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Lesson Transcript

Fernando: Welcome everyone, I’m Fernando. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 16, Spanish Singles. What’s going on JP?
JP: I’m doing just great, Fernando, and I’m pretty excited for this lesson. Now welcome everyone to the new SpanishPod101.com, we’re studying Spanish in a fun and educational format. Whether you’re brushing up on Spanish that you started learning long ago or you’re just starting with us today, we are glad to have you. Fernando, what are we going to talk about in this lesson?
Fernando: In this lesson, you will learn about tag questions, this conversation takes place at the library. Our conversation is between Eva and Marco, and the speakers will be using familiar register.
JP: Let’s listen to this dialogue between Eva and Marco.

Lesson conversation

Eva: Eres soltero, ¿no?
Marco: Sí, ¿por qué?
Eva: Es que mi prima Elena…
Marco: Bueno ¿es bonita?
JP: Let’s hear it again, dramatic speed.
Eva: Eres soltero, ¿no?
Marco: Sí, ¿por qué?
Eva: Es que mi prima Elena…
Marco: Bueno ¿es bonita?
JP: One more time with the translation.
Eva: Eres soltero, ¿no?
JP: You’re single, right?
Marco: Sí, ¿por qué?
Fernando: Yes, why?
Eva: Es que mi prima Elena…
JP: It’s just that my cousin Elena…
Marco: Bueno ¿es bonita?
Fernando: Well, is she pretty?
JP: We’re back. Now Marco and Eva are having a kind of an odd conversation, seems very simple but it’s pretty important.
Fernando: Pretty important, someone might get hitched?
JP: That’s right. There’s a chance of love.
Fernando: Eres soltero, ¿no?
JP: And Eva is asking if Marco is single. The word for a single man…
Fernando: soltero
JP: Soltero… Eres soltero, ¿no?, and how does Marco answer?
Fernando: Sí, ¿por qué?
JP: Yes, why? That question ¿por qué? is “why” And Eva’s going to explain.
Fernando: Es que mi prima Elena…
JP: Dot, dot, dot …
Fernando: Um-hmm.
JP: Eva’s suggesting that she has a cousin named Elena. Es que mi prima Elena… It’s that my cousin Elena.
Fernando: It’s just that my cousin Elena, she’s single as well.
JP: You’re making a lot of hand gestures, Fernando.
Fernando: Well, yeah. You know, it’s kind of like, you know…
JP: She’s just trying to not say it.
Fernando: Right. You know how you try to communicate with the rest of your body when words just don’t express what you want to convey to someone else.
JP: Well, she could just say, “I want you to go out with my cousin Elena.”
Fernando: True.
JP: And it might work on Marco, you know, if he’s kind of a pig.
Fernando: Okay. Ouch. I don’t know any Marco but any way…
JP: I do.
Fernando: That pretty much sums it up, Marco is a pig.
JP: Anyway he interrupts her and says…
Fernando: Well, is she pretty?
JP: Okay, and that’s the end of our dialogue. Bueno ¿es bonita?
Fernando: ¿es bonita? Is she pretty?
JP: Is she pretty? That word for pretty is: bonita. Let’s review the vocabulary.
Fernando: soltero
JP: Single.
Fernando: sol-te-ro, soltero. ¿Por qué?
JP: Why?
Fernando: ¿Por qué?, ¿Por qué? El primo.
JP: Cousin.
Fernando: el pri-mo, el primo. Bonito.
JP: Pretty.
Fernando: bo-ni-to, bonito.
JP: Let’s take a closer look at some of these words. So should we start with: soltero.
Fernando: Why did you point at me?
JP: I just know, Fernando, that you are not married.
Fernando: Okay. Fair enough.
JP: And you’re not widowed.
Fernando: True.
JP: And you’re not divorced.
Fernando: True as well.
JP: So what is your marital status?
Fernando: Single.
JP: ¿En Español?
Fernando: Soltero
JP: Soltero. Okay? soltero, single, unmarried. Like Fernando.
Fernando: Next word. This is the follow up question.
JP: The follow up question. ¿Por qué?
Fernando: ¿Por qué? Why?
JP: Why? Fernando, ¿Por qué eres soltero?
Fernando: I’m still trying to answer that one and stuff.
JP: All right, well, the thing you think about, and I’m not talking about the grammar of “¿por qué?” It’s two words and together the two words count for an interrogative pronoun. In English, you just say “Why?” And when you ask a “por qué, question”, you’re going to expect an answer, like a reason or an explanation or an excuse, right Fernando?
Fernando: Yeah, sure.
JP: ¿Por qué? What’s the next word?
Fernando: El primo
JP: El primo. Okay, this is the family-relation word and it literally means, “the cousin”. El primo, cousin. And of course, that’s a masculine form. We can also use a feminine form.
Fernando: La prima
JP: La prima. That would be a cousin that’s a girl. We can do it in plural as well. Los primos, las primas.
Fernando: And when they’re both mixed, let’s say, a group of cousins, female cousins and male cousins, we would use, the male plural form.
JP: We would use: los primos.
Fernando: Los primos. Exactly. Last word, bonito.
JP: Bonito. Usually we say, this means nice and then we have the feminine form, bonita, which is like pretty.
Fernando: bonito
JP: Bonito, I always say, “Que bonito día” What a nice day.
Fernando: Today is a very nice day.
JP: It is. It’s beautiful in Manhattan.
Fernando: Está muy bonito hoy.
JP: It is really nice today. And of course, the feminine form we say with particular joy when we’re talking about a woman…
Fernando: Que bonita.
JP: Ay, que bonita. She’s so pretty. Should we go to the grammar?
Fernando: Yes, we should.

Lesson focus

JP: In the grammar today, we’re going to talk about some tag questions, “preguntas de coletilla”
Fernando: Preguntas de what?... de coletilla.
JP: de coletilla.
Fernando: Okay.
JP: Tag questions. For those of you who have studied English as a second language, tag questions are enough to make you run screaming out the room because English tag questions are crazy, aren’t they?
Fernando: Oh.
JP: They’re, isn’t it? Isn’t he? Isn’t she? There’s like all those grammar that you have to do. For Spanish, it’s not that difficult actually. What we do usually is just assert the truth of a proposition. So for example, I can ask, “Breakfast is ready, right?”
Fernando: El desayuno está listo, ¿verdad?
JP: Yes, Fernando you ended the sentence with, ¿verdad?
Fernando: I could have ended it with: El desayuno está listo, ¿no?
JP: ¿No? These are tag questions, ¿verdad? and ¿no?. These are the tag questions and the effect they have is to make whatever comes before it into a question.
Fernando: But notice how I intonate these words.
JP: Yes.
Fernando: That’s also an important part of tag questions in Spanish.
JP: So, let’s hear that example again. “Breakfast is ready, right?”
Fernando: El desayuno está listo, ¿verdad?
JP: ¿Verdad? The part that came beforehand, the supposition, El desayuno está listo, “Breakfast is ready.” That is a declarative sentence. We could have put a period after it and then walked away. But we didn’t, we made it into a question just by asking that tag question, ¿verdad?
Fernando: And never walk away from breakfast either.
JP: Well, maybe you can walk toward breakfast.
Fernando: Yes. What other tag question examples do we have JP?
JP: Oh, well, there are plenty in Spanish and before I give you the list of them, I just want to say that that intonation that you mentioned earlier is going to make it obvious to you that it’s a tag question. So even if you hear one that’s not on this list that we’re about to give you, you’re going to know it’s a tag question because it goes “eh...?” like Scooby Doo, right?
Fernando: That’s why he’s so popular in Spanish-speaking countries.
JP: Because he asks tag questions as a dog.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: All right. You already mentioned two of them, ¿verdad? and ¿no?
Fernando: And I will mention more.
JP: Oh, good.
Fernando: ¿Está bien?
JP: ¿Está bien? that’s a good one. ¿Está bien? “Is that okay?”
Fernando: Voy a mencionar algunas más, ¿está bien?
JP: Fernando, “¿está bien?” is a tag question.
Fernando: ¿Está bien?
JP: Yes.
Fernando: Okay.
JP: That’s a great one. Another one that we can use is: ¿No es así?
Fernando: For example, England has a good soccer team, ¿no es así?
JP: Inglaterra tiene una buena selección nacional, ¿no es así?
Fernando: There you go. England has a good national team, right?
JP: ¿no es así?, literally, it says, “is it not so?”
Fernando: Is it not so?
JP: Is it not thus? in Spanish: ¿no es así? Did we already say ¿cierto?
Fernando: No, we haven’t.
JP: Okay. ¿Cierto?, can be used as a tag question as well.
Fernando: Hoy vas a lavar ropa, ¿cierto?
JP: Today, you’re going to do laundry.
Fernando: No, I’m asking you JP.
JP: Correct. Is it true?
Fernando: Just answer the question, JP.
JP: The answer, yes. Today, it is my laundry day. I’m not going to go out tonight. Wow, these questions are getting personal. I think it’s time to end the podcast.
Fernando: Okay.
JP: Now listen if you want to look at a more exhaustive list of these tag questions, you can find them in the grammar section of the lesson notes of this lesson. You’ll find all the lesson notes at the website, www.spanishpod101.com.
Fernando: And we want to hear from you, so please leave us a comment, leave us a question, whatever suggestions you might have about this podcast, we want to hear from you.
JP: All right, for now, it’s time to say good bye. Hasta luego.
Fernando: Adiós.


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Are you currently looking for a boyfriend or a girlfriend?

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 11:21 AM
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Hola Dexter,

Thank you for sharing.

Hope you find someone that can help you practice your Spanish.

Sigamos practicando!



Team SpanishPod101.com

Friday at 08:22 AM
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No actualmente aunque buscaré.

Monday at 02:36 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hola Hatim,

Thank you for your comment.

are you is "eres"

Sigamos practicando.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Monday at 02:02 PM
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Eraes it means are you

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 10:27 AM
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Hola Brian,

Thank you for your comment.

When you feel they speed up, please review the lessons more than one time.

I recommend listening to the lessons 3 times.

You can also use the speed tool to slow down the audios.

Sigamos practicando.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Brian Littleton
Thursday at 01:35 PM
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That was a fast lesson, going to have to speed up or you folks slow down some, but I'm trying to stay up with you daily. Brian

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 03:25 AM
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Hola Samuel,

On behalf of Carla, you're welcome!

If you have any further questions, please let us know. :)


Team SpanishPod101.com

Tuesday at 12:01 AM
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Hola Carla,

I see! Muchas gracias por tu explicación!


SpanishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 09:31 PM
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Hola Samuel,

Thank you for your comment. ?

"prima hermana/o" is how we call first cousins in Spanish.

For the other cousins, we just say "primo/a"

Sigamos practicando!



Team SpanishPod101.com

Saturday at 12:36 PM
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Hola, es muy buena lesión!

Tengo una pregunta. Hay un ejemplo así:

Veronica es tu prima hermana.

"Veronica is your first cousin."

Si está "first cousin", porqúe no es "prima primera"? "Hermana" es "Sister", no?