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Lesson Transcript

Natalia: Buenos días, me llamo Natalia.
Carlos: What’s going on? My name is Carlos. Beginner Series, Season 3, Lesson number 3.
Natalia: Can I take a message?
Carlos: What’s going on Pod101World? And welcome to the Beginner Series, Season 3 at SpanishPod101.com, where we study modern Spanish in a fun and educational format.
Natalia: So brush up on the Spanish that you started learning long ago or start learning today.
Carlos: You know what? Thanks for being here for this lesson. Nati, you won’t believe it. Alejandro still hasn’t received an answer.
Natalia: Seriously? By then I’ll be already like suing people. Carlos…
Carlos: No. And he’s still being amazingly calm about things.
Natalia: I don’t think I would be at all.
Carlos: Well, Carina is keeping things formal and trying to help him out.
Natalia: Good, and today we continue our discussion on prepositions. But this time preposition “a”. Listeners, I have a question.
Carlos: A question?
Natalia: Yes. I want to know when was the last time you all comment?
Carlos: Ah yes, that is a great question.
Natalia: Stop by SpanishPod101.com, leave us a comment or just say hi.
Carlos: There you go, Nati. Very polite. [inaudible 00:01:03] please and thank you more.
Natalia: Oh.
Carlos: But listen, you heard Natalia, let’s get into today’s conversation though. Can you believe this?
ALEJANDRO: Señorita, buenos días, se encuentra la doctora.
KARINA : No señor, ella no trabaja hoy.
ALEJANDRO: Pero yo llamé antes y usted me dijo que la podía encontrar hoy.
KARINA: Si gusta, le dejo el mensaje a la doctora que lo llame apenas venga mañana.
ALEJANDRO: Sí, por favor, es muy importante.
ALEJANDRO: Good morning Miss, is the doctor in?
KARINA: No sir, she is not working today.
ALEJANDRO: But I called beforehand and you told me that I would be able to meet with her today.
KARINA: If you'd like, I will leave a message for the doctor to call you as soon as she gets in tomorrow.
ALEJANDRO: Yes please, it's very important.
Natalia: I don't know, man. I don't know.
Carlos: I mean this man has been, what, three lessons now, trying to get answers from his tests.
Natalia: I know, trying to get to the doctor.
Carlos: And he just can't get it.
Natalia: I know.
Carlos: Is this normal in Costa Rica?
Natalia: A little bit, a little bit. It can get a little frustrating, that’s what I'm saying. I said it in the first of these lessons, I said you go to the office and demand.
Carlos: That’s true, that’s true.
Natalia: That’s my advice.
Carlos: That makes sense, that makes sense. Ok, you know what, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for today’s lesson. First we have a pronominal verb.
Natalia: “Encontrarse”.
Carlos: “To encounter”, “to run into”, “to meet by chance.”
Natalia: “En-con-trar-se”, “encontrarse”. Por ejemplo, “me encontré con un pariente lejano”.
Carlos: “I ran into a distant relative.” And now we have a masculine or a feminine noun.
Natalia: “Doctor, doctora”.
Carlos: “Doctor.”
Natalia: “Doc-tor, doc-to-ra”, “doctor, doctora”. Por ejemplo, “él es doctor en física”.
Carlos: “He’s a doctor of physics.” And then a verb.
Natalia: “Trabajar”.
Carlos: “To work.”
Natalia: “Tra-ba-jar”, “trabajar”. Por ejemplo, “ellos trabajan en los Estados Unidos”.
Carlos: “They work in the United States.” And another masculine noun.
Natalia: “Mensaje”.
Carlos: “Message.”
Natalia: “Men-sa-je”, “mensaje”. Por ejemplo, “deje su mensaje después de oír la señal”.
Carlos: “Please leave your message after the tone.” Next up we have an adverb.
Natalia: “Apenas”.
Carlos: “As soon as”, “no sooner than”, “hardly.”
Natalia: “A-pe-nas”, “apenas”. Por ejemplo, “apenas lo conozco”.
Carlos: “I hardly knew him.” And finally an adjective, adverb or conjunction.
Natalia: “Antes”.
Carlos: “Before.”
Natalia: “An-tes”, “antes”. Por ejemplo, “llámame antes de irte. Sí, mamá”.
Carlos: “Call me before you leave. Yes, mom.” Ok, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Natalia: The first word we'll look at is “encontrarse”.
Carlos: “Encontrarse”. A pronominal verb, right?
Natalia: It means “to encounter”, “to run into” or “to meet by chance”.
Carlos: Right, like in the conversation, “pero yo llamé antes y usted me dijo que la podía encontrar hoy”.
Natalia: “But I just called beforehand and you told me that I would be able to meet with her today.”
Carlos: He still can’t meet the doctor. Man, he must be stressing out.
Natalia: I sure think so.
Carlos: And a sample sentence maybe?
Natalia: “No quiero ir a la fiesta porque me voy a encontrar con mi jefe”.
Carlos: “I don’t want to go to the party because I don’t want to meet my boss.” Nati, our boss is cool.
Natalia: I’ll just avoid that with a related word, “toparse”, “to find” or “to encounter”.
Carlos: And then?
Natalia: A masculine or feminine noun that is another cognate.
Carlos: Which?
Natalia: “Doctor, doctora”.
Carlos: Oh, that is pretty straight forward.
Natalia: Why yes, it is.
Carlos: So I think it’s safe to say “doctor, doctora” means “doctor”.
Natalia: One of the safest bets you could do.
Carlos: And in our conversations?
Natalia: “Señorita, buenos días. ¿Se encuentra la doctora?”
Carlos: “Good morning, miss. Is the doctor in?” But wait, isn’t there another word for “doctor”?
Natalia: Well, you’re thinking “médico o médica”.
Carlos: So those are synonyms for doctor.
Natalia: Exactly, you could use either.
Carlos: So I could say “la cita con el doctor es muy cara”. “The appointment with the doctor is very expensive.”
Natalia: Or “la cita con el médico es muy cara”. “The appointment with the doctor is very expensive.”
Carlos: Well, thank you for clearing that up.
Natalia: Ah, you did a good work, Carlos. I'm so proud of you.
Carlos: I smell a verb, “trabajar”.
Natalia: “Trabajar” that’s next. That’s a good guess, you know in our conversation the secretary explains “no, señor, ella no trabaja hoy”.
Carlos: “No, sir, she doesn’t work today.”
Natalia: “Trabajar” is a very common verb that refers to work, but there is another verb that we went through a long time ago in the Costa Rican series.
Carlos: What was that?
Natalia: Come one, you can remember. If I'm not mistaken, it was lesson number 3.
Carlos: You know how I remember that one? Because you talked about [inaudible 00:04:37]. I remember that really well. Ok, reaching back. “Bretear”.
Natalia: Right, “bretear”, “to work”, and “brete” for “job”.
Carlos: For “trabajo”.
Natalia: Exactly.
Carlos: Well, now when I hear someone ask “¿dónde trabajas?”, I know they’re asking the very classic boring question of where do I work.
Natalia: How boring…
Carlos: Nati, no one would ever accuse you of being a traditionalist.
Natalia: Note they wouldn’t, but let’s focus on our next word. They say a masculine noun.
Carlos: “Mensaje”.
Natalia: “Mensaje”, “message”.
Carlos: And in our conversation?
Natalia: “Le dejó el mensaje a la doctora que lo llame apenas venga mañana”.
Carlos: “I will leave a message for the doctor to call you as soon as she gets in tomorrow.” You know how I learned “mensaje”?
Natalia: How?
Carlos: I learned it to use when I got my cellphone in Costa Rica. “Usted tiene un mensaje nuevo. Para escuchar sus mensajes marque el número 1”. Who records that stuff?
Natalia: Well, think of that unexpected example. I don't know, I don’t have a clue.
Carlos: I think I should try to record that, I think I’d be good for a cellphone voice.
Natalia: In Spanish?
Carlos: Yeah, why not?
Natalia: Ok, ok. Carlos?
Carlos: What’s up? Oh, you want me to [inaudible 00:05:37]. You want me to get some related words.
Natalia: Ah, yes. Tell me another word for “mensaje” could be…?
Carlos: “Recado”?
Natalia: “Recado”. Like if I said “dele un recado a su amiga, por favor”.
Carlos: Give a message to your friend, please.
Natalia: Now an adverb. “Apenas”.
Carlos: “Apenas”. “As soon as”, “no shorter than” and “hardly”.
Natalia: Ok, this is another verb that can be used to express a kind of urgency.
Carlos: Right, like ASAP, as soon as possible.
Natalia: Kind of. I mean you can imagine what Alejandro is going through. I mean there were four lessons and he hasn’t gotten an answer to his request for his test results.
Carlos: Which is why it is understandable when Carina tries to make him feel better by saying “si gusta le dejo el mensaje a la doctora que lo llame apenas venga mañana”.
Natalia: “If you like I will leave a message for the doctor to call you as soon as she gets in tomorrow.” Do you think she’s dismissing him?
Carlos: Oh, I really hope not. I don’t think so though, but she must get a lot of frustrated callers. I mean can you think about any related words?
Natalia: Well, I can think about a related phrase.
Carlos: Which is?
Natalia: “A tiempo”.
Carlos: “On time”, “as soon as”, “on time.” That’s a little loose but I can see that.
Natalia: Good, because last but not least we have an adjective, adverb or a conjunction.
Carlos: “Antes”.
Natalia: “Antes”.
Carlos: “Antes” is one of those words that you have to remember as a pair.
Natalia: What do you mean?
Carlos: I mean like when I was learning I coupled basic words like “before” and “after”.
Natalia: Ok…
Carlos: Now, I knew that “antes” meant “before” and “después” meant “after”.
Natalia: How do you remember them?
Carlos: Opposites.
Natalia: What?
Carlos: Well, see, the thing is I knew that “antes” either meant “before” or “after” and so I always tried to remember that it wasn’t my first guess. “Antes” and “after” both begin with A, so I just thought “antes” is the opposite of what I would think off of the top of my head.
Natalia: Ah, that’s a good think.
Carlos: You know, they come in handy every now and then. Now, how was “antes” used in our conversation today?
Natalia: That’s when Alejandro says “pero yo llamé antes y usted me dijo que la podía encontrar hoy”.
Carlos: “But I called beforehand and you told me that I would be able to meet with her today.”
Natalia: Since you know “antes” already can you come up with a sample sentence?
Carlos: Sure, “llegué antes que él”, “I arrived before him.”
Natalia: Good, and we already know the related word.
Carlos: That’s right. “Antes”, “before”, and “después”, “after”.
Natalia: Ok, Carlos, we have to continue our discussion of prepositions.
Carlos: Which one did we cover last time again?
Natalia: Remember last time we covered seven uses of preposition “de”.
Carlos: Right, it’s all coming back to me now.
Natalia: And today we’re… isn’t that a song?
Carlos: I just thought the same thing.
Natalia: Today we have another preposition that needs a little attention.
Carlos: And which one is that?
Natalia: The preposition “a”.
Carlos: “A”.
Natalia: “A”.
Carlos: Yeah, that one letter could really use some clarification. I mean, doesn’t it kind of translate to “to”?
Natalia: Well, that’s true most of the time but, trust me, there’s a lot more to it. I mean it could also be translated as “on”, “at”, “from”, “by” or “in”, or not translated at all.
Carlos: Well, that doesn’t make me feel comfortable.
Natalia: Carlos, no se preocupe, that’s why I'm here. Listen, the first preposition “a” can be used to indicate motion. Almost any verb indicating motion, and even nouns, can be followed by “a” before the destination.
Carlos: Ok, like do you mean “¿llegamos a Palmares?”, “we arrived at Palmares?” Which, audience, if you don’t know is the absolute best part in Costa Rica if you don’t get a tick.
Natalia: Carlos, write about it in the forum. Focus, focus, focus!
Carlos: How can I focus when I find a tick on my leg and it’s from the horses?
Natalia: Carlos, well at least you don’t call me crying. That’s ok…
Carlos: I did call her crying, I was like…
Natalia: It’s freaking out.
Carlos: And she said, “That’s what you get for playing cowboy in Palmares”.
Natalia: Ok, ok, ok, ok. Carlos?
Carlos: Yes.
Natalia: Back to the lesson.
Carlos: Sorry.
Natalia: Give me another sentence while you’re thinking of your tick.
Carlos: “Me siento a la mesa”, “I sit at the table.” See? Another destination, which would be the table.
Natalia: Yes, good. But another use. It can be used to connect the verb with the following infinitive.
Carlos: Well, now you’re getting technical.
Natalia: Not as technical as you think.
Carlos: Ok…
Natalia: So here’s an example. “He venido a enseñar”, “I’ve come to teach, grasshopper.”
Carlos: Where’s “grasshopper” in that sentence?
Natalia: It’s not, I just put it in there, but you see what I mean about linking the verb with the following infinitive?
Carlos: Yeah, like you like the verb “venir”, “to come”, with the infinitive “enseñar”, “to teach”.
Natalia: Ok, now that I did, you try it out.
Carlos: Ok, let me think.
Natalia: Ok. Du du du du.
Carlos: Ok, let me think. I know. “Voy a cantar”, “I'm going to sing.”
Natalia: Ok, thanks for the example, leave the singing for another lesson or just leave it altogether, Carlos.
Carlos: I have a good voice [inaudible 00:10:05].
Natalia: Ok. “A” can be used to indicate a manner or method followed by a noun to indicate how something is done.
Carlos: Ok.
Natalia: A phrase starting with “a” functions as an adverb and [inaudible 00:10:17] can sometimes be translated as one.
Carlos: I’ll keep that in mind.
Natalia: Like “llegamos a tiempo”, “we arrived on time” or…
Carlos: “Llegamos a pie”, “we are going on foot”.
Natalia: Exactly. I say we move on. “A” can also be used to introduce a direct object.
Carlos: A direct object, got it.
Natalia: No you don’t, Carlos, cause I wasn’t done. “A” can introduce a direct object that is a person or is treated as a person.
Carlos: Wait, I’ve heard this before.
Natalia: Yeah, it’s a called a personal “a”.
Carlos: Ok, like “conozco a Paco”, “I know Paco”.
Natalia: Or “hablaré a Dylan”, “I will speak to Dylan”. One thing to remember is that in this usage the preposition is usually not translated.
Carlos: I see what you mean.
Natalia: We have two more uses of the preposition “a”.
Carlos: I'm still here. What about you, audience?
Natalia: “A”, well, “a” can also be used to introduce an indirect object.
Carlos: Well, that is the use from our conversation today when Carina says “si gusta le dejo el mensaje a la doctora que lo llame apenas venga mañana”. “If you’d like I will leave a message for the doctor to call you as soon as she gets in tomorrow.”
Natalia: Carlos worked really hard on Spanish, but because you can't even be a receptionist.
Carlos: You’re fired.
Natalia: Alright, stop playing boss cause I get mine, listen, or “le pongo la camisa a Michael”, “I'm putting the shirt on Michael”.
Carlos: And what’s our last usage?
Natalia: The preposition “a” can be used to express various expressions of time. Por ejemplo, “salimos a las 10”. “We’re out at 10”.
Carlos: For one letter, the preposition “a” does have a lot of uses.
Natalia: I told you but it sounds like a lot more than it is. Give it some time and practice, it will come in naturally.
Carlos: Not alone with a trip to the grammar back.
Natalia: As always, Carlos.
Carlos: Well, you know what, Pod101 world? That just about does it for today. Ok, some of our listeners already know about the most powerful tool on SpanishPod101.com.
Natalia: Line by line audio.
Carlos: This is the perfect tool for rapidly improving listening comprehension.
Natalia: By listening to lines of the conversation again and again and again.
Carlos: Listen until every word and syllable becomes clear. Basically, we…
[English part not available]

Dialog - Bilingual



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Thursday at 6:30 pm
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Thanks to Herman Pearl for the music in today's lesson! What do you think Alejandro is feeling right now?

Sunday at 11:49 am
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Hola Frank,

Thank you for your question.

Both are valid translations. Sometimes there is no need to translate sentence literally. Yout translation its valid for a literal translation. But both mean the same.

Sigamos practicando.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Frank R Timmons
Friday at 2:26 am
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Como siempre, gracias por el vocabulario extra. Una pregunta: @ 5:21 en el audio, Natalie dije, "No quiero ir a la fiesta porque me voy a encontrar con me jefe." Carlos translated it as, "I don't want t go to the party because I don't want to meet my boss." Debiera decir, "I don't want to go to the party because I am going to meet with my boss?" If Carlos was incorrect in this instance, I would like to add that I am impressed by how unusual it is for him to translate incorrectly (at least as far as I can tell with my limited Spanish) and--when he does on rare occasions, how quickly Natalie corrects him, then moves on. Thanks. Frank

Saturday at 2:23 pm
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Hola Hilde,

Thank you for your comment!

Sorry about that, they only try to make the conversation as casual as they can so you can hear real Spanish.

Please stay tuned, and don't for get we have a new lesson for you every week.



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Tuesday at 8:12 am
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Dear Natalia. When you make up exaples, you speak way too fast for me. I would like to have at least a chance to understand you before I look it up. And, must you pick at that poor Carlos so much, he is a guy and can't help it, besides he is charming. Ha!

Wednesday at 10:39 am
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Hello everyone!

@idomybest247: Thank you so much for your advice! Have a wonderful day too.


Friday at 2:47 am
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:???: Is the same in the U.S. Best thing to do is force your friendship on your family doctor. Make sure you come prepared into the office. During your appointment have all your major points organized to have him place on file in your charts. This will better give him/her an idea as to best take care of you in all sense. Your pains and discomforts should always be pointed specific. If you are unable to explain your aches from other aches, be sure to listen to every medical description your doctor pronounces in order that you will become more familiar in the future in how to better relate to your own symptoms. One idea in mind is always carry a recorder with you and take notes best to your convenience after your visit, but always make sure not to wait too long to organize your thoughts from your notes. Your next appointment's charting letter will get simpler and simpler to write. Take in mind, it will not always be easy and if you have problems versing your thoughts, maybe you are not an avid reader or writing has just never been your thing, find a good friend with more than average writing skills or just start enhancing your own vocabulary. Read the Thesaurus, Dictionary. Honest, mundane maybe, but 10 minutes out of every day, is worth it.

Take care and I wish everyone a wonderful day.