Monthly Archives: February 2012


Estereotipos – Online Spanish Tutor – Intermediate (Podcast 10)

 

Estereotipos

 

 

In this podcast you will learn very interesting vocabulary related with stereotypes, where the concept comes from and how the stereotypes affect the society. We will also deal with a very useful grammar point.

If you want to exploit at most this audio, get the worksheet available where you’ll find the grammar point, vocabulary and expressions that appear in this audio and some exercises to practice your Spanish. You will learn how to tell a story and a couple of very interesting grammar tips. In the latter pages you will find some exercises to practice what you learn.

You can download the podcast here.

 



How to give instructions in Spanish

There are 2 ways to give instructions in Spanish:

1. Imperative afirmative

2. Impersonal “se”

IMPERATIVE AFIRMATIVE

The imperative is used to give orders, instructions, requests… The imperative has only 4 forms: tú, usted, vosotros, ustedes.

Regular

 

 

 

 

Remember that when the imperative is accompanied with pronouns, the pronouns are attached to the verb making just one word.

Example:

– ¿Cierro la ventana? – Sí, ciérrala.
– Do I close the window? – Yes, close it.

– Pela las patatas, lávalas y córtalas.
– Peal the potatoes, wash them and cut them.

There are some irregular verbs

 

 

 

 

IMPERSONAL “SE”

The word “se” has many uses in Spanish. In some cases “se” is used in an impersonal sense. The impersonal “se” structure is a way of talking about things that get done when the subject is unknown or unimportant. This is a very common structure in Spanish but English doesn’t have this structure so it is translated in different ways depending on the meaning. One of the uses, the one that is important for us in this article, is to give instructions.

Example:

– La paella se hace con arroz, carne, verduras y pescado. Primero se fríen los trozos de carne y pescado y las verduras. Luego se añade el arroz y el agua.
– The paella is made with rice, meat, vegetables and fish. First, the meat and fish pieces are fried. Then we add the rice and the water.

 


Comentar una fotografía – Online Spanish Tutor – Intermediate (Podcast 9)

 

 

Comentar una fotografía – 9

 

 

In this podcast I will show you how to describe and analyze a photo with one image of my favorite photographer, Henry Cartier-Bresson. You will learn very useful vocabulary about photography and how to express an opinion in Spanish about any kind of artistic expression.

If you want to exploit at most this audio, get the worksheet available where you’ll find the grammar point, vocabulary and expressions that appear in this audio and some exercises to practice your Spanish. You will learn how to tell a story and a couple of very interesting grammar tips. In the latter pages you will find some exercises to practice what you learn.

You can download the podcast here.


Talk about what the others say: Reported speech in Spanish 9

We use the reported speech when we want to say what other people say, think or believe.

There are two ways of report this information:

  • Direct speech: when we transmit the original message word for word. We introduce the information with an introductory verb followed by inverted commas.

Example:

The president said: “Yes we can.”
El presidente dijo: “Sí, podemos.” 

  • Indirect speech: when we transmit the original message with our own words. We introduce the information with an introductory verb followed by “que” (‘that’).

Example:

The president said that we could.
El presidente dijo que podíamos.

INDIRECT SPEECH

When we convert a direct speech message into indirect speech there are changes in three different aspects.

1. The tense of the verb changes:

* The “Imperfecto de Indicativo y subjuntivo, pretérito pluscuamperfecto de indicativo y de subjuntivo, condicional simple y perfecto” doesn’t change.
2. The pronouns changes:
When we convert a sentence into reported speech the person speaking changes, so the first person changes into third, and the second changes into first.
Example:
He said: “I don’t want your book” > He said that he didn’t want my book.
Él dijo: “No quiero tu libro” > Él dijo que no quería mi libro. 
3. The time and space expression changes:

 




Una leyenda vasca – Online Spanish Tutor – Intermediate (Podcast 8)

 

 

Una leyenda vasca – 8

 

 

In this podcast you will discover a Basque legend which still exists today thanks to the oral tradition. The Basque Country is a region divided between France and Spain. Here you will learn some vocabulary about Spanish myths and folklore.

If you want to exploit at most this audio, get the worksheet available where you’ll find the grammar point, vocabulary and expressions that appear in this audio and some exercises to practice your Spanish. You will learn how to tell a story and a couple of very interesting grammar tips. In the latter pages you will find some exercises to practice what you learn.

You can download the podcast here.


Taking the confusion out of “por” and “para” 1

This two prepositions “por” and “para” are frequently mixed up because they are often used for the English word “for”.

They key to understand which preposition has to be used is to think about the meaning you want to convey. In this post I’m going to show you the major uses of these two prepositions:

PARA POR 
Purpose- Estudio español para hablar bien con mis amigos españoles.
- I study Spanish in order to speak properly with my Spanish friends.
Cause / Reason- Llegué tarde por el tráfico.
- I arrived late because of the trafic.
Time limit- Quiero el informe en mi oficina para el jueves.
- I want the report in my office by Thursday.
Length of time / Duration of an action (= durante)- Estuvimos encerrados por cinco horas.
- We were locked for five hours.
Destination / Movement towards a place (= hacia)- Voy para el teatro.
- I go to the theatre.
Movement through / by a place- Paseamos por las calles de Paris.
- We walked by the streets of Paris.
Addressee- Este regalo es para ti.
- This present is for you.
Agent- Esta carta fue escrita por Mary.
- This letter was written by Mary.
Comparison- Está muy alto para su edad.
- He is very tall for his age.
Substitution- Estaba enfermo por lo que vine a trabajar por él.
- He was ill so I came to work in his place.

* The preposition “por” in this case is often omitted: Ej: Estuvimos encerrados 5 horas.

Besides this uses there are few more uses and phrases to have into consideration. Here I will indicate a few.

POR

  • Rate or unit of measure:

Elena gana muy bien, casi 60€ por hora. (Elena has a very good salary, almost 60€ per hour).

  • Means of transportation:

Viene por avión. (He comes by plane).

  • Supporting or in favor of:

Trabajo por los Derechos Humanos. (I work for Human Rights).

PARA

  • Perspective or opinion:

Para mi, el arte es muy importante. (The art is very important to me).

PHRASES

  • Por si acaso = In case
  • Por eso = Because of that, so
  • Por fin = Finally, at last
  • Por ahora = For now
  • Por lo menos = At least
  • Por cierto = By the way