Thursday, 23 February 2012

What Are You Reading?

Imagine you are reading something when a relative, a friend or a colleague stops by. The other person is curious and says to you: "what are you reading?"

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

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

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

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 reading. Perhaps you want to say that you are reading:
  • A book.
  • A book/ literary genre.
  • A newspaper.
  • A magazine.
  • A letter.
  • An -email.
  • A specific book.
  • A specific newspaper.
  • A specific letter.
  • A specific e-mail.

Here are some examples of how you would say what you are reading:
  • Leo un libro (I am reading a book).
  • Estoy leyendo un libro (I am reading a book).
  • Leo una novela  ( I am reading a novel)
  • Estoy leyendo una novela (I am reading a novel).
  • Leo una revista (I am reading a magazine).
  • Estoy leyendo una revista (I am reading a magazine).
  • Leo el periódico (I am reading a newspaper).
  • Estoy leyendo el periódico (I am reading a newspaper).
  • Leo una carta  (I am reading a letter).
  • Estoy leyendo una carta (I am reading a letter).
  • Leo un correo electrónico  (I am reading an e-mail).
  • Estoy leyendo un correo electrónico (I am reading an e-mail).
  • Leo "El Señor De Los Anillos: Las  Dos Torres" de Tolkien (I am reading "The Lord of the Rings- The Two Towers" by J.R.R. Tolkien).
  • Estoy leyendo "El Señor De Los Anillos: Las  Dos Torres" de Tolkien  (I am reading "The Lord of the Rings- The Two Towers" by J.R.R. Tolkien).
  • Leo el "Daily Telegraph" (I am reading  the "Daily Telegraph").
  • Estoy leyendo el "Daily Telegraph" (I am reading  the "Daily Telegraph")
  • Leo la carta de Pedro (I am reading  the letter from Pedro).
  • Estoy leyendo  la carta de Pedro (I am reading  the letter from Pedro ).
  • Leo el correo electrónico de Pedro (I am reading  the e-mail from Pedro).
  • Estoy leyendo  el correo electrónico de Pedro (I am reading  the e-mail from Pedro)

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

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