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Time to clear some things up. When do we add that pesky preposition? When do we use “to” after a verb?

Let’s see: to tell

  • I told him not to come (correct)
  • I told to him not to come (incorrect)

Let’s see: to say

  • Here’s what I said to him… (correct)
  • Here’s what I said him…. (incorrect)

Golden Rule: to tell someone, no "to". And it's to say something to someone, always a "to" there. That’s important, y’all.

Bonus: To explain something TO someone

            To recommend something TO someone

           To recommend THAT someone do something

          To recommend DOING something

         To advise someone TO do something



Our Romanian commas are crazy. Commas everywhere! English commas have certain rules, though, like:


Russia, one of the largest countries on Earth, has a complicated history.

Silvia, the girl I befriended, is a citizen of Puerto Rico.

These two examples should always include commas between the parts in bold.


The final comma in a list of things:

I bought sausages, quesadilla, apples, and vinegar.

They ran, shouted, waved their arms, and fell to the ground.


Make sure the comma is in the right place, or else the meaning might change:

  • I dislike salesmen, like you: I think they’re all thieves.
  • I dislike salesmen like you: I think they’re all thieves.

Number 1) means we both dislike salesmen, whereas the second sentence means I dislike you for being a salesman. So watch it!


It is expected that our Mother Tongue (MT) might interfere with language learning/language acquisition, and linguistic problems differ from one nation to another.

In the case of Romanians (or other speakers of a Romance language), there is a tendency to omit the subject in a sentence. Compare, for example:

I like Starbucks, even though is expensive.

To the Romanian Îmi place Starbucks, chiar dacă e scump.

A cursory glance is all you need; it’s obvious why the speaker keeps making that mistake. There is no actual need for repeated use of the subject in our Romanian subordinate clauses. It might sound forced. English, however, is radically different from our MT.

How do we correct that sample sentence?

Add the subject. Always -

I like Starbucks, even though it is expensive.

English sentences cannot function without it – that’s why you always have to use it if you want to continue talking about something and you decide against using the word again in its entirety. Same goes for human beings:

I like John…is a good friend!

Ouch, that sounded wrong. How do we correct it? Yes, always add the subject. In this case, a pronoun:

I like John…he is a good friend!

Sicario opens with a definition of the word (derived from Latin, apparently). It means “hitman” in Spanish, and it's used primarily in Mexico, where gruesome drug wars have made the word ubiquitous.

Benicio del Toro, Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin star in a complex psychological thriller, una película muy violenta donde las balas – well, they’re the only real method of communication.

What makes this movie so hair-raising is its mature storyline (no spoilers here, por supuesto) and vivid representation of Mexico’s drug cartels. ¡Ay Dios mío! the grime is almost palpable.

I didn’t get to see this one when it opened in cinemas, but even at home, on a wide-screen TV, I managed to catch every single gory detail.

See for yourself:

Highly recommended, muchachos.

    I didn’t grow up with El Tigre (the Powers That Be claim it to be one of the better examples of lucha libre cartoons) but there I was, in middle school, saddled with ¡Mucha Lucha!

I guess it could be worse, ¿verdad?

It’s not like I didn’t enjoy ¡Mucha Lucha! On the contrary, it had its pluses and there were definite laughs to be had. Ojala it gets a remastering and a proper DVD box set on Amazon. But here’s the thing, pues, the show was downright loco. A bit too loco for my taste.


The show revolved around three kids, Ricochet, the Flea, and Buena Girl, attending a prestigious Lucha Libre School, the heart and soul of their world’s raison d’etre. Perdon, my French is acting up.

Think Harry Potter. Replace magic with masked wrestling. Eso es ¡Mucha Lucha! in a nutshell, jefe.

Why too loco? Let me see…

  • People never ever take off their lucha libre masks, not even at night.
  • Ricochet’s talkative Jiminy Cricket is an action figure that only he can hear.
  • The Flea’s signature move in the ring is apparently too disgusting to be shown on screen.

Major props to this show for teaching me some very outlandish castellano cusses, though.

¡Zapatos de ratas!

First on our list is a band that treads that fine line between hip-hop and hispánico - Ozomatli.

Ozomatli 2012.jpg

The name comes from the god of fire and dance of the New World, y eso es precisamente lo que quiere representar. It’s fresh, it’s alive, es Spanglish.

Their self-titled ebut album is the ideal gateway into this world, Bronx meets barrio.

It starts off with a bang, the kind of jam one would expect during un fin de semana. Fumes, mosquitos, scorching hot weather, broken hydrants. This is it.

And then it gets even more interesting. Enter the Rapper.

This one mixes the styles of the previous two in a fiery cumba de los muertos, y todo eso en la misma canción. ¡Ay, ay!

The band is obviously big on social justice and activism, y por ese motivo their style is an extremely refreshing and vibrant mix of cultures in the name of Progress. ¡Qué personalidad!


Let’s talk a little about Spanglish, tío.

Spanglish is the natural meeting point between two worlds. Una mezcla, you see. A real mutt language. North America and South America on a collision course spanning centuries. And the result? Ya lo ves.

In the following weeks, I’ll attempt a comprehensive dissection of everything Spanglish. Todo. Movies, TV show, books, music, you name it.

Names to look out for:


Mucha Lucha



Junot Díaz

Gloria Anzaldúa

…y mucho mas. Get ready!

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