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Lesson Transcript

Lizzie: Buenos días, me llamo Lizzie.
Allan: Allan Le Rue here. Beginner Series, Lesson number 23. “Cleaning Up 1.”
Lizzie: Hola Allan!
Allan: ¿Cómo te va Lizzie?
Lizzie: Todo bien. ¿Qué novedades?
Allan: Nada pues. Listo para las lecciones en SpanishPod101. Now, for the last lessons, we learnt some different ways to express actions in the future.
Lizzie: Así es! We learned how to express what we will do and what we’ll be doing.
Allan: Exacto. Now today, we’re gonna switch gears a bit and look at how we describe something that belongs to someone else.
Lizzie: ¿Osea vamos a estudiar los posesivos?
Allan: That’s right, we are going to study possessives. We’ll look at these today and also the next lesson. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if we come back to them again in the future since it’s such a useful topic.
Lizzie: Now, in today’s conversation, Drusilla is trying to clean up, and she is wondering who left their setting on the table after lunch.
Allan: Lizzie, have you heard the latest regional lesson?
Lizzie: Yeah, it is so interesting to hear how Spanish is spoken in Costa Rica and Spain too.
Allan: And since we’re here, in Lima, the Peruvian lessons really ring a bell.
Lizzie: Right.
Allan: You know, I think people could get the wrong idea about the regional lessons. Is not like if you listen to the Peruvian series, you’re not gonna be able to apply what you learned to your trip to Spain or vice versa for that matter.
Lizzie: Claro.
Allan: But what they do show is what makes Peruvian Spanish Peruvian, to put it that way.
Lizzie: Bueno. ¿Ya empezamos?
Allan: Yeah, let’s get in today’s conversation.
GISELA: Luis, ¿son sus platos?
LUIS: Sí. Son mis platos.
GISELA: ¿Y ese es su vaso?
LUIS: Es mi vaso también.
GISELA: ¿Y esa es su servilleta?
LUIS: No. Es su servilleta.
GISELA: Luis, are they your plates?
LUIS: Yes. They are my plates.
GISELA: And is that your glass?
LUIS: Yes. It is my glass too.
GISELA: And is that your napkin?
LUIS: No. It is your napkin.
Allan: You know, Lizzie, this conversation is a good one for a number of reasons. I mean we really get to see how possession is expressed in Spanish.
Lizzie: Completamente.
Allan: However, would you say it’s very common for people to clear their own plate settings after a meal?
Lizzie: Así es. Es muy común pero depende de la familia.
Allan: Lizzie said that yes, it’s pretty common but it depends on the family. I mean I was surprise when I moved to Peru how many people here do have household help, who help out with those chores.
Lizzie: Ok. Now, Allan, what do you say we move on and go through the vocabulary for today?
Allan: Great idea, Lizzie.
Lizzie: Where should we start?
Allan: Let’s start with…
Lizzie: plato
Allan: Plate, dish, course.
Lizzie: plato, plato
Allan: Next.
Lizzie: vaso
Allan: Glass, vase, vessel.
Lizzie: vaso, vaso
Allan: And then…
Lizzie: servilleta
Allan: Napkin, serviette.
Lizzie: servilleta, servilleta
Allan: Next.
Lizzie: mi
Allan: My.
Lizzie: mi, mi
Allan: Then.
Lizzie: tu
Allan: Your.
Lizzie: tu, tu
Allan: And finally…
Lizzie: también
Allan: Also, too, as well.
Lizzie: también, también
Allan: Lizzie, before we move on, let’s talk quickly about the word tu.
Lizzie:¡Cómo no!
Allan: Now here we see it without an accent, right?
Lizzie: Right.
Allan: And without an accent this means?
Lizzie: Your.
Allan: Exactly. And with an accent it means?
Lizzie: You.
Allan: Right. Now this may seem like a real slight difference in pronunciation - I know it did to me when I was starting now - but once you train your ears, it’s not that hard.
Lizzie: Claro, por ejemplo: Tu hermano está bien.
Allan: Right, Tu hermano está bien.. Now, here there’s no accent and this means “Your brother is ok”. And this example is interesting because, if we hear the accent and tú, which means “you”, now it sounds like we’re addressing our brother.
Lizzie: Right. Tú, hermano te quiero.
Allan: And in this case we translate to it something like “You, my brother, I love you”.
Lizzie: Ok. Now that we’ve broken these words down, let’s look at how they are used.
Allan: Yeah, let’s put them in context.
Lizzie: Where should we start?
Allan: Well, let me ask you this: what do you call the glass or ceramic piece that is used for decoration or for holding flowers?
Lizzie: You mean “a vase”?
Allan: Yeah, that’s it, “a vase”. Now if we drop the E from the end of the word, what are we left with?
Lizzie: V-A-S.
Allan: Right. And what’s the masculine ending for most nouns in Spanish when they are singular?
Lizzie: It’s just an O as in amigo.
Allan: Ok, so if we add this O ending to stem “vas”, what do we get?
Lizzie: We get “vaso”.
Allan: Then what does “vaso” mean?
Lizzie: It means “glass”.
Allan: And by “glass” do you mean the kind of glass we use for windows or the kind of glass we drink out of.
Lizzie: I mean the kind that we drink out of.
Allan: Ah, so I could say Un vaso de agua..
Lizzie: Claro, tambien. Un vaso de cerveza.
Allan: That sounds better. Right, so we could say Un vaso de agua., “a glass of water”, or Un vaso de cerveza., “a glass of beer”. And what about if we’re drinking wine?
Lizzie: In that case we wouldn’t use “vaso”.
Allan: No, and why not?
Lizzie: Bueno por que usaríamos la palabra copa.
Allan: Ok, so you would use the word copa when you are drinking wine. So you’d say Una copa de vino..
Lizzie: ¡Así es!
Allan: Ok, moving on. When you at the lunch table and you need to wipe your mouth, what do you use?
Lizzie: Una servilleta.
Allan: Una servilleta. Great. And Una servilleta is “a napkin”?
Lizzie: Claro.
Allan: I guess sometimes in English we see the word “serviette”, which is borrowed from the French I believe. But the word napkin is more common.
Lizzie: Right, but it’s good that you point that out since the words are so similar.
Allan: Yeah, it’s a good way to make the connection. Plus I’m sure there are some French speakers out there, who would love to hear this comparison.
Lizzie: Alright, should we move on?
Allan: Well, before we do, I just want to point out that “a napkin” is una servilleta, that is it’s a feminine noun.
Lizzie: Ah, good point. And the plural would then be servilletas, with an S at the end.
Allan: Great. Ok, two words to go.
Lizzie: Vamos.
Allan: Here’s a question for you.
Lizzie: A ver a ver!
Allan: The word “my” in English has two letters, right?
Lizzie: Sure, M and Y.
Allan: And how do you say Y in Spanish?
Lizzie: Well, there are two main ways . We can say either ye or igrega.
Allan: Great. And this second name, igrega, how would you translate this?
Lizzie: It would be “Greek I”.
Allan: So the Y in English is the Greek I in Spanish? And there is another kind of I too?
Lizzie: Sure we have the ilatina.
Allan: Great. And this is the Latin I, right?
Lizzie: Yes, it is.
Allan: Now going back to the word “my”, if we swap the Y or the Greek I for the letter I or the Latin I, what do we get?
Lizzie: And now it would be mi.
Allan: Ok, and that’s just spelt M-I?
Lizzie: Without an accent.
Allan: Right, without an accent, mi. And what does this mean?
Lizzie: It means “my”.
Allan: So the only difference is that in English, we use the Y or the so called “Greek I”, while in Spanish we use the I or the so-called “Latin I”.
Lizzie: Very interesting, Allan. I hadn’t thought about it like that before. So, Allan, do you speak any other languages than English and Spanish?
Allan: Well, I used to speak French but it’s been a while.
Lizzie: And did you find it confusing learning more than one foreign language?
Allan: Well, actually no. I thought it was a pretty big help.
Lizzie: Really?
Allan: Yeah, I mean, people, always said your third language is easier to learn than your second.
Lizzie: I bet that’s hard to imagine as a beginner student of Spanish though.
Allan: Well, sure. And I don’t mean to say that it’s a piece of cake or anything like that, but I learnt from my studies of French and Spanish that it’s all about making connections, about seeing how words relate to other words, and about finding exciting ways to remember these associations.
Lizzie: Muy pero muy interesante, Allan. Ya se que voy a aprender mucho de ti.
Allan: Y yo de ti.
Lizzie: Bueno ahora estudiemos un poco de gramática.
Allan: Yeah, it’s about that time, let’s look at some grammar.

Lesson focus

Lizzie: So you said that you like to look at how we show possession in Spanish, right?
Allan: ¡Así es!
Lizzie: So where should we begin?
Allan: Well, let’s start by making sure that we’re clear on what we mean by possession.
Lizzie: Ok.
Allan: So if I say “That’s my glass”, does this necessarily mean that I own the glass?
Lizzie: Not really, I mean you could be at a friend’s house and just be using a glass there.
Allan: Right, so if I’m at a friend’s house, let’s say I have a glass on the table, and someone is cleaning up, I could still say, “That’s my glass!” since the glass temporarily belongs to me, right?
Lizzie: Sure.
Allan: And in Spanish, this works the same way, right?
Lizzie: Right, we can say Esa es mi vaso., “That’s my glass”.
Allan: And the word that shows that this vaso belongs to me, is…
Lizzie: mi
Allan: mi, great. Now, Lizzie, another question.
Lizzie: Shoot.
Allan: With this example Esa es mi vaso, does the word mi modify a noun or replace it?
Lizzie: Well, it’s modifying the noun. vaso
Allan: And the word that modifies a noun is called?
Lizzie: An adjective.
Allan: Aha, so we could call the word mi here a possessive adjective?
Lizzie: That we can.
Allan: Great. So we said that to say my we use the word mi, right?
Lizzie: Right.
Allan: Now what of if it’s your glass and you and I are speaking to each other informally. How would you say “your glass”?
Lizzie: tu vaso
Allan: Right. So here, we’re just using the word tu again, without an accent. And then the noun, vaso. And if there were more than one glass, how would we render the phrase?
Lizzie: It would be son mi vasos or son tus vasos.
Allan: Great. So these possessive adjectives show number too. I mean, they can either be singular or plural, right?
Lizzie: Yes.
Allan: Ok, now in the conversation, we saw the word, servilleta which means “napkin”. So let’s suppose that we want to say “They are our napkins”, how do we do this?
Lizzie:Esas son nuestras servilletas.
Allan: Interesting. So, here we see the word nuestras and this means “our”.
Lizzie: Yeah, but this is the feminine plural form.
Allan: Ah. So this possessive adjective show number and gender. In other words it can either be singular or plural, and either masculine or feminine.
Lizzie: Right.
Allan: So you can see how close it is to words nosotros and nosotras.
Lizzie: Good connection.
Allan: And is there another possessive adjective that show both number and gender?
Lizzie: There is. When we want to describe something that belongs to “you all” in an informal sense, we say vuestro.
Allan: I see. And is this one used in Latin America and Spain?
Lizzie: Only in Spain.
Allan: Right, we won’t use this form here in Lima.
Lizzie: No, we wouldn’t. But we will understand it.
Allan: So, with this possessive adjective. We can say vuestro vaso, “your glass”, or vuestros vasos, “your glasses”, for the masculine singular and plural. Or vuestra servilleta, “your napkin”, or vuestras servilletas, “your napkins”, for the feminine singular and plural.
Lizzie: So far, so good.
Allan: And what about if it’s his glass?
Lizzie: We would use the adjective su.
Allan: su.
Lizzie: Right.
Allan: And for her glass?
Lizzie: That would be su as well.
Allan: Ok, and what of if el vaso is de usted. I mean “it belongs to you”, but this time in the formal sense.
Lizzie: It would also be su.
Allan: Muy bien. So what person are all these in?
Lizzie: The third person.
Allan: So, is safe to say that possessive adjectives of the third person don’t show gender, but only number?
Lizzie: Yeah, we can say that.
Allan: And what if there is more than one glass? How would we say, “his glasses”?
Lizzie: This time it would change to sus.
Allan: So sus vasos.
Lizzie: Right.
Allan: And the same would hold for “his glasses”?
Lizzie: Yes
Allan: And for “her glasses”.
Lizzie: The same.
Allan: And what about “their glass”?
Lizzie: That would be the same too.
Allan: For both masculine and feminine?
Lizzie: Yes.
Allan: So we can also say that for all the possibilities of the third person there are only two forms.
Lizzie: Right. If there is only object that’s possessed, the form is su. And if there are multiple objects, the form is sus
Allan: Lizzie, this is really a great topic because possession is one of those things that’s quite a bit different in Spanish than in English.
Lizzie: Yeah, how so?
Allan: Well, it seems to me that we use possessive adjectives much more than in English than we do in Spanish.
Lizzie: Interesting.
Allan: For example, in English we might say, “I put my hands in my pockets”.
Lizzie: Ok,
Allan: So how would you translate that to Spanish?
Lizzie: I would say Puse las manos en los bolsillos.
Allan: Right. So you didn’t use any possessive adjectives, did you?
Lizzie: I see what you mean. On the other hand, we do use these adjectives but I think you are right. They’re probably not as common in Spanish as they are in English.


Allan: Well, that’s just about all the time we have in for the day.
Lizzie: This has been a great lesson, Allan.
Allan: Oh definitely, Lizzie. Next time we’ll pick up where we left off and continue to look at how possession works in Spanish.
Lizzie: Sounds like a plan. Ha sido un gusto.
Allan: Ya nos vemos.
Lizzie: Hasta luego.


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Dialogue - Standard