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Lesson Transcript

Alisha: Hi everybody, this is Alisha.
Fernando: Hola amigos, soy Fernando.
Alisha: Welcome to SpanishPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 3, Lesson 22 – I Give the Spanish Orders Around Here! In this lesson you will learn how to give orders and ask for things using the imperative form in Spanish.
Alisha: This conversation is between Ashley and her friend Alejandro.
Fernando: And it takes place at their home.
Alisha: The speakers are friends, so they’ll use casual Spanish.
Alisha: Lets listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Ashley: Alejandro, ¡ven!
Alejandro ¿Qué pasa?
Ashley: ¡Necesito ayuda!
Alejandro ¡Espera! Ahí voy.
Alisha: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Ashley: Alejandro, ¡ven!
Alejandro ¿Qué pasa?
Ashley: ¡Necesito ayuda!
Alejandro ¡Espera! Ahí voy.
Alisha: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Ashley: Alejandro, ¡ven!
: Alejandro, come here!
Alejandro ¿Qué pasa?
: What's the matter?
Ashley: ¡Necesito ayuda!
: I need help!
Alejandro ¡Espera! Ahí voy.
: Wait! I'm coming.
Alisha: You know Fernando, I’m curious. In what situations can I use the imperative in Spanish?
Fernando: Well, whenever you’re giving an order.
Alisha: But does it make me sound rude if I use it?
Fernando Well, it depends. You can use the imperative and then add please, ‘por favor’, and so on. But if you use it bluntly, then yes, it could be rude.
Alisha: Can I use it with anybody?
Fernando: Well, actually you might want to avoid it with your superiors, or with someone you’re asking a favor of.
Alisha: In that case, what should I say?
Fernando: There are many ways to go around it, like “could you please?”, and so on.
Alisha: Okay, good to know! Let’s go on to the vocabulary.
Alisha: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is:
Fernando: venir [natural native speed]
: to come
Fernando: venir [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: venir [natural native speed]
: Next:
Alisha: qué [natural native speed]
: what
Alisha: qué [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Alisha: qué [natural native speed]
: Next:
Fernando: pasar [natural native speed]
: to happen
Fernando: pasar [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: pasar [natural native speed]
: Next:
Alisha: necesitar [natural native speed]
: to need
Alisha: necesitar [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Alisha: necesitar [natural native speed]
: Next:
Fernando: ayuda [natural native speed]
: help
Fernando: ayuda [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: ayuda [natural native speed]
: Next:
Alisha: esperar [natural native speed]
: to wait
Alisha: esperar [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Alisha: esperar [natural native speed]
: Next:
Fernando: ahí [natural native speed]
: there, over there
Fernando: ahí [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Fernando: ahí [natural native speed]
: Next:
Alisha: ir [natural native speed]
: to go
Alisha: ir [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Alisha: ir [natural native speed]
Alisha: Let's have a closer look at the usuage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Fernando: The first phrase we’ll look at is.... Qué pasa?
Alisha: Let’s see, when do people use this phrase in Mexico?
Fernando Whenever something is wrong, and you want to know what it is. Or it can simply be used to say “what’s up?”
Alisha: So I can say ‘qué pasa?’ when I order food in a restaurant and it hasn’t arrived yet?
Fernando: Definitely!
Alisha: What about if someone looks sick?
Fernando: Surely! In that case, it’s common to say ‘qué te pasa?’ Like, “what’s the matter”?
Alisha: Alright, let’s repeat-
Fernando: ¿Qué pasa? [pause]
Alisha: And our next word is...
Fernando: ¡Ahí voy!
Alisha: “I’m coming...!” So this used when someone knocks on your door, something like that?
Fernando: Yes, it’s used to assure the other person that you’re on your way.
Alisha: Okay, let’s repeat.
Fernando: ¡Ahí voy! [pause]
Alisha: And our last word...
Fernando: Ayuda
Alisha: This means “help”. Please repeat
Fernando: Ayuda [pause]
Alisha: ‘Ayuda’ is a noun. So it can be combined with a verb. For example, to give help.
Fernando: Dar ayuda
Alisha: In the dialogue, Ashley says “I need help”, which is...
Fernando: Necesito ayuda.
Alisha: Ok, let’s go on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Alisha: In this lesson, you’ll learn the imperative use of verbs in Spanish.
Fernando: And by this we mean that you’ll be able to give orders in Spanish.
Alisha: What are the rules, Fernando?
Fernando: Well, you’ll need to learn one important thing first - finding the stem of the verb.
Alisha: And how can I do that?
Fernando: All verbs in Spanish follow a pattern. They end in ‘-ar’, ‘-er’, ‘-ir’, one of these three.
Alisha: So we find the root of the verb by taking off the last little piece of the verb?
Fernando: Exactly, it’s called the “suffix”.
Alisha: And then what do we do?
Fernando: That depends on whether the verb ends in ‘-ar’, ‘-er’, or ‘-ir’.
Alisha: Can you give us an example of an ‘-ar’ verb?
Fernando: Let’s use the verb, to pay, ‘pagar’. In this case, you drop the suffix, and add ‘a’. ‘Paga’
Alisha: And this means “pay”?
Fernando: Right. ‘Paga’.
Alisha: Let’s do another one. This time an ‘-er’ verb. “To run.”
Fernando: Correr.
Alisha: What do we do for this one?
Fernando: Here, you drop the suffix, and add ‘e’. So the imperative is ‘corre’.
Alisha: Run!
Fernando: Precisely.
Alisha: Okay, now how about an ‘-ir’ verb? How about... “To open.”
Fernando: abrir.
Alisha: What do we do here?
Fernando: Here, you also drop the suffix, and add ‘e’. So abrir becomes, abre.
Alisha: Ok, that wasn’t so bad.
Fernando: Now, another way of doing this, which you can find in your lesson notes, is to remember the second person present conjugation of any verb in formal Spanish. It’s the same form of the imperative form in informal Spanish.
Alisha: Oh, really? Formal Spanish, so you mean the form that uses ‘usted’?
Fernando: Yes, like ‘usted habla’.
Alisha: “You speak”, formal.
Fernando: ‘Habla’ is the imperative form of ‘hablar’, “to speak.”
Alisha: Ok, that’s good to remember. Now, let’s look at the examples we had in the dialogue. We had 2 examples of the imperative.
Fernando: Yes, the first one was ‘ven’.
Alisha: And this comes from the verb...?
Fernando: ‘Venir’, “to come”.
Alisha: Does this follow the rules?
Fernando: Good question, because actually... it doesn’t. ‘Venir’ is considered an irregular verb.
Alisha: And those conjugations just have to be memorized?
Fernando: Unfortunately, yes. The other imperative was ‘espera’.
Alisha: Meaning, “wait”!
Fernando: This is from the ‘-ar’ verb ‘esperar’.
Alisha: This follows the rules. Take away the suffix, and add ‘a’
Fernando: That’s right! ‘Esperar’ becomes, ‘espera’.
Alisha: Ok, everybody. How did that lesson go for you?
Fernando: Be sure to check out the lesson notes for more information on irregular verbs.
Alisha: They’ll really help you out, so don’t forget! Thanks for listening!
Fernando: Hasta la proxima!


Please to leave a comment.
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SpanishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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If you need help in Mexico, now you can ask!

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 07:59 PM
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Hi Mhorner2,

Thank you for your message.

Please check out our Grammar Bank to find the grammar points you wish to study in more detail (including imperative):


In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Monday at 09:32 PM
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Dear SP,

In daily conversation we use the imperative all the time. Compared to other Beginner lessons, this one contains a lot to absorb. Maybe you can give the imperative more discussion in future lessons? Or, are there other lessons I can refer to?

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 02:19 AM
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Hola Chris,

Thank you for your comment!

By using the present indicative between friends you are being more direct, this is why we say is informal. In this same situation if you use the future tense, this changes the sentence to formal. Both sentences mean the same, just the time use can change the formality of the question.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Sunday at 08:23 PM
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I am a bit confused. I think in this lesson are they using the indicative form because they are talking amongst friends. If they were talking formally would the use the present subjunctive?

spanishpod101.com Verified
Sunday at 01:35 PM
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Hola Esteban,

We'll take your feedback in consideration.

But, in the context of the sentence I can tell they are talking about the future when they gonna meet. And tenses in english and Spanish are different. Even though the literal translation for "Estoy ahi a las ocho." is "I'm there at eight." I would translate it to "I'll be there at eight." Because of the future sense of the sentence. “Estaré ahí a las ocho.” is the literal translation of “I’ll be there at eight o’clock.” which is also valid.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Thursday at 02:20 PM
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Example from the vocabulary section.

Example: "Estoy ahí a las ocho."

Translation: "I'll be there at eight o'clock."

Why isn't the Spanish "Estaré ahí a las ocho."

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 12:53 PM
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Hi Gloria,

Thank you for posting!

And thank you for pointing that out :grin:

We have fixed the lesson notes.

All the information you have written on your post is correct :smile:

Glad to hear you are a great student!

Please, let us know if you have any question.

Hasta pronto!


Team SpanishPod101.com

Tuesday at 06:55 AM
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I believe there are mistakes with three verbs in the PDF concerning the First Person Present Subjunctive and the Second Person Imperative (Formal) . They are with estar, ir, and saber and the English translation for these three words..

Saber = to know (facts)

Ir = to go

Estar – to be

To go out = salir.

To do = hacer.

To go = ir.

(Formal commands)

Go out. = Salga.

Do. = Haga.

Know. (facts) = Sepa.

Go. = Vaya.

Be. = Esté.

I am only a student of Spanish so if I have been the one to have made the mistake with the subjunctive phrases, please let me know. And I apologize.