Some keys to conjugate irregular verb 'errar' in Spanish.
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Some keys to correctly conjugate in Spanish the verb ‘errar’ (to make mistakes)

The Spanish irregular verb errar (to err, miss, be confused, according to the main meaning), is one of the most difficult verb for a foreign speaker because of the present indicative (yerro), the present subjunctive (yerre) and imperative (yerra). But also, because of the difficulty in reproducing either the phonetics of the ye or i letter  and the double “r” (erre).

But cheer up! It is not only problematic for foreigners. Among Spanish speakers, it also creates difficulties because in some places in Latin America errar (to err) is conjugated as a regular verb and not irregular verb, so it is said  yo erro  and do not say yo yerro (present indicative). But in Spain it is considered incorrect to say or to write no erres  when what is meant no yerres or no te equivoques.

The mistake is greatly enlarged and can reach the category of nonsense if if errar is confused  with  herrar  (of horseshoe) by bad spelling or a homophony problem. For example, is it not wrong to want a surgeon oes not “hierre” ( to be horseshoe)  in the open-heart surgery of a loved one; or saying “Yo hierro” (instead of yo yerro) every day” and expose someone to answer and “yo cobre” (copper).

I have not mentioned the simple past tense because it should not present much difficulty, except when an foreing speaker tries to say “erró el tiro” (missed the shot) or “erró el camino” (missed the way) and almost always, he says “egó el tiro” or “egó el camino” or, also, “ero el tiro” or “ero el camino”.  The difficulty in the pronunciation of the double “r” (erre) extends to all the persons, times and modes of this verb.

So when the context does not help to understand, the simplest way of not having problems with this verb is to substitute it for equivocarse, confundirse (being mistaken or confused). When in doubt, I am wrong or I am confused (of course in Spanish )  is better than incorrectly or awkwardly expressing mistakes yerro, yerras, yerra, yerran.  And success is sure with a “no te equivoques” (make no mistake) facing  “no yerres, or yo no yerre, él no yerre or ellos, ellas or ustedes no yerren.

The same is in imperative mode: ¡yerra!, ¡yerre!  without talking of  the “erremos” or “errad” (not “eremos” or “egemos” or “erraz” or “eraz, nor egad)

Well, in case you want to practice these are the conjugations,  you can start by this, using the audio that PracticaEspañol of this post:



Indicative Present 

yo yerro

tú yerras

el, ella, o usted yerra

nosotros erramos

vosotros erráis

ellos, ellas o ustedes yerran

Subjunctive Present 

yo yerre

tú yerres

él, ella, ud. yerre

nosotros erremos

vosotros erréis

ellos, ellas, ustedes yerren

Imperative (affirmative) 

tú yerra

usted yerre

nosotros erremos

vosotros errad

ustedes yerren

Imperative (negative)

tú no yerres

usted no yerre

nosotros no erremos

vosotros no erréis

ustedes no yerren

The  Spanish verb errar, according to the RAE, also means vagar (to wander, to go from one side to another) or divagar  (to digress, to give free rein to the imagination), adds to other three Spanish verbs very difficult to conjugate: satisfacer (to satisfy), ir (to go) and zurcir (to mend).

Pía Valls, PracticaEspañol

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