Monday, 27 August 2012

Tell Me, What Do You Think About The Spanish Class?


SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Maybe you are comparing notes about the Spanish class you both attend. The other person wants to know your opinion about it and says to you something like: "tell me, what do you think about the Spanish class?".

In Spanish, he/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime, ¿qué te parece la clase de español?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say to you:
Dígame, ¿qué le parece a (usted) la clase de español?


OUR TIP
The question is an invitation for you to give your opinion about the Spanish lesson. When giving your opinion on something like this, 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 your opinion. Perhaps you want express your opinion as:
  • Statements of fact-like information;
  • Statements of value judgement;

Here are some examples of how you could reply:
  • Me parece que la clase de español es muy buena (I think the Spanish lesson is very good);
  • Me parece que la clase de español es muy instructiva (I think the Spanish lesson is very educational);
  • Bajo mi punto de vista la clase de español es muy interesante (in my view the Spanish lesson is very interesting);
  • Me parece bien que la clase sea los lunes* (I think it is good that the Spanish lesson is on Mondays);
  • Me parece muy bien que la clase sea por la noche* (I think it is good that the Sppanish lesson is in the evening);
  • No me parece bien que las clases cuesten tanto* (I don't think it is good that the Spanish lessons are so expensive);
  • Me parece muy mal que haya que pagar el curso entero por adelantado* (I think it is very bad that you have to pay all the fees upfront);

Now you should practise further replying to someone who says to you:
Dime, ¿qué te parece la clase de español?

*Please see grammar below

Grammar-Subjunctive
Please note these are typical examples of the use of subjunctive mood. As a rule, the subjunctive mood should be used in expressions of value judgement such as:
  • "I think it is good/ bad that something {has happened/ is happening/ will happen}”
  • "I think it is good/ bad that something {has been/ is/ will be} in a particular way”
  • "I think it is good/ bad that someone – other than I {has done/ is is doing/ will do} something”
  • "I think it is good/ bad that someone – other than I {has been/ is/ will be} in a particular way”

In order to express this in Spanish, you could use:
  • "me parece bien que <subjuntivo>..."
  • "no me parece bien que <subjuntivo>..."
  • "me parece mal que <subjuntivo>..."
  • "no me parece mal que <subjuntivo>..."
  • "¡qué bien que <subjuntivo>... !"

An example of this is the reply above:
  • "no me parece bien que las clases cuesten tanto".

Some other examples of expressions of this type in Spanish are:
  • Me parece bien que Pedro me llame (I think it is good that Pedro will call me);
  • No me parece bien que me hayas contado mentiras (I don't think it is good that you have told me lies);
  • Me parece bien que vayamos a poder viajar juntos (I think it is good that we are able to travel together)
  • No me parece mal que queráis eso (I don't think it is bad that you want that)
  • ¡Qué bien que Pedro y María estén contentos (How good it is that Pedro and María are happy)

Now you should practise this use of the subjunctive with some more sentences of your own

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