Sunday, 27 May 2012

How Many Neighbours Do You Have?

Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or colleague. Maybe you have moved recently and your relative, friend or colleague is doing a bit of catching up. Maybe it appears that you are now living in a very quiet spot. The other person says to you something like: "how many neighbours do you have?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
¿Cuántos vecinos tienes?

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
¿Cuántos vecinos tiene (usted)?

The question is an invitation for you to state how many neighbours you have. When you state how many neighbours you have, 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 the number of neighbours you have. Perhaps what you want to say is that you:
  • Don't have any neighbours;
  • Have a specific number of neighbours;
  • Still don't know how many neighbours you have;

Here are some examples of how you could reply, which deal with a variety of possible situations:
  • No tengo vecinos (I have no neighbours);
  • No tengo ningún vecino (I don't have any neighbours);
  • Tengo dos* vecinos (I have two neighbours);
  • Aun no sé cuantos vecinos tengo (I still don't know how many neighbours I have);

*NB For other numbers of neighbours simply replace “dos” with an appropriate number.

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Cuántos vecinos tienes?

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© Copyright 2012 by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved.

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