Monday, June 4, 2012

Common Error: "Sense"

A sign using the Cyrillic alphabet, which is used in parts of Europe and Asia. I can't read or understand this sign, so it doesn't make sense to me. (Image)

Welcome to Mistake Monday! My Spanish-speaking students sometimes say "have sense," but that's generally not correct. Let's see why:

Common Error: "Have Sense" vs. "Make Sense"
DON’T say this:"This question doesn't have sense."
"It just doesn't have any sense! Why would she run away and not tell anyone?"
WHY?-This is a fast correction, generally. The Spanish phrase "no tiene sentido" is generally translated as:

"It doesn't make sense."

The difference is obviously the verb. In Spanish, things "have" sense, but in English, they "make" sense.

That's the most common way to use the word "sense" in English, but you can also find it in phrases like...

"Use your common sense"

...which means that you should think rationally and notice things that are obvious.
INSTEAD, SAY THIS:-"This question doesn't make sense."
-"It just doesn't make any sense! Why would she run away and not tell anyone?"

Speaking of senses, on Wednesday I think we'll look at the five senses, so be sure to check back then.

If something doesn't make sense, you can sometimes say it's "nonsense," but be careful! "Nonsense" often refers to things that are stupid and pointless, also! (Image)

If you have questions or comments, please leave a comment or contact me. Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

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-Ryan