Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Anna: Hola soy Anna.
Eric: Eric here! Celebrating Your Birthday in Spain. In this lesson, you'll learn how to ask someone's age and how to say how old you are.
Anna: This conversation takes place at a store in a shopping mall.
Eric: And it’s between Camila and Mioko.
Anna: The speakers have just met, but they're in a casual situation, so they're speaking semi-formally.
Eric: Let's listen to the conversation.
Camila: ¿Cuántos años tienes?
Mioko: Tengo 25 años, ¿y tú?
Camila: Yo tengo 26, hoy es mi cumpleaños.
Mioko: ¿Ah si? ¡Feliz cumpleaños!
Eric: Now let's listen to the same conversation at a slow speed.
Camila: ¿Cuántos años tienes?
Mioko: Tengo 25 años, ¿y tú?
Camila: Yo tengo 26, hoy es mi cumpleaños.
Mioko: ¿Ah si? ¡Feliz cumpleaños!
Eric: Let's now listen to the conversation with English translation.
Camila: ¿Cuántos años tienes?
Camila: How old are you?
Mioko: Tengo 25 años, ¿y tú?
Mioko: I'm twentyfive years old. And you?
Camila: Yo tengo 26, hoy es mi cumpleaños.
Camila: I'm twentysix. Today is my birthday.
Mioko: ¿Ah si? ¡Feliz cumpleaños!
Mioko: Oh really? Happy birthday!
Eric: Normally in Spain, people celebrate their birthdays by having a party.
Anna: That's right. It's very common to invite your friends to have dinner with you, and at the party, they give you presents.
Eric: For young children, it's customary to buy some small candy bags and give them to all their classmates at school as well. After that, a birthday party is celebrated at home or in some other place like McDonald's.
Anna: Exactly. After the party, it's traditional to have a birthday cake with candles—the same number of candles as your age. Then you blow out the candles just after they’re lit to make a wish.
Eric: People in Spain also sing the "Happy Birthday" song. At least, the music is the same, but the words are in Spanish.
Anna: Check out the words to the song in the lesson notes.
Eric: Yes, be sure to check it out. Now let's move on to the vocab.
Eric: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Anna: edad
Eric: age
Anna: edad [slowly]
Anna: edad
Eric: Next we have..
Anna: tener
Eric: to have
Anna: tener
Anna: tener
Eric: Next we have..
Anna: cuánto
Eric: how much, how many
Anna: cuánto [slowly]
Anna: cuánto
Eric: Next we have..
Anna: año
Eric: year
Anna: año [slowly]
Anna: año
Eric: Next we have..
Anna: mi
Eric: my
Anna: mi [slowly]
Anna: mi
Eric: Next we have..
Anna: ¿Ah sí?
Eric: good, well
Anna: ¿Ah sí? [slowly]
Anna: ¿Ah sí?
Eric: Next we have..
Anna: feliz
Eric: happy
Anna: feliz [slowly]
Anna: feliz
Eric: And last..
Anna: cumpleaños
Eric: birthday
Anna: cumpleaños [slowly]
Anna: cumpleaños
Anna: The first word we're going to look at is cuántos, which is usually translated as "how many" or "how much."
Eric: That's right. This is a "question word" in Spanish, and just like in English, it's always next to a noun and refers to a quantity. Could you break it down for us, Anna?
Anna: Sure. Cuán tos.
Eric: And one time fast?
Anna: Cuántos.
Eric: And a sample sentence?
Anna: How about ¿Cuántos años tienes? This translates as, "How old are you?"
Eric: Perfect. What's our next word?
Anna: The next word we'll look at is feliz, which translates as "happy."
Eric: So, we can use this word when we're talking about feelings, right?
Anna: Exactly.
Eric: Could you break it down?
Anna: Fe liz.
Eric: And all together?
Anna: Feliz.
Eric: How about some sample sentences?
Anna: Okay. Yo estoy feliz translates as "I'm happy." Another one could be Él no está muy feliz, which means, "He isn't very happy."
Eric: Spanish uses this word in a few fixed phrases too, like “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Valentine's Day.”
Anna: It does. In Spanish, Merry Christmas is Feliz Navidad and Happy Valentine's Day is Feliz día de San Valentín.
Eric: Great. What's our last word?
Anna: The last word we'll look at is mi.
Eric: This word is a possessive pronoun that means "my." As in English, it's a possessive adjective, and it indicates possession for the first-person singular...
Anna: ...yo
Eric: ...which means "I." Could you give us some example phrases for this?
Anna: Sure! You could say mi casa, which translates as "my house" or mi perro, which translates as "my dog." Now let's move on to the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the verb tener to tell and ask about ages.
Anna: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase ¿Cuántos años tienes?
Eric: Which we translated as "How old are you?"
Anna: When you’re talking about ages in Spanish, it's a bit different than in English.
Eric: That's because Spanish uses the verb "to have" instead of the verb "to be" like English does.
Anna: In other words, Spanish uses tener instead of ser. The meaning and uses are the same, but you have to use different words. That means you can't translate it directly and have it make sense.
Eric: Could you give us a direct translation example?
Anna: Sure. The classic example is "How old are you?," which directly translated into Spanish is ¿Qué tan viejo eres?
Eric: The English makes perfect sense, but the Spanish is completely incomprehensible. It is totally meaningless.
Anna: And the opposite is also true. The correct phrase in Spanish is ¿Cuántos años tienes?, which directly translated to English is "How many years do you have?"
Eric: So these phrases need to be learned as equivalents, not as translations.
Anna: Right. The equivalent of ¿Cuántos años tienes? is "How old are you?" and of (Yo) tengo 20 años is, "I'm twenty years old."
Eric: To use these sentences properly, we need to know a bit about the verb “to have” and its conjugation. So how do I say "I have?”
Anna: Yo tengo.
Eric: And "you have?"
Anna: Tú tienes.
Eric:"You have," in the formal sense.
Anna: Usted tiene.
Eric: "He/she/it has?"
Anna: Él/ella tiene.
Eric: “We have?”
Anna: Nosotros tenemos.
Eric: "You have" in plural form?
Anna: Vosotros tenéis.
Eric: And "you have" in the plural, formal form?
Anna: Ustedes tienen.
Eric: Finally, "they have?"
Anna: Ellos/ellas tienen.
Eric: So if you're talking about "them" or "those people over there," you would say ,"They are thirty years old." How do you say that in Spanish?
Anna: That would be, Ellos tienen 30 años.
Eric: Listeners, we have an important tip for this lesson.
Anna: We just talked about using tener when talking about a person's age. But when you’re talking about other things, tener is used in almost the exact same ways as "to have" in English.
Eric: Can you give us some examples of that?
Anna: Sure. For example, you could say, "I have a car." That would be Yo tengo un coche. Or, "He has twenty minutes to get here," which in Spanish would be Él tiene veinte minutos para llegar.
Anna: Okay, now it is time for the Tarea.
Eric: The answer from the previous lesson is Sentence #3. “You are Colombian” using the formal register in Spanish is…
Anna: Usted es colombiano. This time, your tarea is to choose which of these sentences in Spanish is incorrect:
1) Tenemos treinta años. “We’re 30 years old.”
2) Ella tiene diez años más que usted. “She’s 10 years older than you.”
3) Yo soy de veinte años. “I’m 20 years old.”


Eric: Don’t forget to have your answer ready before you start the next lesson.
Anna: Thanks for listening!
Eric: And we’ll see you next time.
Anna: ¡Hasta luego!