Friday, 31 October 2014

Friday 31st Of October 2014


Question:



How do you say today's date in Spanish?


Answer:
Hoy es viernes treinta y uno
de octubre de dos mil catorce.





Vocabulary notes:
  1. Today is = Hoy es
  2. Friday = viernes
  3. The 31st = treinta y uno
  4. Of October = de octubre
  5. 2014 = de dos mil catorce
  6. In Spanish, we say "31" instead of "the 31st"
  7. In Spanish we literally say: "of 2014"

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Tell Me, Who Was Tall?

Introduction


This post is about verb conjugation -the imperfect tense, indicative mood of irregular verb ser.





SCENARIO



Imagine you are talking to relatives, friends or colleagues about what you all were like when you were young. At some point, someone says: "tell me, who was tall?".

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
Dime, ¿quién era alto?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
Dígame, ¿quién era alto?



OUR TIP


Answering should be straightforward, but remember:



  • Use ser (not estar) in your answer.
  • Make sure that you conjugate your verb correctly
  • Choose between formal or familiar options to suit the occasion -see examples below.

Typical answers could be:
  • Yo era* bastante alto (I was quite tall);
  • eras* muy alto, ¿no? (you -familiar were very tall, weren't you?);
  • Usted era* muy alto, ¿no? (you -formal were very tall, weren't you?);
  • Pedro era* alto (Pedro was tall);
  • María era* alta (Maria was tall);
  • Todos mis amigos y yo éramos* altos (all my friends and I were tall);
  • Vosotros erais* todos altos, ¿no? (you -familiar/ plural were all tall, weren't you?);
  • Ustedes eran* todos altos, ¿no? (you -formal/ plural were all tall, weren't you?);
  • Pedro y María eran* altos (Pedro and María were tall);

Now you should practise replying to someone who says to you:
Dime, ¿quién era alto?

*Please see grammar topic below, Verbs

Verbs
A verb is a 'doing' word which conveys:
  • What action takes place in a sentence
  • Who does that action
  • When that action occurs.
In addition, the verb may also convey the mood or feelings of the speaker toward the action which takes place. The verb may, for example, indicate whether the speaker is stating a fact, expressing a wish or indeed giving an order.

Irregular Verbs
Verb: ser
The Spanish verb ser is irregular* in some tenses, as shown in the table below:

Tense
Mood
Regular
Irregular
Present
Indicative

Imperfect
Indicative

Preterite
Indicative

Future
Indicative

Conditional
Indicative

Perfect
Indicative

Pluperfect
Indicative

Future Perfect
Indicative

Conditional Perfect
Indicative

Present
Subjunctive

Imperfect
Subjunctive

Perfect
Subjunctive

Pluperfect
Subjunctive


Imperative


* NB:

  • Conjugate tenses in the regular column the same as other regular verbs ending in -er
  • The imperfect tense conjugation/ indicative mood is shown below

Indicative Mood/ Imperfect Tense - Conjugation
    Verb: ser
Subject
SER
(TO BE)
I
Yo
ERA
You
ERAS
You Usted*

ERA
He Él
She
Ella
We
Nosotros
ÉRAMOS
You
Vosotros**
ERAIS
You
Ustedes***
ERAN
They
Ellos
They
Ellas

*NB More courteous/ polite form of 'you'
**NB 'You' plural
*** NB More courteous/ polite form of 'you' plural


Verb Conjugation Notes
It is worth remembering once more that in its basic form (infinitive), a Spanish verb is just a general 'doing' word. In that form, a verb simply indicates an action and nothing else. If we want a verb to be more specific about the action in a sentence, we need to conjugate it. It is only when conjugated that the verb indicates:
  • Who does the action
  • When the action takes place
  • The mood/ attitude of the speaker towards the action

The conjugation tables above refer to using conjugation to establish who does the action. What follows below are some notes on establishing when the action takes place and the mood/ attitude of the speaker towards the action.

Subjunctive Mood
The use of subjunctive mood is disappearing English. Nowadays is often viewed as an old and unfashionable form of the language.

In contrast, the use of subjunctive mood is very much alive and in everyday use in Spanish. This widespread use of subjunctive mood tends to be the bane of many a learner of Spanish from the English speaking world.

The concept of subjunctive mood is perhaps best illustrated by contrasting its use against the use of indicative mood with examples in English. The following are a couple of examples which should serve that purpose:
  • Indicative mood (“Peter eats an apple”).- Indicative mood is commonly used to make statements of facts or positive beliefs such as this one. As can be seen in the sample sentence (in quotes above), the speaker makes a clear and unambiguous statement of a fact (Peter eats an apple).
  • Subjunctive mood (“Peter would eat an apple if he were hungry”).- In contrast with indicative mood, subjunctive mood is commonly used to make statements indicating hypothetical or non-fact actions. As can be seen in the sample sentence (in quotes), in this case the speaker sees the action of eating an apple as something hypothetical, something which may or may not happen (Peter would eat an apple... if he were hungry).
Verb Tenses
Verb tenses relate to setting the time period (when) during which the action of the verb takes place. Basic times (periods) for Spanish verb actions are:
  • The past (before now)
  • The present (now)
  • The future (after now)
Each Spanish verb tense corresponds to one of those basic time periods. In other words choosing a verb tense places the action of the verb in one of those basic periods and determines when the action takes place.


Now you should practise the use of the imperfect tense of the irregular verb ser with some examples of your own.

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Hora

Today's WOTD is: "hora" = hour
In Spanish, “hora” is a feminine noun of Latin origin, the main meaning of which is hour, as in:
  • El vuelo salió con un par de horas de retraso (the flight departed with a couple of hours delay);

The noun “hora” also means time, as in:
  • ¿Qué hora es? (what time is it?);
  • Es hora de irse (it is time to go);

A related noun is “horario” and it means schedule or time table, as in:
  • El horario de los autobuses (the bus timetable/ schedule);

Also related is the adverb “ahora”, which means now, as:
  • Ahora vamos (we are going now)


Some Spanish expressions with the word “hora” are:
  • ¿A qué hora... ? (at what time/ when?);
    • ¿A qué hora abren los bancos? (when/ at what time do the banks open?);
  • A buena hora* (late);
    • ¡A buena hora llegas! (you are late);
  • A buenas horas* (late);
    • ¡A buenas horas llegas! (you are late);
  • A eso de las** <hora> (round about <time>);
    • Llegamos a eso de las tres (we arrived round about three);
  • A la hora de... (when it is time to/ when it comes to...);
    • A la hora de comer no falta nadie (when it comes to eating/ at meal times nobody stays away);
  • A todas horas (all the time/always);
    • A todas horas pienso en ti (I am always thinking of you);
  • A primera hora (early/ first thing);
    • Llegamos a primera hora de la tarde (we arrived early in the afternoon);
  • A última hora (towards the end);
    • Llegamos a última hora de la tarde (we arrived towards the end of the afternoon);
  • Adelantar la hora (to put the clocks forward);
    • En marzo se suele adelantar la hora (clocks are usually put forward in March);
  • Atrasar la hora (to put the clocks back);
    • En octubre se suele atrasar la hora (clocks are usually put back in October);
  • Cada hora (all the time/always);
    • Cada hora pienso en ti (I am always thinking of you);
  • Dar hora (to fix an appointment/ time);
    • El dentista me ha dado hora para mañana (the dentist has given me an appointment/ time for tomorrow);
  • Dar la hora (to tell the time);
    • El reloj ha dado las dos (the clock has struck two);
  • Entre horas (in between meals);
  • Fecha y hora (date and time);
  • Hacer horas (to work overtime);
    • A menudo tenemos que hacer horas (often we have to work overtime);
  • Hora de llegada (arrival time);
  • Hora de salida (departure time);
  • Hora punta (rush hour/ peak hour -traffic);
  • Hora solar (solar time);
  • Kilometros por hora (kilometres per hour -speed/ velocity);
  • Kilovatio hora (kilowatt hour);
  • La hora de la comida (mealtime/ lunchtime);
  • La hora de la verdad (the moment of truth);
  • Millas por hora (miles per hour -speed/ velocity);
  • Media hora (half an hour);
    • Nos llevó media hora (it took us half an hour);
  • No dar alguien ni la hora (to be mean/ stingy/ a scrooge);
    • Pedro no da ni la hora (Pedro is a scrooge);
  • Noticias de última hora (latest/ breaking news);
  • Pedir hora (to ask for an appointment);
    • He pedido hora al dentista para mañana (I have asked the dentist for an appointment for tomorrow);
  • Poner en hora (to set the time on a clock or watch);
  • Por hora (per hour -rate);
    • Íbamos a cien kilómetros por hora (we were travelling at one hundred kilometres per hour);
  • Por horas (by the hour -rate);
    • Se alquilan coches por horas (cars are rented by the hour);
  • Ser hora de... (to be time for...);
    • Es hora de comer (it is time for eating/ the time for eating has arrived).
  • Tener alguien muchas horas de vuelo (to be very experienced);
    • Pedro tiene muchas horas de vuelo (Pedro is highly experienced);
  • Tener alguien sus horas contadas (to be very close to death);
    • Pedro tiene sus horas contadas (Pedro is very close to death);
  • Tres cuartos de hora (three quarters of an hour);
    • Nos llevó tres cuartos de hora (it took us three quarters of an hour);
  • Un cuarto de hora (a quarter of an hour);
    • Nos llevó un cuarto de hora (it took us a quarter of an hour);
  • ¡Ya era hora! (it was about time! -something is overdue);
  • Ya es hora de... (it is time to... -the time to do something has come);
    • Ya es hora de marcharse (the time to leave/ depart has come);
  • Ya iba siendo hora de... (it was about time to... -the time to do something was close to running out);
    • Ya iba siendo hora de irnos (it was about time we left/ departed -we needed to start thinking about leaving);
  • Ya va siendo hora de... (it is about time to... -the time to do something is close to running out);
    • Ya va siendo hora de irnos (it is about time we leave/ depart -we need to start thinking about leaving);
*NB Despite the literal meaning (in good time), the expression conveys the opposite meaning, i.e. late.
**NB When <time = 1>, i.e. when you mean to say “round about one”, you should change the expression to “a eso de la una”.


Love-Spanish.com loves the word "hora" in the YouTube clip: SergioDalma - A Buena Hora

For more on the word "hora", visit: Wordreference.com/es/en/ Hora

*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “hora” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

It Is Half Past Eleven

SCENARIO



Imagine a relative, a friend or a work colleague is asking you: "what time is it?"

In Spanish, the other person could say:
¿Qué hora es?



Now 'click' on the speaker icon below to listen to the other person's question.









The Time is:

The question above is an invitation for you to say what time it is.



Looking at the clock, you see the time is half past eleven, so in Spanish you should say:


Son las once y media








Now 'click' on the speaker icon below to listen to the time in Spanish.









Now you should practise answering the question:

¿Qué hora es?

If your system/ device supports it, you may use the widget below to record and listen to your answers.


Powered by Vocaroo


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Monday, 27 October 2014

Have You Been Rejected?

Introduction


This post showcases/ highlights a typical use of the verb dar*.






SCENARIO


Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a work colleague about something you have been working towards. It transpires that, despite all your efforts, you might have been unsuccessful.

At some point, the other person says: "have you been rejected?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
¿Te han dado calabazas?

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be more formal and say:
¿Le han dado calabazas?


OUR TIP

Answering this question should be straightforward. A yes/ no may be sufficient. However, you may use the expression dar calabazas to make your answer more informative.


Here are some examples of how you could use that expression:
  • Sí, me han dado calabazas (yes, I have been rejected);
  • No, no me han dado calabazas (no, I haven't been rejected);


Now you should practise answering the question:
¿Te han dado calabazas?

*See uses of verb dar below

*Verb Dar - Typical Uses/ Expressions

Dar alcance a To catch up with someone/ something
Dar apuro To cause embarrassment/ to make one feel embarrassed
Dar asco To cause nausea/ to make one feel nauseated
Dar calabazas To reject/ to give the brush off
Dar caña To hurry/ to harry/ to speed up
Dar celos To cause jealousy/ to make one feel jealous
Dar clase de To teach a subject
Dar corte To cause embarrassment/ to make one feel embarrassed
Dar cosa To cause fear/ unease/ discomfort
Dar de alta To discharge/ To give the all clear (medical)
Dar de baja To give leave (medical)
Dar de sí To be elastic/ stretchable
Dar envidia To cause envy/ make one feel envy
Dar ganas de To feel like doing something
Dar lástima To be in a sorry state/ to move someone to feel pity
Dar miedo To cause fear/ to make one feel frightened
Dar pena To cause pity/ sadness
Dar rabia To anger/ to make one mad
Dar vergüenza To cause embarrassment/ to make one feel embarrassed
Darse cita To meet/ to come together
Darse prisa To hurry up
No dar abasto To be overloaded/ To be unable to cope

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