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Lesson Transcript

Fernando: Welcome, everyone. This is Absolute Beginner, Season 1 Lesson 11, “How do you feel about my Spanish cooking?”
JP: Hmm, no…
Fernando: What? All right, that was JP.
JP: Hi, everyone. Hola a todos.
Fernando: How are you?
JP: I am fine. Thanks, Fernando. How are you?
Fernando: I’m good.
JP: And I’m just kidding about your cooking. Welcome everyone to the new SpanishPod101 where we study Spanish in a modern, fun and educational format. So whether you’re brushing up on the Spanish you started learning long ago or you’re starting to learn with us today, we are glad to have you. All right, Fernando, why don’t you tell us what we’re talking about in this lesson?
Fernando: Sure thing. In this lesson, you will learn about question formation. This conversation takes place at the dinner table. And the conversation is between Marco and Eva. The speakers will be using the familiar register.
JP: All right. I can’t wait to listen to this dialogue, but before we do, I want to remind you all, follow along with a transcript in the lesson notes of this lesson at our website which is www.spanishpod101.com, all right? We’re going to go to the dinner table with Marco and Eva. Are you ready?
Fernando: Yes.

Lesson conversation

Marco: ¿Qué tal la sopa? ¿Te gusta?
Eva: Sí, está rica.
Marco: ¿Te sirvo más?
Eva: Aún no, pero gracias.
JP: Let’s hear it again, dramatic speed.
Marco: ¿Qué tal la sopa? ¿Te gusta?
Eva: Sí, está rica.
Marco: ¿Te sirvo más?
Eva: Aún no, pero gracias.
JP: One more time with the translation.
Marco: ¿Qué tal la sopa? ¿Te gusta?
JP: How is the soup? Do you like it?
Eva: Sí, está rica.
Fernando: Yes, it’s good.
Marco: ¿Te sirvo más?
JP: Shall I serve you some more?
Eva: Aún no, pero gracias.
Fernando: Not yet, but thanks.
JP: All right, Fernando, we’re back and that we’re talking about soup today, we really are.
Fernando: Yes, I just had soup actually.
JP: Did you?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: How was it? ¿Qué tal?
Fernando: Estuvo muy rica.
JP: All right, we need to teach these words first before we talk about your soup.
Fernando: Yes, that’s true, that’s true. Sorry.
JP: Okay, so Marco asked Eva how the soup was.
Fernando: ¿Qué tal la sopa?
JP: ¿Qué tal la sopa? Now, sopa, means soup.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: And this question, ¿Qué tal?
Fernando: How is it?
JP: So, we’re kind of asking for a description but really Marco is asking for approval.
Fernando: Yeah, yeah exactly, you know, ¿Qué tal la sopa?.
JP: ¿Qué tal la sopa?
Fernando: And he actually follows up with: te gusta.
JP: Te gusta, “do you like it”, and Eva says, “Yes, it’s delicious”.
Fernando: Sí, está rica.
JP: Now, sí obviously means, “yes”. Está rica, “it’s delicious”.
Fernando: Because: la sopa, is a feminine.
JP: Okay, that’s why it’s ricA, right?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: The masculine form will be: ricO.
Fernando: Um-hum.
JP: And when you use rico or rica with estar, it usually means a pleasant sensual experience. So “hmm delicious” Sí, está rica. Marco wants to know if she wants more.
Fernando: ¿Te sirvo más?
JP: ¿Te sirvo más? Más means “more” and the verb is: servir, which means “to serve”. So he’s basically saying, “Shall I serve you more”, ¿Te sirvo más?
Fernando: Eva responds: Aún no, pero gracias.
JP: Aún no, “not yet”.
Fernando: I think she’s still working on her soup.
JP: She is or maybe she doesn’t really like it.
Fernando: Maybe, yeah, I get that. Or I don’t get that, no.
JP: But she’s still trying to be gracious.
Fernando: Of course.
JP: By saying: gracias… pero gracias, “but thank you”. Let’s take a look at some of the vocabulary.
Fernando: ¿Qué tal?
JP: How are you? How is it?
Fernando: ¿Qué tal?, ¿Qué tal? La sopa.
JP: Soup.
Fernando: la so-pa, la sopa. Rico.
JP: Tasty, delicious, rich.
Fernando: ri-co, rico. Servir.
JP: To be useful, to serve, to be good for.
Fernando: ser-vir, servir. Aún no.
JP: Not yet.
Fernando: Aún no, aún no.
JP: All right, Fernando, let’s talk about some of these words. What are we going to start with today?
Fernando: I think we should start with ¿Qué tal?.
JP: ¿Qué tal? In the dialogue, we heard ¿Qué tal la sopa? Now, if you hear a ¿Qué tal? by itself, the person is probably asking you, “how are you”.
Fernando: ¿Qué tal?
JP: ¿Qué tal?, but when we follow it with: la sopa, it’s “how is the soup”.
Fernando: ¿Qué tal la sopa? or ¿Qué tal… ¿Qué tal la película?
JP: How is the movie?
Fernando: Right.
JP: So ¿Qué tal?, when you want somebody’s opinion of something, you can ask them, ¿Qué tal?.
Fernando: ¿Qué tal? yes.
JP: Okay, cool, ¿Qué tal? What’s next?
Fernando: la sopa.
JP: La sopa. Now, la sopa: “soup”. Fernando, you’re kind of an expert on various kinds of soup at this point.
Fernando: Emphasis on the kind of.
JP: You’re kind of an expert?
Fernando: I’m kind of an expert. Yeah, soup is literally the liquid nourishment.
JP: Yes, liquid nourishment, very good.
Fernando: Um-hum.
JP: Now, for most of us, soup just means anything that’s liquid, but you know, for cooks and chefs, there is soup and there is broth.
Fernando: consomé...
JP: And consomé, and…
Fernando: And “bouillon” and all these other fancy words.
JP: There’re all kinds of technical terms, right?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: Okay. But soup for the most of us covers it all.
Fernando: Um-hum.
JP: Okay, la sopa.
Fernando: La sopa. Next word, rico.
JP: Rico. I mentioned when we’re talking about the dialogue that when you use, estar, with a rico, it means “tasty” or “delicious”, something sensual at least because you can get a massage and say, ¡ay qué rico!.
Fernando: Estuvo rico, está rico.
JP: “It feels good”, so it’s a sensual experience. “It feels good.” Rico, literally means, “rich” and when you use it with: ser, which means, “to be”, Ser rico, is “to be a rich person”.
Fernando: Yes, I was about to say that, but, thank you.
JP: Okay.
Fernando: Next word, servir.
JP: Servir, “to serve”. In this dialogue, Marco is asking Eva if she wanted him to serve her more.
Fernando: ¿Te sirvo más?
JP: ¿Te sirvo más? I think you heard there’s a little stem change that U-R form, sirvo, the vowel in the stem changes, sirvo. There’s another way to use: servir, which is not in this dialogue, but servir can also mean “to be useful”. So if you want to call someone useless, you can say, “What are you good for?”
Fernando: ¿Para que sirves?
JP: ¿Para que sirves?, okay? If you hear that, it means somebody thinks you’re useless.
Fernando: You might want to say, if you’re asking, “What are you good for?” ¿Para qué eres útil?
JP: But in this dialogue, we went through the first definition which is to serve, right?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: To serve food, servir. And the last one?
Fernando: Last one is: Aún no.
JP: Aún no, “not yet”, aún no. The word for “not” is: no, and the word for “yet”?
Fernando: Aún.
JP: Aún. It means, “still”, so “still no, not yet” Aún no.
Fernando: Yes. I think it’s time to move on to the grammar section.

Lesson focus

JP: Oh, you love the grammar section.
Fernando: I do because this is when I don’t talk.
JP: You do talk, Fernando. I need you to give the examples.
Fernando: All right, fine.
Fernando: What are we focusing on today, JP?
JP: Well, this is a very easy one for me to teach today because we’re talking about question formation.
Fernando: Okay.
JP: Okay, now in some languages like English, there’s grammar in question formation.
Fernando: What?
JP: Yes. When we ask a question, you know the word order changes, and the W-H word has to be at the beginning and there’s an auxiliary verb and it’s crazy. In Spanish, it’s very easy to make a question. So let me tell you about the two kinds of questions in Spanish. The first kind of question I want to talk about is the question that request specific information. And for those questions, we always use an interrogative pronoun. In English we call them something W-H words because they usually start with W-H, who, what, when, where and why. So if you’re using one of those interrogative pronouns that’s requesting specific information. And in Spanish, you can use an interrogative pronoun to request specific information as well. ¿Quién?¿Qué?¿Dónde?¿Cuándo?¿Cuál?¿Cómo?
Fernando: Yes, all of those.
JP: Those are all question words, all right?
Fernando: Um-hum.
JP: You can ask a question using those question words. Now there’s another kind of question, and these are questions with yes/no answers.
Fernando: I think this is where I ask you a question, JP? So let me think of something. Oh ¿Te gusta esta lección?
JP: ¿Te gusta esta lección?, “Do you like this lesson?” Now, my job is to respond yes or no. Before I do…
Fernando: Just answer the question, JP.
JP: Okay, I’ll answer the question. Yes, I like this lesson.
Fernando: Thank you.
JP: Okay. Now, let’s take a look at his question, ¿Te gusta esta lección? If we took away the question mark to that question and added a period, it would be a grammatical sentence in Spanish, Te gusta la lección. “You like this lesson”.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: All we did to make it a question is remove the period and add the question mark. Now a lot of you are saying, “It’s a podcast”, I can’t see you remove that period and put on the questions marks. What we do audibly to make something a question is change the intonation. So use question intonation.
Fernando: ¿Te gusta esta lección?
JP: Now, if you just listened for intonation you’ll hear, ¿na-na-na-na-na-na-naa?, okay?
Fernando: I don’t sound like that, JP.
JP: Yes, you sound exactly like that.
Fernando: Okay, fine. Yes, it’s a good point you make.
JP: Okay, question intonation. I use to tell the students that it’s Scooby Doo, right, because Scooby Doo couldn’t talk because he’s a dog, but he always use to go, ¿ehh? That’s intonation, right?
Fernando: That’s intonation, yeah.
JP: It’s dog intonation. But Spanish question intonation is similar.
Fernando: I’m glad I was lead in to Scooby Doo.
JP: You can use intonation to ask yes or no questions. The other way to ask yes or no questions is to put a tag question on there, right, Fernando?
Fernando: There you go, ¿verdad?
JP: I just did yeah, ¿verdad?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: So you want to imply a tag question, all you have to do is put one of these little tag questions at the end of the sentence. In Spanish those are like ¿verdad? and ¿no?. It’s easy ¿no?¿no es así? As an example, I can say, “We’re all going to the party”.
Fernando: Todos vamos a la fiesta
JP: And now we can make it a question, with a tag question by saying, “We’re all going to the party, right?”
Fernando: Todos vamos a la fiesta, ¿verdad?
JP: Or Todos vamos a la fiesta, ¿no?
Fernando: “We’re all going to the party, no?”
JP: You noticed that it sounds a little Latino when somebody says “no” at the end of a sentence?
Fernando: That’s why I don’t use the no.
JP: All right. You can use that in English too, no?
Fernando: JP.
JP: Folks if we’re confusing you, go to our website which is www.spanishpod101.com and check out the grammar section of this lesson. And they’ve got this whole explanation of how to form questions in Spanish all laid out for you in a nice neat format. That’s all I have for today, Fernando.
Fernando: One more thing.
JP: One more thing.
Fernando: Please, don’t forget to leave us a comment, a suggestion, a question in the comment section of the website, www.spanishpod101.com. We are eager to hear what you have to say about the lesson and see how we can help you enhance your learning experience.
JP: Absolutely. For now though, I think it’s time to go. So, hasta luego.
Fernando: Adiós.


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