Thursday, 28 January 2016

Tell Me, Who Will Most Likely Set The Table?

Introduction
Verbo: Poner
Tipo: irregular
Modo: subjuntivo
Tiempo: presente (present tense)

This post is about verb conjugation -the present tense, subjunctive mood of irregular verb poner.


SCENARIO

Imagine you are talking to relatives, friends or colleagues. You are contemplating a group meal -something you do on a regular basis at someone's house. You are speculating about who will prepare the food this time, who would set the table, etcetera, when someone says to you: "tell me, who will most likely set the table?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
Dime, ¿quién es más probable que ponga la mesa?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
Dígame, ¿quién es más probable que ponga la mesa?


OUR TIP

Making a sentence which answers that question should be straightforward, but remember:
  • 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:
  • Lo más probable es que yo ponga* la mesa (it is most likely that I will set the table)
  • Lo más probable es que tú pongas* la mesa, ¿no? (it is most likely that you -familiar will set the table, isn't it?)
  • Lo más probable es que usted ponga* la mesa, ¿no? (it is most likely that you -formal will set the table, isn't it?)
  • Lo más probable es que Pedro ponga* la mesa (it is most likely that Pedro will set the table)
  • Lo más probable es que María ponga* la mesa (it is most likely that Maria will set the table)
  • Lo más probable es que Pedro y yo pongamos* la mesa (it is most likely that Pedro and I will set the table)
  • Lo más probable es que vosotros pongáis* la mesa, ¿no? (it is most likely that you people -familiar/ plural will set the table, isn't it?)
  • Lo más probable es que ustedes pongan* la mesa, ¿no? (it is most likely that you people -formal/ plural will set the table, isn't it?)
  • Lo más probable es que Pedro y María pongan* la mesa (it is most likely that Pedro and María will set the table)

Now you should practise replying to someone who says to you:
Dime, ¿quién es más probable que ponga la mesa?

*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: poner
The Spanish verb poner 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


* NB:
  • Conjugate tenses in the regular column the same as other regular verbs ending in -er
  • The present tense conjugation/ subjunctive mood is shown below


Subjunctive Mood/ Present Tense - Conjugation
    Verb: poner
Subject
PONER
(TO PUT)
I
Yo
PONGA
You
PONGAS
You
Usted*

PONGA
He
Él
She
Ella
We
Nosotros
PONGAMOS
You
Vosotros**
PONGÁIS
You
Ustedes***
PONGAN
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 present tense of the irregular verb poner with some examples of your own.

Spanish lessons online
Skype/ Google+ Hangout/ Facetime
Great lessons

© Copyright 2016 Love-Spanish.com by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Madrugada

Today's word is: Madrugada
Clase: sustantivo (noun)
Género: femenino (feminine)
Origen: latín (Latin)


In Spanish, “madrugada” is a feminine noun of Latin origin which means dawn, early morning or sunrise, and could be used as in:
  • Al llegar la madrugada (when dawn breaks)


In Spanish, the action word/ verb “madrugar” is a related word meaning to get up early or rise early, and used as in:
  • A quien madruga Dios le ayuda (Spanish proverb -see notes below)
  • No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano (Spanish proverb -see notes below)


In Spanish, the describing word/ adjective “madrugador”/ “madrugadora” is a related word meaning early-rising, or 'early bird' and used as in:
  • Pedro es muy madrugador (Pedro is a very early-riser/ an early bird)
  • María es muy madrugadora (María is a very early-riser/ an early bird)


Spanish expressions with the word “madrugada” are:
  • A altas horas de la madrugada (very late/ in the wee hours)
    • Llegué a altas horas de madrugada (I arrived very late/ in the wee hours)
    • Estuvimos en casa de Pedro hasta altas horas de la madrugada (we were in Pedro's until very late/ well into the wee hours)
  • De madrugada (at dawn)
    • Llegué de madrugada (I arrived at dawn)
  • Las tantas de la madrugada (very late/ in the wee hours)
    • Llegué a las tantas de la madrugada (I arrived very late/ in the wee hours)
    • Estuvimos en casa de Pedro hasta las tantas de la madrugada (we were in Pedro's until very late/ well into the wee hours)
    • Nos dieron las tantas de la madrugada en casa de Pedro (it was very late/it was the wee hours and we were still in Pedro's)


Notes
Spanish proverbs
Proverb 1.- A quien madruga Dios le ayuda
Imagine someone ruing an unsuccessful outcome in a recent contest. Success had been up for grabs but he/ she had been pipped to the post by someone else. In your opinion, failure had been mostly due to indecision. He/ she had been too slow and had been beaten by someone more switched on/ smarter. Maybe in English you would remind him/ her that 'the early bird catches the worm'... in Spanish you could say: A quien madruga Dios le ayuda
Proverb 2.- No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano
Imagine someone almost the opposite from the scenario above. Here is someone whose overeagerness and impatience appear to be getting in the way of success. You want to advise patience and suggest that haste does not always guarantee a faster outcome. Perhaps in English you would remind him/ her that 'the early bird doesn't always catch the worm' ... in Spanish you could say: No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano


Love-Spanish.com loves the word "madrugada" in the YouTube clip: Amaral - Esta Madrugada

For more on the word "madrugada", visit: Wordreference.com/es/en/ Madrugada

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

Spanish lessons online
Skype/ Google+ Hangout/ Facetime
Great lessons
© Copyright 2016 Love-Spanish.com by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

What Is The Weather Like Today?

Introduction


This post aims to help with a simple interaction which could arise when talking on the phone or chatting online.





SCENARIO



Imagine you are talking on the phone/ chatting online to a relative, a friend or colleague. Maybe you are making small talk. At some point, the other person says: "what is the weather like today?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to say:
¿Qué tiempo hace hoy?




OUR TIP

The question is an invitation for you to state what the weather is like today.


Here are common ways of describing the weather at present in Spanish:
  • El cielo está despejado (the sky is clear)
  • Está granizando (there are hailstone)
  • Está lloviendo (it is raining)
  • Está lloviendo a cántaros (it is raining cats and dogs)
  • Está lloviznando (it is drizzly)
  • Está nevando (it is snowing)
  • Está nublado (it is cloudy)
  • Está tronando (it is thundery)
  • Está un poco nublado (it is a little cloudy)
  • Estamos a 250 C (the temperature is 250 C)
  • Estamos a 20 C bajo cero (the temperature is 20 C below zero)
  • Hace calor (it is warm/ hot)
  • Hace fresco (it is cool)
  • Hace frío (it is cold)
  • Hace mucho calor (it is very hot)
  • Hace mucho frío (it is very cold)
  • Hace mucho viento (it is very windy)
  • Hace sol (it is sunny)
  • Hace un poco calor (it is a bit hot)
  • Hace un poco fresco (it is bit cool)
  • Hace un poco frío (it is a bit cold)
  • Hace un poco viento (it is a bit windy)
  • Hace viento (it is windy)
  • Hay tormenta (it is stormy)
  • Hay niebla (it is foggy)
  • Hay neblina (it is misty)
  • Hay relámpagos (lightening is striking)
  • Graniza (there are hailstone)
  • Llovizna (it is drizzly)
  • Llueve (it is raining)
  • Llueve a cántaros (it is raining cats and dogs)
  • Nieva (it is snowing)
  • Truena (it is thundery)


*Notes


It is perhaps worth remembering that when talking about the weather in Spanish we often use expressions which would make little sense when translated literally into English.



Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Qué tiempo hace hoy?

Spanish lessons online
Skype/ Google+ Hangout/ Facetime
Great lessons
© Copyright 2016 Love-Spanish.com. by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Are You Free Tomorrow Night?

Introduction


This post aims to help with a simple interaction which could arise when talking face to face, talking on the phone or chatting online.





SCENARIO


Imagine you are talking/ chatting to a relative, a friend or colleague. Maybe you are trying to make arrangements to go out. At some point, the other person says: "are you free tomorrow night?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
¿Estás libre mañana por la noche?

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
¿Está (usted) libre mañana por la noche?


OUR TIP

The question is an invitation for you to state whether or not you will be free. When you state whether or not you are free, you DO NOT need to be concerned about the level of formality in the other person's question.


Here are some examples of how you could reply:
  • Sí, mañana por la noche estoy libre (yes. I am free tomorrow night)
  • No, mañana por la noche no estoy libre (no, I am not free tomorrow night)
  • No, mañana por la noche estoy ocupado (no, I am busy tomorrow night -male: see notes below
  • No, mañana por la noche estoy ocupada (no, I am busy tomorrow night -female: see notes below)


*Notes


  1. You could state whether you are free/ busy at other times by replacing “mañana” with:
  • pasado mañana” (the day after tomorrow)
  • el lunesmartesmiércoles”/ etc. (on Monday/ Tuesday/ Wednesday/ etc.)
  • A specific date, e.g.: “el día uno de marzo” (on the first of March)
  1. If you are a female you should say “ocupada” and “ocupado” if you are a male.


Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Estás libre mañana por la noche?

Spanish lessons online
Skype/ Google+ Hangout/ Facetime
Great lessons
© Copyright 2016 Love-Spanish.com. by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved.