Monday, 2 January 2012

Tell Me What You Are Laughing At


SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Something you have seen, heard or come to your mind causes you to begin smiling or laughing. The other person may be rather puzzled and wants to find what is causing you to smile/ laugh. He/ she is likely to say something like: "tell me what you are laughing at?".

He/ she could choose to be less formal and say:
Dime de que te ríes


Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
Dígame de que se ríe (usted)
  


OUR TIP

In this situation, your reply may be influenced by the more/ less formal register used in the question. However, it should be stressed that the choice will be entirely yours.

In cases like this one, it may help you to think of two types of answers:

1- Answers which include a reference to the other person. With this type of answer you MUST choose between talking to the other person in a manner which shows:
    • Less formality/ less need to be respectful or keep distances.
    • More formality/ that you want to be more respectful or keep distances

Your choice may be influenced by the level of formality in the original question. Sometimes, you will choose an answer which matches the level in the original question. However, you don't always have to do so.

Some examples of this type of answers could be:
  • Less formal answers
    • Me río del chiste que me contaste antes (I am laughing at the joke you told me earlier on).
    • Me río de tus bromas (I laugh at your jokes).

  • More formal answers
    • Me río del chiste que me contó (usted) antes (I am laughing at the joke you told me earlier on).
    • Me río de sus bromas (I am laughing at your jokes).


2- Answers which do not include a reference to the other person. In that case, you will not have to make any decisions about the level of formality.


Some examples of this type of answers could be:
  • Me río de un chiste que me contaron antes (I am laughing at the joke I was told earlier on).
  • Me río de las bromas de Pedro (I am laughing at Pedro's jokes).


Now you should practice answering the question:
Dime de que te ríes

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

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