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Fernando: “Here’s another excuse in Spanish for not having your work done.”
JP: Oh-oh.
Fernando: I think I know a few of these, JP.
JP: Howdy, Fernando? Everyone, this is JP. What’s going on in this lesson?
Fernando: In this lesson, you will learn how to express existence with the verb “haber.” The conversation takes place at the office. The conversation is between Belén and Patricio. The speakers will be using the familiar register.
JP: Let’s listen to this dialogue.
Belén: ¡No puedo trabajar!
Patricio: ¿Por qué?
Belén: ¡No hay internet!
Patricio: ¡Aprovecha entonces!
English Host: Let’s hear it again, dramatic speed.
Belén: ¡No puedo trabajar!
Patricio: ¿Por qué?
Belén: ¡No hay internet!
Patricio: ¡Aprovecha entonces!
English Host: One more time with the translation.
Belén: ¡No puedo trabajar!
JP: I can't work!
Patricio: ¿Por qué?
JP: Why not?
Belén: ¡No hay internet!
JP: There's no Internet!
Patricio: ¡Aprovecha entonces!
JP: Then enjoy it!
JP: All right, Fernando, we’re back and it seems that there is a lull in the office, productivity has plummeted.
Fernando: And all because of our dependency on Internet.
JP: That’s right. I know if Internet is out, you’ll see a smoke outline of me.
Fernando: I’ve seen that. I’ve seen that a couple of times.
JP: Where is JP? Well, the Internet is not working, so.
Fernando: Yes, which is what I believe Belén is looking for.
JP: Right, I said this sentence before. She says, “I can’t work.”
Fernando: No puedo trabajar.
JP: No puedo trabajar. All right, let’s break this down. What’s that last word in the sentence, “to work?”
Fernando: trabajar
JP: Trabajar means “to work.” Now, Belén says, “I can’t work.”
Fernando: No puedo…
JP: No puedo, means “I can’t…”
Fernando: trabajar
JP: No puedo trabajar, “I can’t work.” We see the modal verb, poder which means “to be able to,” which is usually translated as, “can.” So, “I can,” is puedo, and “I can’t”?
Fernando: No puedo.
JP: No puedo trabajar, “I can’t work.”
Fernando: Patricio intrigued obviously, ¿Por qué?
JP: ¿Por qué? These are two little words that together mean “why,” ¿por qué?
Fernando: No hay internet, dice Belén.
JP: Okay, that’s her answer, “no Internet.” Now, the content word in that sentence is the word Internet which means Internet, right? In English, we would say, “Internet.” In Spanish you can’t say, “Internet.” You have to say, “Internet.”
Fernando: It’s all in the pronunciation.
JP: Right. And to say that there’s none, that it doesn’t exist, it’s not working?
Fernando: No hay.
JP: No hay. So we have that word “hay” which is the existence article and then we’re negating it by saying, “no hay,” no hay internet.
Fernando: Aprovecha entonces.
JP: Okay, Patricio is saying, “We should take advantage of it. You should enjoy it while it’s…?”
Fernando: While it’s available.
JP: Mm-hmm. The verb is “aprovechar” and it means to take advantage of, to make the best of it. And “entonces” is therefore. So therefore, make the best of it. Enjoy it.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: All right, let’s move to the vocabulary.
Fernando: trabajar [natural native speed]
JP: to work
Fernando: trabajar [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: trabajar [natural native speed]
Fernando: hay [natural native speed]
JP: there is, there are
Fernando: hay [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: hay [natural native speed]
Fernando: el internet [natural native speed]
JP: Internet
Fernando: el internet [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: el internet [natural native speed]
Fernando: aprovechar [natural native speed]
JP: to enjoy, to take advantage of
Fernando: aprovechar [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: aprovechar [natural native speed]
JP: All right, we’re back and we covered most of these words, but let’s just go over them quickly one more time.
Fernando: Let’s start with trabajar.
JP: Trabajar “to work.”
Fernando: Which is what we’re doing here.
JP: This is what we’re doing.
Fernando: Which we enjoy.
JP: Yes. Our listeners might not be at work, but then again they might be. I don’t know where you all are listening to this podcast.
Fernando: Maybe they’re not working, but they’re studying for work.
JP: Oh, maybe so.
Fernando: And maybe they are going on a foreign assignment.
JP: Maybe so. Anyway, the word is trabajar “to work,” trabajar.
Fernando: The next word, hay.
JP: Hay. We’re gonna talk about this word later. It’s the verb “haber” and it’s conjugated into the third person, but there’s no person. It’s just an impersonal verb and it means, “there is” and “there are.” It just talks about existence. We’re gonna talk about it later, hay.
Fernando: El internet.
JP: El internet. As we said before, this is the Internet. And if you are listening to this podcast, you are aware of what the Internet is, El internet.
Fernando: Say hi to Mr. Gore.
JP: What’s the last word?
Fernando: Aprovechar
JP: Aprovechar, “to take advantage of” or, “to enjoy,” or “to make the best of,” aprovechar.
Fernando: Aprovechar. Let’s move on to the grammar.
JP: As we promised, we’re gonna talk about this word “hay” which means “there is” or “there are.” It’s the verb “haber,” but that’s a little abstract to this point. What I wanna tell you about hay is that it is both singular and plural. In English, we have “there is” and “there are.” “There is,” is something singular. So “There is an elephant in this room.”
Fernando: Hay un elefante en este cuarto.
JP: That’s right, hay un elefante… Use that “hay.” If there are more than one elephants, if I say, “There are seven elephants in this room.”
Fernando: Hay siete elefantes.
JP: Besides being a ridiculous situation, notice that Fernando used the word “hay” both times. It doesn’t matter how many elephants are in the room, whether several or just one, it’s always invariable. It’s always gonna be “hay.”
Fernando: That’s a good observation, JP.
JP: Good, I’m glad. Now, hay, is useful, of course, for talking about the existence of things. And remember that it’s never gonna have a subject. It’s always gonna be impersonal. And if you’re going from English, “there is” and “there are,” it behaves the same way, impersonally. So let’s talk about some things that are in this studio, Fernando.
Fernando: How about the microphones?
JP: Okay, there are two microphones.
Fernando: Hay dos micrófonos.
JP: Hay dos micrófonos. What else is in this room?
Fernando: Hay un aire acondicionado.
JP: “There is one air conditioning unit.” It’s not working right now.
Fernando: No, it isn’t.
JP: We’ll turn it on after the podcast.
Fernando: Mm-hmm.
JP: One more example, what else is there in this room?
Fernando: Hay una pantalla.
JP: “There is a screen,” the computer monitor.
Fernando: Mm-Hmm.
JP: All right.
Fernando: Hay dos ventanas.
JP: “There’s two windows”.
Fernando: There is or there are?
JP: Oh. Yeah, I’m doing that thing where I speak colloquially again.
Fernando: Yes, which is…
JP: “There are two windows.”
Fernando: “There are two windows.”
JP: Okay, it doesn’t matter. You know what, in Spanish, it’s “hay” and “hay”, okay?
Fernando: Mm-hmm.
JP: So, no matter whether you’re talking in singular or in plural, it’s always “hay.”


JP: For now though, it’s time for us to say hasta luego.
Fernando: Adiós.


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