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Lesson Transcript

Fernando: Welcome everyone to Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 15. You Can Help Me With This Spanish Assignment, Can’t You? JP, how are you and second question is, can you?
JP: I can.
Fernando: Wonderful.
JP: Thanks, Fernando. Welcome everyone to the new SpanishPod101.com. We are studying Spanish in a modern and fun and educational format. Fernando, why don’t you tell us what we’re going to talk about today.
Fernando: In this lesson, you will learn about modal verbs: querer and poder. The conversation takes place at the office. The conversation is between Patricia and Jorge and the speakers will be using the familiar register.
JP: Let’s listen to Jorge and Patricia.

Lesson conversation

Jorge: Oye, quiero hablar contigo.
Patricia: Estoy muy ocupada ahora.
Jorge: ¿Podemos hablar después?
Patricia: Después, sí.
JP: Let’s hear it again, dramatic speed.
Jorge: Oye, quiero hablar contigo.
Patricia: Estoy muy ocupada ahora.
Jorge: ¿Podemos hablar después?
Patricia: Después, sí.
JP: One more time with the translation.
Jorge: Oye, quiero hablar contigo.
JP: Listen, I want to talk to you.
Patricia: Estoy muy ocupada ahora.
Fernando: I’m pretty busy right now.
Jorge: ¿Podemos hablar después?
JP: Can we talk later?
Patricia: Después, sí.
Fernando: Yes, later.
JP: Oh, looks like Jorge got the big brush off from Patricia.
Fernando: Apparently.
JP: She is not ready to talk to him.
Fernando: Jorge needs to talk: Oye, quiero hablar contigo.
JP: Hey, I want to talk to you. And let’s break this down. Now, the first word in this line is the word for hey or listen.
Fernando: Oye.
JP: Oye, literally, this says listen, functions like an American, hey. Like an attention getter, “Hey, I want to talk to you.” How do you say I want?
Fernando: quiero
JP: Quiero, The Taco Bell dog always says: quiero. He said, “Quiero Taco Bell.”
Fernando: That’s a really good example, yes.
JP: Well, Jorge says I want to talk.
Fernando: Quiero hablar contigo.
JP: Quiero hablar contigo. Now the verb that follows quiero is: hablar, and you’ll notice that it’s in infinitive form hablar, to speak. And the last word, contigo, means with you. So let’s put it all together. Hey, I want to talk to you.
Fernando: Oye, quiero hablar contigo.
JP: And Patricia...
Fernando: Estoy muy ocupada ahora.
JP: Estoy muy ocupada ahora. This means, I’m very busy now. Fernando, how do we say I am busy.
Fernando: Estoy ocupada.
JP: Estoy ocupada, that word: ocupada, means busy.
Fernando: It means busy.
JP: It means busy and Patricia has got it in the feminine because she’s talking about herself. Ocupada, is the feminine form. If it was a dude like me, if I’m saying I’m busy I would probably say: ocupado.
Fernando: Ocupado. That’s rarely the case, folks.
JP: That I’m busy?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: So to say I’m busy, she says: estoy ocupada. You know, she’s more than just busy. She says I’m very busy.
Fernando: Muy ocupada.
JP: Muy ocupada. That “muy”, means very. It could also mean too, I’m too busy right now as well. The word for now?
Fernando: Ahora
JP: Ahora. Okay. Ahora, means now. Let’s put it together. I’m very busy right now.
Fernando: Estoy muy ocupada ahora.
JP: Jorge says, “Can we talk later?”
Fernando: ¿Podemos hablar después?
JP: ¿Podemos hablar después?. Now, I heard our word for to speak again.
Fernando: hablar
JP: Hablar, means to speak. If you want to ask, “Can we speak?”
Fernando: podemos
JP: Podemos, podemos hablar. Podemos is the verb: poder, which we’ll talk about later today in the grammar section. The word for afterward?
Fernando: después
JP: Después. So he says, “Can we talk later?” ¿Podemos hablar después?
Fernando: ¿Podemos hablar después?, can we talk later? Patricia placating Jorge answers, “Yes, later.”
JP: Okay, how does she say that?
Fernando: Después, sí.
JP: Después, sí. Después, is that same word that we heard before, “later,” and “sí”, of course, means yes. Después, sí. Fernando, let’s go to the vocabulary words.
Fernando: hablar
JP: To speak, to talk.
Fernando: ha-blar, hablar. Ocupado.
JP: Busy, occupied.
Fernando: o-cu-pa-do, ocupado. Después.
JP: After, later.
Fernando: des-pu-és, después. Querer.
JP: To want, to love.
Fernando: que-rer, querer. Poder.
JP: To be able, can.
Fernando: po-der, poder.
JP: Now that we’ve heard those words in isolation, let’s talk about them in a little bit more detail.
Fernando: So let’s start with: hablar.
JP: Hablar, to speak or to talk. A lot of times in Spanish Pod 101, we talk about “hablar” to speak a language. Hablar español, hablar inglés. In this case, Jorge wants to speak with Patricia.
Fernando: Wants to have a conversation.
JP: That’s right. So you can use that verb, hablar, with this action of having a conversation as well.
Fernando: And it’s much more serious when you ask to speak to someone, in this case, podemos hablar. Can we talk?
JP: More serious than what?
Fernando: More serious than, “Hey, let’s chat. Let’s chit-chat.”
JP: Okay. So in Spanish there’s a word for chat, too.
Fernando: It could be: cotorrear.
JP: But in this dialogue, it’s not a chat. It’s a discussion.
Fernando: Far from it, yes.
JP: Okay, so hablar.
Fernando: hablar.
JP: Okay. What’s next?
Fernando: ocupado
JP: ocupado, meaning busy. Patricia used: ocupada.
Fernando: Estoy muy ocupada ahora.
JP: She used the feminine form, ocupada. In the dictionary, it’s going to be in the masculine form, ocupado. And you’ll notice that Patricia use it with: estar, she said, “Estoy muy ocupada”.
Fernando: Right.
JP: So to be busy.
Fernando: después
JP: Después, afterward, or later. We translated as later in the dialogue. Después, afterward, this is an adverb. You can make it into a preposition if you say “después de” because “después de” is after something. So after eating.
Fernando: Después de comer.
JP: Or after studying.
Fernando: Después de estudiar.
JP: Después de…
Fernando: You can say, hey, querer.
JP: Querer, to want or to love. We talked about that Taco Bell Chihuahua that said “Quiero Taco Bell”. Remember that?
Fernando: Yeah, it’s a stereotype, JP.
JP: I know. It’s also an example of grammar.
Fernando: Sure.
JP: So what he’s saying is, kind of ambiguous. He could be saying, “I want Taco Bell,” he could also be saying, “I love Taco Bell.”
Fernando: Right.
JP: In this lesson, we’re going to look at: querer, as a modal verb. So you’re going to hear: Yo quiero… plus an action, and it’s going to be, “I want to do something,” querer. We’ll talk about that more in the grammar section. What’s next?
Fernando: Poder, another modal very we’ll be talking about.
JP: Poder, means literally to be able, but sometimes we translate it as can and that’s also followed by an infinitive. Let’s talk about poder and querer in the next section, the grammar section.
Fernando: Take it away, JP.

Lesson focus

JP: I’m thinking about it, and I’ve already said what has got to be said, right?
Fernando: I think so, yeah.
JP: Querer and poder are modal verbs, they’re followed by infinitives, that’s the action word in the dictionary form. So let’s just give some examples. Fernando, give me an action. What’s your favorite action?
Fernando: Sleeping.
JP: To sleep is the verb: dormir. If I want to say, “I want to sleep...”
Fernando: Quiero dormir.
JP: Quiero dormir. What you did was conjugate the verb “querer” which means to want in the first person singular: quiero, and then you stuck on the action verb in this dictionary form.
Fernando: But I can’t...
JP: You can’t? What do you mean you can’t sleep?
Fernando: No puedo dormir.
JP: No puedo dormir. We’ll talk about your insomnia in a second here, but first I have to talk about the grammar.
Fernando: Sure.
JP: The verb “poder” here is in the first person singular: puedo, it’s followed immediately by the action word, dormir. No puedo dormir: I cannot sleep.
Fernando: I can’t sleep because we’re working right now.
JP: Oh, okay.
Fernando: But I really can fall asleep right now.
JP: You can?
Fernando: Puedo dormirme ahorita.
JP: I could fall asleep right now.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: That’s the verb, poder, again with dormirse, to fall asleep. Give us another action, Fernando.
Fernando: Let’s see, cocinar.
JP: To cook. That’s a great example. Let’s talk about our officemate, Rob, back in the office right now. Rob told us early today that he want to cook.
Fernando: Quiere cocinar.
JP: Quiere cocinar, before “cocinar”, you heard Fernando say: quiere, this is the verb “querer” in the third person singular, quiere. Quiere cocinar. He wants to cook. Can he cook?
Fernando: Puede cocinar… no estoy muy seguro.
JP: Okay. So, no puede cocinar, that’s the verb “poder” in the third person singular: puede, followed as always immediately with the infinitive, cocinar. When you want to use these modal verbs in the present tense, you conjugate them in the present tense, the action word is always going to be in the infinitive, you don’t have to conjugate it. It’s done: puede cocinar, puede dormir, puede comer, puede bailar… all of these things the action is going to be in the infinitive. You know what folks, it might be easier to follow if you take a look at the grammar point on our website, www.SpanishPod101.com. Just find this lesson, and then find then find the grammar point. I’ve got it written out in a way that you might find easy to follow.
Fernando: Yeah, the great thing is that you can leave us a comment, suggestion or questions regarding this lesson. We want to hear from you.
JP: But for now, it’s time for us to go, so hasta luego.
Fernando: Adiós.


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