Sunday, 26 February 2012

What Are You Writing?

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

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

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

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

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 writing. Perhaps you want to say that you are writing:
  • A book.
  • A pamphlet.
  • A brochure.
  • An article (for a newspaper).
  • An essay.
  • A report.
  • A resumé.
  • A letter.
  • An -email.
  • Some notes.

Here are some examples of how you would say what you are writing:
  • Escribo un libro (I am writing a book).
  • Estoy escribiendo un libro (I am writing a book).
  • Escribo panfleto  (I am writing a pamphlet)
  • Estoy escribiendo un panfleto (I am writing a pamphlet).
  • Escribo un folleto (I am writing a brochure).
  • Estoy escribiendo un folleto (I am writing a brochure).
  • Escribo un artículo (I am writing an article)
  • Estoy escribiendo un artículo (I am writing an article).
  • Escribo un ensayo  (I am writing an essay).
  • Estoy escribiendo un ensayo (I am writing an essay).
  • Escribo un informe  (I am writing a report).
  • Estoy escribiendo un informe (I am writing a report).
  • Escribo un resumen (I am writing a resumé).
  • Estoy escribiendo un resumen  (I am writing a resumé).
  • Escribo una carta (I am writing letter).
  • Estoy escribiendo una carta (I am writing a letter)
  • Escribo un correo electrónico (I am writing an e-mail).
  • Estoy escribiendo un correo electrónico (I am writing an e-mail).
  • Tomo notas (I am writing/ taking some notes).
  • Estoy tomando notas (I am writing/ taking some notes).

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

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