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Lesson Transcript

Dylan: Hola, hola everybody. This is Dylan, ¿cómo están?
Carlos: What’s going on pod101 world? My name is Carlos. Beginner series, season 4. Lesson #5. “The Key to Everything That’s Happening in Latin America.” Hello and welcome back to spanishpod101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn Spanish. I am joined in the studio by...
Dylan: Hello everybody. Dylan here.
Carlos: In this lesson, you will learn about the gerund.
Dylan: This conversation takes place at the butchers.
Carlos: This conversation is between Fernanda, Sebastián and the butcher.
Dylan: The speakers are friends and are speaking informally.
Carlos: Remember, commenting each day...
Dylan: And posting in the forum are two great ways to get answers.
Carlos: Community members...
Dylan: And staff are all ready to help.
Carlos: Definitely take advantage of all of us. Okay, let’s listen to the conversation. You know Dylan, I know that I was told that being friends with your local butcher is one of the most important relationships in your life.
Carnicero: ¡Hola! ¿Cómo están? ¿Los puedo ayudar?
Fernanda: ¡Hola señor! Estamos buscando carne molida.
Carnicero: ¡Claro! ¿De cuál tipo y cuánto necesitan?
Fernanda: Ehhh, ¿me está diciendo que hay varios tipos? Y..., ¿cuál es la diferencia?
Sebastián: Ajajajaj, ¿no sabés?
Carnicero: Sí, señorita, hay molida de cerdo, molida de res y molida de pollo.
Carnicero: Hi! How are you? Can I help you?
Fernanda: Hello sir! We're looking for ground meat.
Carnicero: Of course! What kind? And how much do you need?
Fernanda: Ummm, you're telling me there are various kinds? And...what is the difference?
Sebastián: Hahahaha, you don't know?
Carnicero: Yes, ma'am, there is ground pork, ground beef, and ground chicken.
Dylan: Yes, in this country, it absolutely is, Carlos.
Carlos: On this one too?
Dylan: Yeah, you want to make sure you get the fresh stuff. Don’t you?
Carlos: I am moving and I have to go find a new butcher. It’s like finding a barber. You know like guy’s barbers like – another thing I don’t have here is like you know, the personal barber.
Dylan: Yeah, it’s like the girls when they go to the salon. You know, you got to have the one. It is hard to find and then you will drive miles and miles and miles to get there.
Carlos: So I will drive miles and miles to get that fresh take.
Dylan: No, I think you should find one in your neighborhood, Carlos.
Carlos: That’s right because it will probably be nasty by the time I drove back.
Dylan: Unless you take a cooler.
Carlos: Do you know there is like a cow out of my like bedroom window if I look and it’s like an American Black &White girl.
Dylan: Did you ever hear the story about the Cow and The Cab?
Carlos: No. We will save that for another banner. Okay guys, let’s take a closer look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Dylan: “Ayudar”.
Carlos: “To help.”
Dylan: “A-yu-dar”, “ayudar”. “Buscar”.
Carlos: “To look for”, “to search.”
Dylan: “Bus-car”, “buscar”. “Carne molida”.
Carlos: “Ground meat.”
Dylan: “Car-ne mo-li-da”, “carne molida”. “Cuál”.
Carlos: “Which.”
Dylan: “Cuál”, “cuál”. “Varios tipos”.
Carlos: “Various types.”
Dylan: “Va-rios ti-pos”, “varios tipos”. “Saber”.
Carlos: “To know.”
Dylan: “Sa-ber”, “saber”.
Carlos: Okay guys, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Dylan: The first word we will look at is “ayudar”.
Carlos: “Ayudame, por favor”. “Help me, please.”
Dylan: Okay, Carlos. Let’s not get dramatic.
Carlos: I am not trying to be dramatic. That just happens to be the most common way that I know we use the verb “ayudar”.
Dylan: It’s not always an emergency.
Carlos: True, like in the conversation we heard “¡Hola! ¿Cómo están? ¿Los puedo ayudar?”
Dylan: “Hi! How are you? Can I help you?” Now that is what I call good customer service.
Carlos: Yeah, he must be the actual owner of the butcher shop. I mean he is way too nice.
Dylan: A way too nice butcher. That seems kind of strange to me.
Carlos: Hey, butchers are actually very happy people. They eat very well.
Dylan: Yeah, high protein diet.
Carlos: You know I am not even going to get into the high protein diet. You know, what other context can we use the verb “ayudar”?
Dylan: “Mi hermana siempre ayuda a su hija con la tarea de la escuela”.
Carlos: “My sister always helps her daughter with her homework.”
Dylan: She is such a good “ayudante”.
Carlos: Nice noun. I don’t hear much. “Helper”, right?
Dylan: Right.
Carlos: What’s next?
Dylan: We have a preview of our grammar point.

Lesson focus

Carlos: You know, previews are my favorite parts of movies.
Dylan: “Buscando” looking which we know is the verb “buscar”, “to look.”
Carlos: “Estamos buscando carne molida”. “We are looking for ground meat.”
Dylan: That could be anything.
Carlos: That’s true. I don’t think I have you know – I think I would be more specifically saying ground beef.
Dylan: Or ground turkey.
Carlos: Umm turkey burgers, I can’t find them down here.
Dylan: Turkeys are a North American thing.
Carlos: True.
Dylan: There is a current context with which we can use the verb “buscar”.
Carlos: What’s that?
Dylan: “Javier está buscando trabajo”.
Carlos: “Javier is looking for work.” You know I love the gerund. It’s one of the first thing I understood when I started learning the system of Spanish.
Dylan: And what is the related word that we have for “buscar”, “to look”?
Carlos: We have the verbs “ver”, “to see”, and “mirar”, “to watch.”
Dylan: Let’s hear those examples of the gerund later in our grammar section.
Carlos: Sounds a good plan.
Dylan: Now we just heard our next phrase in the last example.
Carlos: Which.
Dylan: “Carne molida”.
Carlos: “Ground meat.”
Dylan: Now let’s focus on the adjective “molida”.
Carlos: Right, because it does describe ground and it’s applied to not only meat.
Dylan: But spices. For example, if you don’t buy cinnamon sticks.
Carlos: You buy “canela molida”, “ground cinnamon.”
Dylan: Most of the spices you have in your spice rack would be considered “molida”.
Carlos: But here we are thinking of meat.
Dylan: “Los domingos mi mamá compra carne molida y hace hamburguesas”.
Carlos: “On Sundays, when mother buys ground meat and makes hamburgers.” I just can’t get over the calling a ground meat. I mean I just keep getting Mr. Meat images on my head.
Dylan: Well, these might be a little more appetizing.
Carlos: Which?
Dylan: “La torta de carne”, “la carne mechada”. “La torta de carne” is like a beef patty and “la carne mechada” is trimming. They were like, you know the Mexican…
Carlos: Oh, you mean like “ropa vieja”, the Cuban style.
Dylan: Yes.
Carlos: Oh, that is delicious. That…
Dylan: “Carne mechada”.
Carlos: That sounds a little more appetizing.
Dylan: ¿Pues cuál?
Carlos: The example you just gave.
Dylan: You never get sick of mistaking a word for a real example. Do you?
Carlos: What can I say? If it works, it works.
Dylan: “Cuál” is our next word. A “pronombre interrogativo”.
Carlos: And interrogative pronoun which we translate as “which.”
Dylan: “¿De cuál tipo?”
Carlos: “What kind?”
Dylan: Here is a common question.
Carlos: Which – sorry.
Dylan: Okay, ¿cuál es tu canción favorita?
Carlos: My favorite song. That is something that is very difficult to answer.
Dylan: Well, don’t think in it or better yet, “¿cuál es su libro favorito?”
Carlos: What’s my favorite book? That’s even harder to answer than the song question.
Dylan: But you have to admit they are conversation starters.
Carlos: They are.
Dylan: We have a very, very, very, very common related word which is used more frequently by Spanish learners, “Qué”.
Carlos: Right. Another interrogative pronoun that means “what.”
Dylan: Right because in English, we generally don’t say “which is your favorite book.” We say...
Carlos: “What is your favorite book”, which would bring us back to our example from the conversation.
Dylan: “¿De cuál tipo?”
Carlos: And we translated that as “what kind”, which literally really means “which kind.”
Dylan: Or “varios tipos”.
Carlos: This can be figured out “various types.”
Dylan: But for our purposes, various kinds.
Carlos: “¿Me está diciendo que hay varios tipos?”
Dylan: “You are telling me there are various kinds?” Is she serious, of course there are various kinds of ground meat!
Carlos: Hey, maybe she is into the kitchen. I mean you would have been surprised with the questions I had.
Dylan: Probably not. You would be surprised with the questions that I still have.
Carlos: “A mi me gusta comer varios tipos de frutas en el desayuno”.
Dylan: “I like eating various kinds of fruit for breakfast”, too. Fruit is so cheap here that it’s just a crime not to.
Carlos: I love “la variedad”, “the variety.”
Dylan: Last but not least, we have a verb we have seen many times.
Carlos: Okay so why are we looking at it again.
Dylan: We are looking at it again because of the way in which it is being used in today’s conversation. It’s not at all common. Well, not really common through our Latin America but here in Costa Rica it is very common.
Carlos: So it is common and yet uncommon. I get it, must be “vos”.
Dylan: Ten points. “Sabés” from “saber”, “to known”.
Carlos: Now wait “sabes” is the normal conjugation of the verb “saber” in the second person singular.
Dylan: That is true but I did not say “sabes” I said “sabés”.
Carlos: Oh wait, that makes all the difference.
Dylan: The “tilde” is small and it’s very important.
Carlos: So what’s the problem with saying “no sabes”?
Dylan: In our example from the conversation “no sabés”.
Carlos: Let’s give another comparison for example.
Dylan: First give us the “tú” form.
Carlos: “¿Tú sabes el apellido de Antonio?”
Dylan: Versus “¿Vos sabés el apellido de Antonio?”, and they both mean...
Carlos: “Do you know Antonio’s last name?”
Dylan: Want to hear an even more drastic change? “Tú conoces” versus...
Carlos: “Vos conocés”.
Dylan: Review time.
Carlos: Visit, revisit, no.
Dylan: The gerund. Just what is it?
Carlos: “El gerundio”, “the gerund” functions as an adverb and is used to express simultaneous or continuous action.
Dylan: That is the key right there.
Carlos: Now we know that the gerund is being used when we heard the endings “ando” and “iendo” placed after the stem of regular “ar”, “er” and “ir” verbs.
Dylan: Luckily we only have two types. For “ar” verbs, we have the “ando” and for both “er” and “ir” verbs, we have “iendo”. Which example did we hear in today’s conversation?
Carlos: In today’s conversation, we heard “buscar”, “to look”, in the gerund but for our conversation, we heard “buscando”.
Dylan: The stem “busc-” coupled with...
Carlos: “Ando”, creating “buscando”. Another good way of thinking about this formation is comparison to “ing” in English. So we know if we hear the gerund...
Dylan: We can think of it as being translated with “ing” at the end.
Carlos: Let’s look at some more formations using the verb “buscar”, “to look.”
Dylan: “Yo estoy buscando”.
Carlos: “I am looking.”
Dylan: “Tú estás buscando”.
Carlos: “You are looking.”
Dylan: “Él está buscando”.
Carlos: “He is looking.”
Dylan: “Ella está buscando”.
Carlos: “She is looking.”
Dylan: “Usted está buscando”.
Carlos: “You are looking”, formal.
Dylan: “Está buscando”.
Carlos: “It is looking”, neuter, and look throughout the plural conjugations.
Dylan: “Nosotros estamos buscando”.
Carlos: “We are looking.”
Dylan: “Vosotros estáis buscando”.
Carlos: “You all are looking”, informal.
Dylan: “Ellos están buscando”.
Carlos: “They are looking”, masculine.
Dylan: “Ellas están buscando”.
Carlos: “They are looking”, feminine.
Dylan: “Ustedes están buscando”.
Carlos: “You are all looking”, formal.
Dylan: “Están buscando”.
Carlos: “They are looking”, neuter. Okay, let’s look at some example sentences using the first, second and third conjugation verbs.
Dylan: “Miguel está buscando algo en la casa”.
Carlos: “Miguel is looking for something in the house.”
Dylan: “Tú y yo estamos trabajando bien”.
Carlos: “You and I are working well.”
Dylan: “¿Vosotros estáis viviendo en Valencia?”
Carlos: “Are you all living in Valencia?”
Dylan: “Estoy haciendo mi tarea”.
Carlos: “I am doing my homework.”
Dylan: Remember the present plus gerund construction in Spanish expresses something that is happening right now.
Carlos: Right. Once again, for example, “Estoy estudiando”, “I am studying”, as opposed to something that is done habitually.
Dylan: Take notice that the gerund form is the same for all the conjugations of “estar” above.
Carlos: Also considering that the verb “estar” could be replaced by another verb. For example, “sigo llamando”, “I keep calling.”
Dylan: That’s why we focused on constructions with “estar”. This construction can also be used with verbs that end in “er” such as “comer”, “to eat”, and “ir” such as “venir”, “to come.”


Carlos: But remember that verbs that end in “er” or “ir” use “iendo” instead of “ando” to construct the gerund form. Okay guys, that just about does it for today. Now don’t forget to stop by spanishpod101.com and pick up the lesson notes.
Dylan: It has the conversation transcript.
Carlos: Vocab, sample sentences of grammar explanation.
Dylan: And a cultural insights section.
Carlos: Seeing the Spanish...
Dylan: Really helps you remember faster.
Carlos: But don’t take our word for it. Please have a look for yourself.
Dylan: And let us know what you think. ¡Chao!
Carlos: ¡Nos vemos!


Please to leave a comment.
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SpanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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What is your favorite Latin American meat dish?

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 11:04 AM
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Hola Bertie,

Thank you for your question.

Yes, both are correct, “que tipo” and “cual” mean the same.

Sigamos practicando!



Team SpanishPod101.com

Friday at 07:06 PM
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I am slightly confused about the use of 'que' and 'cual'.

Que tipo de carne, cual tipo de carne.

Are both grammatically correct?



Spanishpod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:26 PM
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Hola Jessica,

¿Cómo estás?

Gracias por tu mensaje.

Please find a few additional lessons on "vos":



In the Grammar resource you can also browse contents about the grammar point you wish to study in more detail:


(Please type in the topic you wish to study, in this case "vos" or "voseo")

if you have any further doubts, please let us know:wink:


Team Spanishpod101.com

Wednesday at 04:11 AM
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No estoy segura si entiendo los puntos sobre 'vos' y la diferencia con el tilde.

I'm not sure if I understand the points about 'vos' and the difference with the accent.

Is there a lesson I can follow-up with on how to use vos?

Thank you! Muchas gracias!

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:02 PM
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Hole Joe,

Well, both are translated in english to "Can you help me?"

You are saying the same in both sentences is just the way you want to say it.

But the first one might be use at faster conversations 'cause it sounds shorter, tho they have no difference at any context.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Monday at 07:48 PM
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I realize that both the construction of direct object pronoun then verb phrase and verb phrase with the direct object pronoun attached to the infinitive or gerund are translated the same in English, but are there instances when one is preferable to the other? pueden ayudarme o me pueden ayudar

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:19 AM
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Hola Amy,

Thank you for your comment!


Stay tuned, we have a new lesson for you every week!



Team SpanishPod101.com

Sunday at 01:12 AM
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Me encanta carne asada. Esta muy delicioso:thumbsup:

Saturday at 10:26 PM
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carne molida and carne picada are the same, aren't they? In Spain you would say carne picada instead of carne molida, could you confirm?

Friday at 01:07 AM
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Sin duda, carnitas. Si es con un salsa tomatillo, es mejor.