Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Alisha: Hi, Alisha here.
Fernando: Bienvenidos, soy Fernando.
Alisha: Welcome to Absolute Beginner Season 3, Lesson 2 – Formal Greetings in Mexican Spanish
Fernando: In this lesson you will learn how to greet someone politely in Spanish. In other words, what to say when you meet someone of superior rank.
Alisha: It can be your teacher, your boss or simply someone in the street, who you don’t know.
Fernando: The conversation takes place at a school.
Alisha: And it is between a student, Ashley, and her teacher, Mr. Gómez.
Fernando: The speakers have different professional ranks, so they will speak accordingly, using polite Spanish.
Alisha: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

A: Buenos días señor Gómez
B: Buenos días, Ashley
A: ¿Cómo está usted?
B: Muy bien, gracias ¿y usted?
A: Muy bien, gracias.
Alisha: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
A: Buenos días señor Gómez
B: Buenos días, Ashley
A: ¿Cómo está usted?
B: Muy bien, gracias ¿y usted?
A: Muy bien, gracias.
Alisha: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
A: Buenos días señor Gómez
Alisha: Good morning Mr. Gómez
B: Buenos días, Ashley
Alisha: Good morning, Ashley
A: ¿Cómo está usted?
Alisha: How are you?
B: Muy bien, gracias ¿y usted?
Alisha: I’m fine thank you, and you?
A: Muy bien, gracias.
Alisha: I’m fine, thank you.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Alisha: So Fernando, they’re speaking formally in this conversation, right? That means there are formal and informal ways to speak?
Fernando: Yes, that’s exactly right. Which one you use depends on the person’s rank.
Alisha: What do you mean by “rank?”
Fernando: Well, it’s a bit complicated, but in Spanish-speaking countries, you have to be very aware of who is in a superior position to you, be it in age or professional standing, like, for example a teacher. Also, when talking to someone new, you are expected to use the formal word for “you”, ‘usted’.
Alisha: What about people who are younger than you?
Fernando: Normally, with people younger than you or with kids, you speak using informal speech. You use the informal word for “you”, ‘tú’.
Alisha: I see. What if you mess up and refer to someone using the wrong term?
Fernando: Well, it happens. Like you may refer someone using the casual form ‘tú’, and then realize he or she wasn’t comfortable. So you have to go back to “usted” and it’s not a nice feeling.
Alisha: Hmm, it does sound a bit complicated. So do you have to ask permission before you can move from ‘usted’ to ‘tú’?
Fernando: That’s right. But I think when in doubt, you should use ‘Usted’. If the other person thinks it’s okay to use ‘tú’, they will let you know.
Alisha: That’s good to know! Okay, let’s move onto the vocab section.
VOCAB LIST
Alisha: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we shall see is:
Fernando: buenos días [natural native speed]
Alisha: good morning
Fernando: buenos días [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: buenos días [natural native speed]
Next:
Fernando: señor, señora [natural native speed]
Alisha: Sir, Ma'am, Mr., Mrs., gentleman, lady
Fernando: señor, -a [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: señor, -a [natural native speed]
Next:
Fernando: cómo [natural native speed]
Alisha: how
Fernando: cómo [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: cómo [natural native speed]
Next:
Fernando: estar [natural native speed]
Alisha: to be (temporary conditions)
Fernando: estar [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: estar [natural native speed]
Next:
Fernando: usted [natural native speed]
Alisha: you (formal)
Fernando: usted [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: usted [natural native speed]
Next:
Fernando: muy bien [natural native speed]
Alisha: very well
Fernando: muy bien [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: muy bien [natural native speed]
Next:
Fernando: gracias [natural native speed]
Alisha: thanks, thank you
Fernando: gracias [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: gracias [natural native speed]
Next:
Fernando: y [natural native speed]
Alisha: and
Fernando: y [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: y [natural native speed]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Alisha: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Fernando: The first phrase we’ll look at is....
Fernando: Buenos días.
Alisha: Which means “good morning”. To go along with that, we also have -
Fernando: Buenas tardes.
Alisha: “Good afternoon”, or “hello”, and…
Fernando: Buenas noches.
Alisha: “Good night.” One more time? Repeat after Fernando...
Fernando: “Good morning.” ‘Buenos días’ (pause). “Good afternoon”. Buenas tardes. (pause) “Good night.” Buenas noches. (pause).
Alisha: The phrase for “good night” can also mean “good evening”, right?
Fernando: Sure! Buenas noches can be used to greet someone when they go into a restaurant or party at night. But it is also a way to say Goodbye when people go back home, or before they go off to sleep.
Alisha: So when you are at home ready to go to bed you say buenas noches?
Fernando: That’s right. Please note that these are formal greetings. You wouldn’t say Buenos días or Buenas tardes to your friends at school.
Alisha: What’s our next word?
Fernando: Muy bien. Muy bien means “very well”. Muy means “very”, and bien means “well”.
Alisha: This was the answer to “how are you” in the dialogue, right?
Fernando: Yes. ¿Cómo está usted? Muy bien. “How are you? Very well.”
Alisha: We translated it simply as “I’m fine” in the dialogue.
Fernando: And we’ll look at that a bit more in the next section.
Alisha: Great, and what’s the last word we have?
Fernando: Gracias.
Alisha: Many listeners may already be familiar with this – it means “thank you”.
Fernando: These two phrases go together very well – muy bien, gracias. “Very well, thanks.”
Alisha: Ah, I see! So in the dialogue these two are like a set.
Fernando: That’s right!
Alisha: Ok, let’s move onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Alisha: The focus of this lesson is greeting someone in formal Spanish.
Fernando: The main phrase we are learning is ¿cómo está usted?
Alisha: “How are you?” Now keep in mind that this is formal Spanish.
Fernando: Repeat after me - ¿cómo está usted? (pause)
Alisha: Fernando, let’s break it down.
Fernando: Okay.Cómo
Alisha: This means “how”
Fernando: está
Alisha:
Fernando: This is the verb… ESTAR. It’s conjugated in the third person form, está
Alisha: And lastly?
Fernando: Usted.
Alisha: The formal word for “you”. All together again?
Fernando: ¿Cómo está usted? (pause)
Alisha: We’ll learn how to ask the same question using informal Spanish in the next lesson, so stay tuned for that!
Fernando: But for now, let’s look at the answer for this.
Alisha: We actually saw it earlier in the vocab section.
Fernando: That’s right, it was Muy bien, gracias.
Alisha: Literally, “very well, thanks.” In the dialogue, we translated it as “I’m fine, thanks.” So, all together now. Listeners, please repeat. “How are you?”
Fernando: ¿Cómo está usted? (pause)
Alisha: I’m fine, thanks.
Fernando: Muy bien, gracias. (pause)
Alisha: Great! There’s one other little thing I want to mention.
Fernando: What’s that?
Alisha: After Mr. Gomez says “I’m fine, thank you,” he says “and you”?
Fernando: Oh, right. ¿Y usted?
Alisha: It literally means “and you”?
Fernando: Yes. ¿Y usted?
Alisha: Okay, so now it’s time for the listeners to come up with the phrases on their own. Are you ready listeners? Fernando will ask how you are. Please respond!
Fernando: Okay, here I go. ¿Cómo está usted? (pause)
Alisha: And the answer is?
Fernando: Muy bien, gracias.
Alisha: Great, Now let’s try it the other way around. Listeners, ask Fernando [pause]
Fernando: Muy bien, gracias.
Alisha: Great! How did you do? Fernando, I think that’s going to wrap up this lesson! Thanks for joining us, everyone!

60 Comments

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SpanishPod101.comVerified
Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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Hi everyone,  ¿Cómo está usted?

SpanishPod101.com
Friday at 8:36 pm
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Hola Nora,


Thank you for posting.


Keep up practicing and in case of any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.👍


Saludos,

Cristiane

Team SpanishPod101.com

Nora
Sunday at 5:55 am
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Muy bien. ¿Cómo está usted?

SpanishPod101.com
Tuesday at 2:27 pm
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Hola Drew,


Thank you for your comment.

Yes, we have lessons for many Spanish speaking countries.

Being Mexican and Iberian the most popular.

Sigamos practicando!


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Drew
Wednesday at 8:54 pm
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Is Mexican Spanish in the App??

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Monday at 11:36 am
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Hola Patrick,


Thank you for your comment.

Estamos bien! Espero hayas tenido buen fin de semana.

Sigamos practicando.


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Patrick
Monday at 2:14 pm
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¡Buenos días señores y señoras!


Espero que (ustedes) estén bien.


Saludos,

Patrick


SpanishPod101.comVerified
Friday at 1:44 pm
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Hola Rati,


Que bueno que te encuentres bien.

Yo también estoy bien! 😎

Sigamos estudiando!


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Rati
Thursday at 6:30 pm
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Hola!! Que tal?


Buenos Dias,


Muy bein.....!!!! Gracias, y tu ?

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Saturday at 3:22 pm
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Hola Syafrizal,


Muy bien, también. Espero pases un buen fin de semana.

Gracias por participar.


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Syafrizal
Tuesday at 12:10 am
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Buenas tardes, muy bien gracias. ¿y usted?