habit.

Ok… now I’m going to give you some example sentences…

“Estoy nervioso, no quiero cometer un error.” –I’m nervous. I don’t want to make a mistake.

“Esto es muy importante, no cometas un error.” –This is very important. Don’t make a mistake.

“Cometí muchos errores cuando era joven.” –I made a lot of mistakes when I was young.

“Podemos aprender de los errores que cometemos.” –We can learn from the mistakes we make.

“Lo despidieron del trabajo, porque cometió muchos errores.” –They fired him from work because he made a lot of mistakes.

Okay, you may want to practice this on your own. Write some example sentences. Repeat, “cometer un error, cometer un error.” Just repeat that 20 or 30 times. Whatever it takes so that it sticks in your mind.

Well, I hope that this lesson helped you. You can see more of my lessons at You can also check out my mp3 conversational course available for download. And there are also native Spanish speakers online that can help you practice and improve your Spanish and give you corrections. Alright, thanks for watching.


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