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Would you expect an English tutor to write "I have x years old"?

Under the excuse that we all make mistakes, should we also accept math teachers who say "3*2=10"? How many times have you heard an English speaker to say "I have x years old".  Are we studying an inaccurate English in Latin America that teaches us that unlike in Spanish, in English we have to use the verb to be to express our age.  And finally,  English learners who book lessons on this site should not expect to find a tutor who offers English lessons and make basic mistakes? 

Nov 26, 2015 2:02 PM
Comments · 7

We all make mistakes. I've said some funny things. And, I've typed some funny things too. It happens. If you really feel that their English isn't very good then don't book a lesson. :)

November 26, 2015

As a native English speaker learning French I have the opposite problem.  I want to say I am 35 years old in French but it is NOT Je suis trente-cinq ans (the natural translation from native English) but J'ai trente-cinq ans.  A native English speaker would NEVER suggest saying "I have X years old" so I would follow Dave's advice above and seek out a NATIVE speaker of english for help.

To answer your other question, yes in English the "to + inf" form is VERY common and is a principal difference between English and Spanish for example:

I am going to go skiing next week.
I am starting to have feelings for her.
It's not going to be easy, but I have to keep working at it.
If you want to run a marathon you need to train for it.

Note that "be" is not the same as "have".   

   I am a baker. 
   I have a baking pan.


November 26, 2015

@Camilo:  The trial session is the potential student's opportunity to "test drive" teachers before committing to them.  There are lots of teachers and lots of different teaching styles.  In general I think the quality of teachers on this site is quite good, but there is a spectrum from language hobbyist all the way to distinguished educators with multiple advanced degrees.  In my opinion, this diversity is a very good thing.  It provides for  a wide range learning and teaching opportunities.  Because of this, as a student you have to be more proactive in your own language learning journey.  

I suggest trying out several teachers until you find one or two that resonate with you personally.  Unlike a traditional classroom, nobody is forcing you to take their lessons to meet any requirement.  One you have tried a few lessons you can pick the one that you like best.  Even if your English is not perfect, I think after some brief interviews you will be the position of evaluating what teacher and teaching style works best for you.

November 26, 2015

Thank you David and Clifford for your comments.  The thing is that someone who does not know English well is charging for teaching English.  I just saw that the scammers already started with their thumbs down.  @Clifford. Would you book a lesson with a French tutor who said "Je suis 35 ans"? 

November 26, 2015

I would expect that from a native Spanish speaker teaching English.  It makes sense.  But it also shows one of the pitfalls of learning a language from a non-native.  Soy diez años.... how does that sound? The biggest problem with that mistake is that it's about as basic as it gets so if the tutor gets that wrong, how well will they address more complex issues?

November 26, 2015
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