La Tela di Carlotta
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Common mistakes that natives make in English, Italian and Spanish

Oct 15, 2015

As a grammar lover, I do pay a lot of attention to how people in general write.

In all my three languages, there are a few recurring words that people—and I’m talking about native people here—often confuse, misspell and/or they’re just not bothered enough to write well. Truth is, it takes as long to spell right or wrong, and just a few seconds longer to check before sending. Why not do it? Let’s write well!

Of all the many mistakes that natives make when writing posts, emails, messages—also for business!—these are the ones that drive me absolutely crazy.

The contraction curse (English)

Often, we see things like C U to say See you. I personally try to avoid it, but it’s “OK”. What it’s not OK is not to use apostrophes—they exist for a reason!

  • Its VS It's.Its = possessive. This is a frittata and those are its ingredients.It's = It is. How's that cake? It's yummy!
  • They're VS Their VS There.They're = they are; I made cookies, they're delicious!Their = possessive. That's their car and this is mine.There = it refers to a place. Look at that flying donkey over there!
  • You're VS Your.You're = You are. Thank you, you're so kind.Your = possessive. Your English is very good!

The naughty accent (Italian):

This one’s a classic among Italians. Even professional writers get it wrong sometimes! If you read this, please write it correctly from now on.

  • Perché VS è The accent on perché (because/why) goes to the right; the accent on è (is) goes to the left. It's a small detail that makes a huge difference in your writing.Oggi è un bel giorno, perché c'è il sole (today it's a beautiful day, because it's sunny)

The malefic twins (Spanish)

B and V are very confusing sounds for Spaniards. It’s incredible how many people don’t hear the difference between the two (let alone write it). This is the most common mistake:

  • Haber VS A verHaber = to have in compound past. Lo siento haber tardado tanto (I'm sorry I have taken so long).A ver = Let's see (it's vamos a ver, without the "vamos" part). A ver si podemos ir (Let's see if we can go).

Bonus: The long lost accents (Spanish)

Tú VS Tu.Tú (with accent) = subject; Tú eres divertido (you are funny).Tu (no accent) = possessive; Tu casa es grande (your house is big).

Cuándo VS Cuando. All question words in Spanish get an accent in writing.Cúando vamos? Cuando llegue tu padre. (When are we leaving? When your father arrives).

If you, too, like to write well, tweet this. What are the mistakes that drive you crazy in your own language? Let me know here.

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Terrible twos
The organs of the body: workshop for kids
Kids understand if you give them honesty
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

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Pene e vulva: normalizziamo le parole
Con questo episodio inizio una serie di conversazioni a tema sessuale, perché credo che in Italia se ne debba parlare di più, soprattutto tra famiglie con bambini. L'educazione sessuale è un aspetto importante dell'educazione dei bambini e deve iniziare da piccoli. Un ottimo primo passo è proprio quello di normalizzare parole "imbarazzanti" come pene e vulva e sostituirle alle più comuni pisellino e patatina. Nell'episodio dico che non avevo trovato la storia originale in spagnolo della "gall...
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In questo breve episodio rifletto su una frase che ho sentito/mi è stata detta spesso per difendere l'educazione tradizionale (da genitori che crescono i propri figli con metodi più tradizionali come le minacce, i castighi, le punizioni ecc). Ti suggerisco anche come risponderei io. La citazione che menziono nell'episodio è una frase che disse la madre di Jane Goodall, antropologa inglese che ha dedicato la sua vita allo studio degli scimpanzé: "Se le persone non sono d’accordo con te, la cos...
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Nov 6, 2020 • 16m
La rabbia, le urla dei genitori e una storia tibetana
In questo episodio sono stata ispirata da una storia tibetana a parlare di rabbia e del perché urliamo quando siamo arrabbiati. Riconoscere i perché e analizzare le mie reazioni quando urlo è stato per me il primo passo per imparare a gestire la rabbia. Nell'episodio menziono questo articolo: Spiegare come funziona il cervello aiuta i bambini a controllare le loro emozioni. Mi trovi anche su www.lateladicarlotta.com e su Facebook e Instagram come @lateladicarlottablog.
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I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.