Friday, 17 February 2012

What Are You Listening To?


SCENARIO
Imagine you appear to be listening to something when a relative, a friend or a colleague stops by. Maybe you have headphones connected to your smartphone/ MP3 player, or appear otherwise engaged listening to something. The other person is curious and says to you: "what are you listening to?"


In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
¿Qué escuchas?*

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
¿Que escucha (usted)?*


*NB In Spanish, it is quite common to use this form of the question ("what do you listen to?"), even though what is really meant (in English) is: "what are you listening to?".


OUR TIP
The first thing to note is that you DO NOT need to be concerned about the level of formality in the other person's question. Your main concern should be about communicating what you are listening to. Perhaps you want to say that:
  • You are listening to a general audio source, like the radio.
  • You are are listening to some type of audio, for example music.
  • You are listening to a specific musical genre.
  • You are listening to a specific music artist
  • You are listening to a specific song by a given artist.

Here are some examples of how you would say what you are listening to:
  • Escucho la radio (I am listening to the radio).
  • Estoy escuchando la radio (I am listening to the radio)
  • Escucho música  (I am listening to music).
  • Estoy escuchando música (I am listening to music).
  • Escucho música clásica  (I am listening to classical music).
  • Estoy escuchando música clásica  (I am listening to classical music).
  • Escucho a Shakira  (I am listening to Shakira).
  • Estoy escuchando a Shakira (I am listening to Shakira).
  • Escucho la canción "Me Gustas Tú" de Manu Chao  (I am listening to the song " Me Gustas Tú" by Manu Chao).
  • Estoy escuchando  la canción "Me Gustas Tú" de Manu Chao  (I am listening to the song "Me Gustas Tú" by Manu Chao).


    Now you should practice answering the question:
    ¿Qué escuchas?



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