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Lesson Transcript

Fernando: Why Are You Always Twenty Minutes Behind the Spanish Time? Yes, I know. JP, how are you?
JP: I’m fine, thanks! How are you, Fernando?
Fernando: I’m good.
JP: These titles always crack me up.
Fernando: I know.
JP: Fernando, why don’t you give us a preview of what are we going to talk about today in this podcast?
Fernando: Well, in this lesson, you will learn how to tell time. This conversation takes place on the street, and the conversation is between Eva and Marco. They will be using the familiar register?
JP: Okay, are you ready to listen?
Fernando: Let’s go!
Lesson Conversation + Translation
(1 time natural native speed, 1 time slowly, 1 time with translation)
(1 time natural native speed)
Eva:¿Qué hora es?
Eva:¿Qué hora tienes?
Marco:Son veinte para las tres.
English Host: Let’s hear it again, dramatic speed.
Eva:¿Qué hora es?
Eva:¿Qué hora tienes?
Marco:Son veinte para las tres.
English Host: One more time with the translation.
Eva:¿Qué hora es?
JP:What time is it?
JP:Excuse me?
Eva:¿Qué hora tienes?
JP:What time do you have?
Marco:Son veinte para las tres.
JP:It's twenty to three o'clock.
Fernando: All right, we’re back and we have an absolute beginner dialogue which means it’s a pretty simple one, right?
JP: Pretty, simple, yeah, just about telling time.
Fernando: So, Eva starts off with a classic question, asking what time is it.
JP: ¿Qué hora es?
Fernando: ¿Qué hora es? So, whenever you wanna know what time is it, you can always ask - ¿Qué hora es? All right, now, it doesn’t seem that Marco understood her question.
JP: At all. Not good, Marco. So, he asked - Excuse me? ¿Mande?
Fernando: ¿Mande? Mande is excuse me?
JP: Yes.
Fernando: Now, that strikes me as kind of a Mexican thing to say - ¿Mande?
JP: ¿Mande? Well, it’s a proper thing to say, as opposed to - ¿Qué?
Fernando: Okay, qué would be “what.”
JP: What?
Fernando: ¿Qué?
JP: Yes.
Fernando: Okay. Then she kind of rephrases her question.
JP: By saying - ¿Qué hora tienes?
Fernando: ¿Qué hora tienes? So, what time do you have? That word “tienes” is the verb “tener,” okay, “to have.”
JP: to have
Fernando: ¿Qué hora tienes? “What time do you have?”
JP: To which he responds - Son veinte para las tres.
Fernando: Son veinte para las tres. “It’s 20 to three,” okay, so it’s 20 minutes to three o’clock, so two-forty..
JP: Two-forty!
Fernando: All right, piece of cake. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary in this lesson.
JP:Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
:The first word we shall see is:
Fernando:¿Qué hora es? [natural native speed]
JP:What time is it?
Fernando:¿Qué hora es? [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando:¿Qué hora es? [natural native speed]
Fernando:¿Mande? [natural native speed]
JP:Excuse me? What did you say?
Fernando:¿Mande? [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando:¿Mande? [natural native speed]
Fernando:¿Qué hora tienes? [natural native speed]
JP:What time do you have?
Fernando:¿Qué hora tienes? [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando:¿Qué hora tienes? [natural native speed]
Fernando:veinte [natural native speed]
Fernando:veinte [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando:veinte [natural native speed]
Fernando: las tres [natural native speed]
JP: three o'clock
Fernando: las tres [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: las tres [natural native speed]
JP: Okay, cool. Now, that we’ve heard those words in isolation, let’s elaborate a little bit more their meaning. So, we’re gonna start with the phrase…
Fernando: Let’s start with the phrase - ¿Qué hora es?
JP: ¿Qué hora es? Now, we already talked a little bit about it. Qué hora es means “What time is it? And if you break it down, you have the word for “what”
Fernando: qué
JP: The word for “hour”
Fernando: hora
JP: And the word for “it is.”
Fernando: es
JP: Okay. So you put it altogether and it’s, “What time is it?”
Fernando: ¿Qué hora es?
JP: ¿Qué hora es? Now, this is the standard way to ask for the current time, right?
Fernando: Right.
JP: So, the answer is gonna be the time.
Fernando: Right.
JP: So somebody is gonana look at their watch and read off their watch to you.
Fernando: Or their phone.
JP: Okay. Now, as you said before, Marco didn’t hear very well, so he says…
Fernando: ¿Mande?
JP: ¿Mande? Okay.
Fernando: Which is our next word.
JP: Mm-hmm. Now, we said this means excuse me or what did you say. Now, I’ve noticed, this is a particularly Mexican expression, because in other regions of the Spanish-speaking world, you might say like - ¿Cómo? ¿Perdón?
Fernando: Yeah, that’s true. I can see that. But you understand, even if you’re in, let’s say Paraguay, if you use “mande,” they’ll understand.
JP: They all understand and they’ll go, huh, Mexican!
Fernando: Mexican, Mexicano.
JP: Okay, mande, okay.
Fernando: It’s a proper way to get reputation, yes.
JP: Mm-hmm. So, she rephases with - ¿Qué hora tienes?
Fernando: ¿Qué hora tienes? Which is our next phrase.
JP: And as I said before, this is, “What time do you have?” So, she’s trying to be more specific to Marco who didn’t get it the first time.
Fernando: Exactly.
JP: So, she’s not a strong listener. What time do you have on your watch? Look at it with your eyes and tell me, using words, what time it is now.
Fernando: With three little words.
JP: ¿Qué hora tienes?
Fernando: Let’s move on - veinte.
JP: Veinte. Now, this is the word for “twenty,” right?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: And so, why is the word veinte in the lesson?
Fernando: Marco answers by saying - es veinte…
JP: “It’s twenty…”
Fernando: Para las tres.
JP: Para las tres. Okay, “It’s twenty until las tres,” which is our next word, right?
Fernando: Las tres, yes.
JP: Las tres is “three o’clock.” Now Fernando, we’re gonna go into time later, but if I wanna say, “four o’clock”?
Fernando: Las cuatro.
JP: Okay. How about if I wanna say “two o’clock”?
Fernando: Las dos.
JP: All right. So, it’s las cuatro, las tres, las dos. So what about if it’s one, “one o’clock”?
Fernando: La una.
JP: La una, okay. Now, una is singular, right?
Fernando: Exactly.
JP: ‘Cause it’s only one of them.
Fernando: There’s only one.
JP: Okay, so it’s la una, but the rest of them are all “las.”
Fernando: Yes.
JP: Okay, cool. Let’s get to our grammar point, which is telling time.
Fernando: So, telling time.
JP: Yes, telling time.
Fernando: Tell us about that.
JP: Okay, first of all, there’s a difference between telling the current time and telling like a schedule, okay? So, when we tell the current time, we’re always gonna use the verb “ser,” okay?
Fernando: Right.
JP: Okay. For example, if I would say, “It’s four o’clock.”
Fernando: Son las cuatro.
JP: Son las cuatro, okay. You hear that “son,” that’s the verb “ser” in the third person plural, son las cuatro. How about, “It’s three o’clock”?
Fernando: Son las tres.
JP: Son las tres. How about “It’s two o’clock”?
Fernando: Son las dos.
JP: And “It’s one o’clock.”
Fernando: Es la una.
JP: Es la una. Okay, now, we all understand that it’s es la una because “la una” (singular).
Fernando: Right.
JP: So, you’re gonna use “es.”
Fernando: Yes. For all other times, you wanna use the plural.
JP: Right, when it’s two or three or four or 12.
Fernando: Exactly.
JP: Okay, cool. Es la una, son las dos, son las tres. Okay, so that’s the answer though. The question again was…
Fernando: ¿Qué hora es?
JP: ¿Qué hora es? Now, that is the standard proper way to ask for the time, right?
Fernando: Yes. And we still hear people say …
JP: Okay. So now, we know how to tell time on the hour, right?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: But let’s talk a little bit, what if we wanna tell time on a half hour, like “It’s three-thirty”?
Fernando: Son las tres y media.
JP: Son las tres y meda. Now, what’s that word “media”?
Fernando: Media “half,” literally translated.
JP: Okay. So, like in English, we say, “It’s half past three.”
Fernando: Right.
JP: Okay. So, what if I wanna say, “It’s three-twenty.” It’s not quite three-thirty, it’s three-twenty.
Fernando: Son las tres y veinte.
JP: Son las tes y veinte. Okay, that’s the classical textbook thing. Now, Fernando, you say other things because I’m listening to you, and when you tell me the time, it’s not always that classical textbook way.
Fernando: Yes. I say tres veinte or…
JP: Tres veinte “three-twenty”
Fernando: Yes, or tres con veinte.
JP: Okay, “three with twenty.”
Fernando: I’m very scarce with my words, so I’ll just go with three-twenty.
JP: Okay.
Fernando: Tres veinte.
JP: Tres veinte. Now, what if it’s “three-forty.”
Fernando: Es veinte para las cuatro.
JP: Es veinte para las cuatro. Wait a second. Now, in the dialogue, it was veinte para las tres, right?
Fernando: Exactly.
JP: Okay, so that should have been two-forty.
Fernando: Two-forty.
JP: Oh, did I screw that up?
Fernando: Maybe it was a timezone change.
JP: Okay. Es veinte para las tres, “two-forty.” Okay, anyway, what’s happening is there’s some subtraction going on, right? So, there’s three o’clock and twenty minutes before that is two-forty.
Fernando: Yes, es veinte para las cuatro.
JP: That would be “three-forty.”
Fernando: Three-forty.
JP: Okay, so Fernando, when you tell the minutes, you just add the minutes. You say son las tres veinte, right?
Fernando: Son las tres veinte.
JP: And then you get to “three-thirty.”
Fernando: tres y media
JP: And after “three-thirty,” you’re gonna say it’s “twenty to four,” right?
Fernando: Es veinte para las cuatro.
JP: Okay. And then, “fifteen to four” or quarter to four?
Fernando: Cuarto para las cuatro.
JP: Cuarto para las cuatro.. Now, that word “cuarto” is a “quarter,” right?
Fernando: Yes, exactly.
JP: So, it’s a quarter to four. That might be a little tongue twister for our listeners because the word “four” is…
Fernando: Es cuatro.
JP: And the word for “quarter”
Fernando: cuarto
JP: Okay. Cuatro - cuarto.
Fernando: Cuarto para las cuatro.
JP: Okay. Now, you can get really exactly the time, right?
Fernando: You can.
JP: You can, if you want to. If you’re in the military or if you’re particulary time obssessed. You’re kind of a time obsessed kind of guy, aren’t you, Fernando?
Fernando: Not really, I’m Mexican.
JP: No? You’re Mexican? So, you can just kind of guestimate what time it is and people will get it.
Fernando: I don’t really pay too much attention. If it’s close to three forty-five, I’ll say “quarter to four.”
JP: Okay, if it’s close, right? All right, so it doesn’t have to be exact.


JP: So, I think for now, it’s time to go.
Fernando: Nos vamos!
JP: Okay, hasta luego!


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