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Lesson Transcript

Fernando: Welcome, everyone. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 19. What a Kind Thing to Say in Spanish. JP, I think this summarizes me all the time when I speak in Spanish.
JP: That’s right, Fernando.
Fernando: How are you?
JP: I’m great. How are you?
Fernando: I’m good. Thanks.
JP: Welcome, everyone, to the new SpanishPod101.com. We are studying modern Spanish in a fun and educational format. So, whether you’re brushing up on the Spanish that you started learning long ago or you’re starting with us today. We’re glad to have you here with us for this lesson. So Fernando, why don’t you tell us what the objectives are for this lesson.
Fernando: In this lesson, you’ll learn about making exclamations with interrogative pronouns. This conversation takes place at the office. The conversation is between Miguel and Angela. The speakers will be using the familiar register.
JP: All right, let’s take a listen to this dialogue.

Lesson conversation

Miguel: Oye, ¡qué bonita te ves! Te cortaste el pelo.
Ángela: Sí, ¿no es muy corto?
Miguel: No, te queda perfecto.
Ángela: Ay, qué lindo.
JP: Let’s hear it again, dramatic speed.
Miguel: Oye, ¡qué bonita te ves! Te cortaste el pelo.
Ángela: Sí, ¿no es muy corto?
Miguel: No, te queda perfecto.
Ángela: Ay, qué lindo.
JP: One more time with the translation.
Miguel: Oye, ¡qué bonita te ves! Te cortaste el pelo.
JP: Hey, you look so nice. You cut your hair.
Ángela: Sí, ¿no es muy corto?
Fernando: It’s not too short, is it?
Miguel: No, te queda perfecto.
JP: No, it’s perfect on you.
Ángela: Ay, qué lindo.
Fernando: Oh, how nice.
JP: All right, we’re back and Angela has a new hairdo. And Miguel is gentleman enough to have noticed it.
Fernando: Right.
JP: Which is something I can never to. I think I have an affliction.
Fernando: That’s another conversation.
JP: I have haircut blindness. All right, let’s go on with this dialogue.
Fernando: Oye, ¡qué bonita te ves! Te cortaste el pelo.
JP: All right, Miguel has two senses here. And we’re going to break them down. Let’s listen to the first part where he says, “Hey, you look great.”
Fernando: Oye ¡qué bonita te ves!
JP: So first he gets her attention, right? By saying.
Fernando: Oye
JP: Oye, okay, this is an attention-getting word. And then he says, “How lovely you look.”
Fernando: Qué bonita te ves.
JP: Qué bonita te ves. Now, the content word in this phrase, the main word is the word for lovely or pretty.
Fernando: bonita
JP: Bonita, okay. You can call a woman “bonita” if you think that she’s attractive.
Fernando: You can do that.
JP: Visually appealing. Yes. He’s exclaiming, he’s not just describing her. He’s exclaiming this description, so he’s going to say, “How lovely you look.”
Fernando: ¡Qué bonita te ves!
JP: ¡Qué bonita! This “qué” is an interrogative pronoun, it means what. We can probably translate it to how, “How pretty you look.” This is going to be the topic of our grammar section later on. So, ¡qué bonita te ves! The verb here is “ver” which means “to see.” And in this structure “te ves” how lovely you see yourself basically after several layers of translation, it means “how lovely you look. You look so lovely.”
Fernando: Oye, ¡qué bonita te ves!
JP: Okay. And then he names what exactly it is.
Fernando: Te cortaste el pelo.
JP: Te cortaste el pelo. You cut your hair. The word for hair.
Fernando: pelo
JP: pelo, okay. And you cut.
Fernando: te cortaste
JP: You cut your hair. We’re going to talk about this more in the vocabulary section. Let’s put it all together. Hey, you look so good. You cut your hair.
Fernando: Oye, ¡qué bonita te ves! Te cortaste el pelo.
JP: And she says, “Yes, it’s not too short, is it?”
Fernando: Sí, ¿no es muy corto?
JP: ¿No es muy corto? This question, she’s wondering a little vainly, I think, she’s wondering if the haircut is a little too short.
Fernando: ¿No es muy corto?
JP: That word for short is “corto”. And too short.
Fernando: Muy corto.
JP: Muy, usually means “very,” but sometimes it can also mean too. So too short or very short. Now, to ask a question she says, “Is it not very short?”
Fernando: ¿No es muy corto?
JP: ¿No es muy corto? If I were to gloss the sentence, it would be, “It is not very short question.” In English, the least awkward translation we decided is, “It’s not too short, is it?” All right? ¿No es muy corto?
Fernando: That would be the translation because obviously you take into account the cultural aspect of people asking questions in that manner.
JP: Sí, ¿no es muy corto? And Miguel says.
Fernando: No, te queda perfecto.
JP: Te queda perfecto. Here, the operative word is “perfecto”, which means perfect.
Fernando: Uh-hmm.
JP: And we have this verb “quedar”, which often we use to talk about the results of haircut or the result of an outfit choice.
Fernando: Or of a cuisine if someone is cooking.
JP: Yes, “te queda perfecto”. No, it looks great on you.
Fernando: Te queda perfecto.
JP: Uh-hmm. And then Angela takes a moment to reflect on how nice Miguel is.
Fernando: Ay, qué lindo.
JP: Ay, qué lindo. This is another exclamation using an interrogative pronoun which we’ll talk about in the grammar section. Right now, I’d like to move to the vocabulary section.
Fernando: corto
JP: Short, small, meager.
Fernando: cor-to, corto. Lindo.
JP: Pretty, nice, lovely.
Fernando: lin-do, lindo. Bonito.
JP: Pretty.
Fernando: bo-ni-to, bonito. Perfecto.
JP: Perfect.
Fernando: per-fec-to, perfecto. Cortarse el pelo.
JP: To get a haircut.
Fernando: cor-tar-se el pe-lo, cortarse el pelo.
JP: All right, Fernando, we’re back. We’ve got a bunch of adjectives. And one action phrase. What do you want to start with?
Fernando: Let’s start with: bonito.
JP: Okay, this is pretty or lovely. Bonito, is a masculine form, the feminine form, of course, would be.
Fernando: bonita
JP: Bonita, all right. Bonito, is used to describe something that’s visually appealing or nice.
Fernando: And here’s the action verb: cortarse el pelo.
JP: Cortarse el pelo, to get a haircut. Literally, these words all put together, mean, to cut one’s hair.
Fernando: But you never do that.
JP: Yeah.
Fernando: You don’t cut your own hair.
JP: I never cut my own hair, no. I get a haircut.
Fernando: You get a haircut.
JP: All right, cortarse el pelo.
Fernando: Right.
JP: What’s next?
Fernando: corto
JP: This is the word for short. But be careful because this means short in length. So...
Fernando: Not short in size.
JP: Not short in size, not a short length of time, but just short length of, for example, a short length of hair: pelo corto, corto.
Fernando: Next word is: perfecto.
JP: Perfecto, this is almost a perfect cognate with English, right? Almost perfect. Perfecto.
Fernando: Perfecto, just add the “O”. Last one: lindo.
JP: Lindo, this is pretty or lovely. Lindo, can also talk about abstract things like ideas or situations or if you want to compliment Miguel on being so nice, you can say, “ay, qué lindo”.
Fernando: qué lindo. And if you want to compliment a woman, qué linda.
JP: Qué linda. You know, I know some women named Linda.
Fernando: Yes, that’s very common.
JP: Let’s move on to the grammar section, Fernando.

Lesson focus

Fernando: All right, JP, apparently, we’re going to make exclamation.
JP: Absolutely.
Fernando: These are exclamations.
JP: Exclamations. Aren’t you excited? How exciting.
Fernando: How exciting!
JP: And those exactly are the kind of exclamations we’re going to make. We’re going to use interrogative pronouns. Now, if you remember from grammar school, interrogative pronouns are the WH words. So, who, what, which, where, why, how much, how many, these are the question words. It turns out that we can take some of these words in their Spanish equivalents and make exclamations with them which is something that I don’t often do in English but I do all the time in Spanish. And so there’s Angela, for example, when she says, “Miguel is so nice!”
Fernando: Ay, ¡qué lindo!
JP: She’s exclaiming how his niceness.
Fernando: Miguel also does that.
JP: What does he say?
Fernando: ¡Qué bonita!
JP: ¡Qué bonita te ves!, verdad. You look so nice! How lovely you look!
Fernando: How lovely you look.
JP: So, as you can see, it’s relatively easy to make an exclamation. One of the most common kinds is to take an adjective like “bonita” or “lindo” and preface it with the word “qué”, which means what or in our translations it can mean how, okay?
Fernando: I think the best thing to do maybe is show our listeners some example.
JP: All right. For example, if you’re eating something delicious and you want to exclaim how delicious it is, you can use the adjective for delicious which is “rico”, right?
Fernando: You can use, rico.
JP: Okay, so I would use...
Fernando: You can use, delicioso.
JP: So let’s make an exclamation.
Fernando: ¡Qué delicioso!
JP: ¡Qué delicioso! ¡Qué rico!
Fernando: ¡Qué rico!
JP: What if it’s terrible, Fernando? What if it doesn’t taste good at all?
Fernando: ¡Qué malo!
JP: ¡Qué malo! So we have that adjective “malo” and then we exclaim it with “qué”. You can also use, qué, with a noun like ¡Qué asco!. That’s awful, you know? ¡Qué asco! But I want to move on to some of the other interrogative pronouns. How about the word “cuánto?” If you want to talk about a quantity of something, you can also exclaim using ¡cuánto! Do you have an example, Fernando?
Fernando: Let’s say, it’s your first month with your girlfriend.
JP: Okay.
Fernando: And you see them coming over and they’re all PDA on you.
JP: Okay, if it’s getting very physical.
Fernando: Yeah, physical in a good way, in a PG way.
JP: Okay. So what are we going to exclaim?
Fernando: ¡Cuánto amor!
JP: ¡Cuánto amor! So much love.
Fernando: Right.
JP: So that’s the first month.
Fernando: That’s the first month.
JP: The second month, it’s going to be like ¡Cuánto dinero!
Fernando: ¡Cuánto dinero! or it’s going to be like...
JP: How much money?
Fernando: Cuánto amor… ¡Cuánto amor!
JP: ¡Cuánto amor! I would usually say, ¡Cuánto te quiero! How much I love you. I love you so much. And of course, the lady’s heart would melt and I would say ¡Cuánto te quiero!, poco… Not very much.
Fernando: Yeah. Okay. And you’ve been single, how long?
JP: Yeah, I used to get in a lot of trouble for that one.
Fernando: Okay.
JP: I thought it was funny.
Fernando: I think it’s funny, too.
JP: Okay. We can also make exclamations with the interrogative pronoun: cómo.
Fernando: ¡Cómo! let’s see.
JP: Like you’re so irritating.
Fernando: ¡Cómo molestas!
JP: ¡Cómo molestas!, molestar, is like bug. So you bug. How you bug! ¡Cómo molestas!
Fernando: ¡Cómo molestas!... ¡Cómo te extraño!
JP: Oh, how much I miss you. I miss you so much ¡Cómo te extraño! All right. Now, folks, we have a list of interrogative pronouns as well as a lot of examples of exclamations with their interrogative pronouns. In the grammar section of the lesson notes of this lesson, just go to our website and find that. And the website is www.SpanishPod101.com.
Fernando: And please don’t forget to drop us a line. We always want to hear from you.
JP: Absolutely. Just use the comment section of this lesson. For now, though, it’s time for us to say ¡Hasta luego!
Fernando: ¡Adiós!


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Please to leave a comment.
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SpanishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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When was the last time you received a nice compliment?

Monday at 01:25 PM
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Hola Debbie,

Thank you for your question.

yo is I- when it is the subject of the verb in the clause. Frequently dropped in Spanish and you sound funny if you overuse it.

me is the singular second person pronoun used as a subject or el sustantivo

te is a direct object pronoun, indirect object pronoun, or reflexive pronoun when it used in conjunction with the verb

tu is possessive personal pronoun

Sigamos practicando!



Team SpanishPod101.com

Thursday at 11:07 PM
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Mi pregunta es sobre the use of yo vs me (and tu vs te, etc.). En este leción, we saw "me" and "te" used in places where I would have thought to use "yo" and "tu" respectively:

Oye, ¡qué bonita te ves! Te cortaste el pelo.

No, te queda perfecto.

And in a previous lesson, we saw it used in "Me comí".

Can you please explain when and why this is done?

¡Gracias por todo!

Sunday at 11:00 PM
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Hi Hatim,

Thank you for posting.

It seems the audio works fine with this lesson.

Could you check if you have a free lifetime account? Those who have the free lifetime account can access only up to lesson 3 for free. If you have a basic or premium membership, please let us know which error message you see on the screen. It’d be great if you could send us an email at contactus@SpanishPod101.com so that we can take a look at the issue closely.

Thank you,


Team SpanishPod101.com

Monday at 10:26 PM
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I Can't play lesson 19 😢

Thursday at 02:40 PM
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Hola Charlene,

Thank you for your comment.

Emphasizing you made it yourself.

Let's review the following lesson link.




Team Spanishpod.com

Wednesday at 03:29 PM
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Hi, in "te cortaste el pelo", why are there two "te" for the verb cortarse? A bit confused for the usage of reflexive verbs. Could you please link me to a lesson that explains it in more detail?


SpanishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 10:45 AM
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Hola Philip,

Thank you for your comment.

Here "te" is the second person personal pronoun.

And "ves" is the second person singular of the verb "ver".


Te ves bien. - You look good.

Te veo desde aquí. - I can see you from here.

Please keep enjoying the lessons.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Thursday at 09:33 PM
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Re: "te ves"

I get the logic of reflexive verbs such as levantarse, quedarse, irse etc but could you please explain the use of this reflexive stuff that seems to come up in ordinary chit chat? Is it just idiomatic or is there a basis in grammar that I have not yet comprehended?

Gracias! Me gusta mucho apprender con ustedes! (I had to throw in a reflexive!)

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 07:00 AM
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Hola Chris,

Thank you for your comment!

We´re really happy to hear your enjoying the lesson so much!

Stay tuned, cause we have new lessons for you every week.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Saturday at 09:13 AM
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This is such an excellent learning experience!