Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Natalia: Buenos días, soy Natalia.
Carlos: What’s going on? My name is Carlos. “Where Are You Headed?”
Natalia: Hola Carlos, ¿cómo estás?
Carlos: How are you doing, Naty? I’m alright.
Natalia: I’m doing good. Carlos…
Carlos: Yes?
Natalia: I think there must be a mistake of some sort.
Carlos: What’s that?
Natalia: Are we in another series or am I just going crazy?
Carlos: Well, you are going crazy, but you are not mistaken, Naty. We are expanding our horizons even further.
Natalia: So now we are on the beginner series, season two.
Carlos: Oh, yes. And once again, this really isn’t a replacement for season one of the beginners series, this is more like a complement.
Natalia: So it’s like our newbie season two.
Carlos: Something like that, but beginner series is a whole new ballgame.
Natalia: Hmmm, how so?
Carlos: Well, the beginner series is for those who have completed the newbie series.
Natalia: So there’s more Spanish spoken?
Carlos: Exactly.
Natalia: Hmmm, good. It’s time for you to practice what you preach mister.
Carlos: I’m down, I work well under pressure.
Natalia: I’m sure, so is the format the same as the newbie series?
Carlos: Yes! And like I said, the only difference is that it’s a little more advanced, “un poquito más español”.
Natalia: Hmmmm, getting started right now.
Carlos: I’m just trying to warm up.
Natalia: So our grammar point...
Carlos: It’s a big one!
Natalia: What is it?
Carlos: Your job today, Naty, will be to explain the preterit perfect tense.
Natalia: Well I’m perfect for that!
Carlos: I had a feeling our listeners won’t like that.
Natalia: Oh why? Did they already go to the grammar bank in the learning center?
Carlos: You best believe it. It has a great explanation for the preterit perfect tense.
Natalia: Good. They are not going completely blind.
Carlos: Not at all. Let’s get into these conversations.
Natalia: See, they get to prepare in advance before knowing he is coming here. So well Carlos, I think we should get into it.
CHOFER: Sí... ¿a dónde va?
MARIA: A la cuadra siete de la calle San Agustín en San Miguel.
CHOFER: A ver... la cuadra siete de la calle San Agustín... hmm... setenta colones?
MARIA: ¡Setenta colones! No se pase, maestro, nunca pago más que treinta.
CHOFER: Sí, pero el precio de combustible ha subido un montón. Mire, la llevo por sesenta colones.
MARIA: Cincuenta está bien. ¿Salimos... ?
CHOFER: Ya... ya... suba....
CHOFER: Yeah... where are ya' headed?
MARIA: The seventh block of San Augustín Street in San Miguel.
CHOFER: Let me see... The seventh block of San Augustín Street in San Miguel... hmm... Seventy Colones?
MARIA: Seventy Colones! Don't go overboard, man, I never pay more than thirty.
CHOFER: Yeah, but the price of gas has gone way up. Look, I'll take you for sixty.
MARIA: Fifty is cool. Should we go...?
CHOFER: Alright... alright... get in...
Carlos: Now that we’ve gone through the conversation Naty, what do you say we go through some of the vocabulary?
Natalia: Sounds like a good idea.
Carlos: So today we are going to start out with a feminine noun.
Natalia: “Cuadra”.
Carlos: “Block.”
Natalia: “Cua-dra”, “cuadra”.
Carlos: Feminine and masculine noun.
Natalia: “Maestro, maestra”.
Carlos: “Master”, “expert.”
Natalia: “Ma-es-tro, ma-es-tra”, “maestro, maestra”.
Carlos: Next up we have an adverb.
Natalia: “Nunca”.
Carlos: “Never.”
Natalia: “Nun-ca”, “nunca”.
Carlos: Now we have a masculine noun...
Natalia: “Precio”.
Carlos: “Price.”
Natalia: “Pre-cio”, “precio”.
Carlos: Then we have another masculine noun...
Natalia: “Combustible”.
Carlos: “Gasoline.”
Natalia: “Com-bus-ti-ble”, “combustible”.
Carlos: Then up we have a verb.
Natalia: “Subir”.
Carlos: “To go up”, “to get into a vehicle.”
Natalia: “Su-bir”, “subir”.
Carlos: Okay, “gasoline.”
Natalia: “Combustible”.
Carlos: “Combustible”.
Natalia: Now say “precio”.
Carlos: “Precio”.
Natalia: “Nunca”.
Carlos: “Nunca”.
Natalia: “Maestro”.
Carlos: “Maestro”.
Natalia: “Cuadra”.
Carlos: “Cuadra”.
Natalia: “Subir”.
Carlos: “Subir”.
Natalia: “Precio”.
Carlos: “Precio”.
Natalia: “Combustible”.
Carlos: “Combustible”.
Natalia: “Nunca”.
Carlos: “Nunca”.
Natalia: “Maestro”.
Carlos: “Maestro”.
Natalia: “Cuadra”.
Carlos: “Cuadra”.
Natalia: “Subir”.
Carlos: “Subir” [laughs] ¡Qué difícil!
Natalia: Pronunciation is always a little difficult.
Carlos: Do you know what always confuses me, Naty?
Natalia: What?
Carlos: Saying, “Costa Rica”.
Natalia: Why?
Carlos: Because where I come from, you say “Cota Rica”, and here you say?
Natalia: “Costa Rica”.
Carlos: See the difference audience? I always have to think about when, like which way to say it. “Costa Rica, Cota Rica”.
Natalia: Entonces... Ay Carlos, enough! Entonces empecemos con vocabulario, with vocabulary.
Carlos: [Laughs] Spanglish me encanta. Okay, nuestra primera palabra es “cuadra”.
Natalia: “Cuadra”.
Carlos: Sí, “cuadra”, a feminine noun that means “block”, like “city block”.
Natalia: Yeah, like, “dobla a la derecha y el restaurante está a tres cuadras de la esquina”.
Carlos: Okay, “make a right, the restaurant is three blocks from the corner.” Except you know you wouldn’t hear that in Costa Rica.
Natalia: Well Carlos, you know how it is in Costa Rica. Here we go 100 meters south of where the dog died in 1982.
Carlos: [Laughs] You know it takes getting used to, seriously it does, you know. No one believes me when I tell them my address, because is like “500 metros sur del Banco Nacional San Pedro”.
Natalia: Well, at least then we have to be careful not to use the masculine noun “cuadro”. Which means “canvas”, as in painters’ canvas.
Carlos: True but “no te preocupes” audience, if that mistake is made, I’m sure that people will know what you are talking about anyway.
Natalia: Verdad, well I think you are right.
Carlos: Entonces, la próxima palabra es “maestro”.
Natalia: “Maestro”.
Carlos: Literally means “master”, no?
Natalia: Sí, pero usualmente it’s used to refer to an expert.
Carlos: Like “Natalia es una maestra joyera”.
Natalia: [Laughs] Something like that. Natalia is an expert silversmith.
Carlos: Ok, can we use the word in another sentence?
Natalia: Definitely. This is a good way to refer to a cabbie. It’s kind of a flattering comment as you are calling him an expert driver.
Carlos: Well, the way people drive down here, that’s no lie. I mean, who else can we use this word with?
Natalia: Well, you know, when you are in a rush, you can call the chauffeur “maestro”.
Carlos: Okay, “maestro en la cocina”. Now Natie here’s a little bit of advice.
Natalia: Dígame.
Carlos: Never say never. Is that a saying in Spanish?
Natalia: “Nunca digas nunca”.
Carlos: Thank you for the example.
Natalia: [Laughs]
Carlos: Now as an adverb, its form will never change. What makes it really easy to remember, which you know, I always like, any example of things one should never do?
Natalia: Well, in Costa Rica, never yell to the taxi driver.
Carlos: Oh yeah, and never if like entirely on the other side of the street, walk over on the side of the street and like get her.
Natalia: Never scream in Natalia, that’s the law [laughs].
Carlos: Don’t “Natalia!”
Natalia: Never.
Carlos: Never do that.
Natalia: Then, what else? Never….
Carlos: Never expect anything.
Natalia: That’s a good one. Well Carlos, next up, your favorite.
Carlos: “Combustible”.
Natalia: “Combustible”, “combustible”.
Carlos: Now, come on. Doesn’t this mean “combustible”?
Natalia: Well it can, when it’s used as an adjective but here we are looking at it when it refers to “gasoline.”
Carlos: So here it’s a masculine noun, “el combustible”.
Natalia: Exactly. Tenemos que hacer una comparación.
Carlos: Listo.
Natalia: Okay. The verb “subir”.
Carlos: “To go up”, “to get into a vehicle.”
Natalia: In our conversation, it has two uses.
Carlos: Which would be?
Natalia: “El precio ha subido”.
Carlos: “The price has gone up.”
Natalia: And “suba”.
Carlos: “Get it.”
Natalia: Usually, we use “subido” to mean we get into a vehicle and “bajar” to mean we get out of a vehicle.
Carlos: Okay. You know what? That was a little confusing but thank you for clarifying.
Natalia: Ah, you are very welcome.
Carlos: Let’s go grammar.

Lesson focus

Natalia: You sound like a children’s television show-host. Where’s your purple Dinosaur suit?
Carlos: I left it in the States. You know they could only give me a certain amount of bags that I could bring down.
Natalia: You look better with the Dinosaur suit on.
Carlos: Purple is a good color on me, what can I say?
Natalia: The Preterit Perfect.
Carlos: “El pretérito perfecto”. Naty, could you explain the preterit perfect tense for us?
Natalia: Con mucho gusto.
Carlos: Hold on, let me get ready.
Natalia: Okay, well the preterit perfect, “el pretérito perfecto”, expresses an action in the past that is linked in some way to present or even near the present.
Carlos: Sounds simple enough.
Natalia: Espérate, we know that the action to place prior to the moment of speech but we don’t really know when finished.
Carlos: Okay, okay. I’m still with you but how is the tense used usually?
Natalia: Well, it’s usually used with a temporal expression that way can make a little clearer when an action took place.
Carlos: Sure, now formation.
Natalia: Okay, this is where it might get a little tricky. Okay, to form the preterit perfect use the present tense of the auxiliary verb “haber” and a participle.
Carlos: Okay, that sounds simple enough.
Natalia: Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?
Carlos: Oh no Naty, it’s more than just a hint. If it is that simple, what about irregular forms?
Natalia: Well, that happens when the participle is irregular. Listen to the forms of “haber” are the same no matter what participle is used.
Carlos: Okay, let me try. The regular participle is formed by removing the infinitive ending and adding “-ado” for “ar” verbs and “-ido” for “er” and “ir” verbs. So that’s “ado” for “ar” verbs and “ido” for “er” or “ir” verbs.
Natalia: Yeah, well okay let’s try this formation with some verbs.
Carlos: Okay, which?
Natalia: “Contar”.
Carlos: “To count.”
Natalia: “Correr”.
Carlos: “To run.”
Natalia: “Dormir”.
Carlos: One of my favorites, “to sleep.”
Natalia: Bueno, numero uno, so the infinitive is “contar” and the participle is...?
Carlos: “Contado”.
Natalia: “Contado”, right. So with our auxiliary verb “haber”...
Carlos: “Yo he contado”.
Natalia: Nice, which means?
Carlos: “I have counted.”
Natalia: How about in the plural form?
Carlos: “Nosotros hemos contado”, “we have counted.”
Natalia: Exactamente.
Carlos: So I see we keep the past participle of the verb in question and what changes the auxiliary verb “haber”.
Natalia: So really, all you have to remember is how to conjugate “haber” and combine them. Okay, dos, “correr”.
Carlos: “To run”. Right, participle “corrido” so “tú has corrido”, “you have run.”
Natalia: And the plural?
Carlos: “Han corrido”, “they have run.”
Natalia: I think you’ve got the hang of it.
Carlos: Hey just for good measure, the last verb was “dormir”.
Natalia: “To sleep”, go ahead.
Carlos: “Él ha dormido”, “he has slept.” Singular and “ellas han dormido”, “they have slept”, feminine.
Natalia: That’ll love the learning center.
Carlos: Oh trust me Naty, I do. Naty, how was the preterit perfect used in a conversation?
Natalia: “Pero el precio del combustible ha subido un montón”.
Carlos: “But the price of gas has gone way up.”
Natalia: So here we see “ha subido”. “Haber” plus the participle of “subir”.
Carlos: So the cabbie is just saying that it’s gone up.
Natalia: Not exactly. It has gone up and this different shows that the past action goes into the future and you know gas is going to keep rising.
Carlos: Well, let’s hope not. You know gas is very expensive as it is.
Natalia: Carlos you work at home!
Carlos: It doesn’t matter, it’s still expensive.
Natalia: Alright Mr. Tom Ford. “La tarea”.
Carlos: Homework! Give it to me.
Natalia: ¡Ay, Carlos! ¿Qué es lo que hace? Today’s assignment is as follows. I’m going to give you five verbs. These verbs will be conjugated in either the present, preterit or future tense. What you have to do is change them to the preterit perfect while maintaining the presenting number.
Carlos: Bring it on, oh oracle of grammar!
Natalia: Again! Hey, so here they are, write it down. Number one, “dormí”. Number two, “caminarás”. Number three, “hablaron”. Number four “sale” and number five “daremos”.


Carlos: And remember people, you can check up the premium audio track entitled “tarea” to get the answers to today’s assignment and also to get some comments on the answers.
Natalia: So, clear on the preterit perfect?
Carlos: Clear than I was before, like I said, the learning center really helped.
Natalia: You could also review newbie thirty-three or try and step it up to lower intermediate lessons eleven, twelve and fourteen with Caty and Ana. Caty and Ana will do a great job of explaining it just some more advanced level.
Carlos: And if you don’t already have premium membership, once again “why?”
Natalia: Carlos!
Carlos: What? Try it for seven days on us for free.
Natalia: Bueno, es hora de decir adiós.
Carlos: We’ll see you later.
Natalia: Bye bye.


Spanish Grammar Made Easy - Unlock This Lesson’s Grammar Guide

Easily master this lesson’s grammar points with in-depth explanations and examples. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Dialogue - Bilingual