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Fernando: “Please be nice in Spanish class.” I’m Fernando and I’m here with JP. What’s going on, JP?
JP: We’ve got a great lesson today, Fernando. What are we going to talk about today?
Fernando: In this lesson, you will learn about commands in the formal register. This conversation takes place on a bus, this conversation is between Gabriel and a woman on a bus and the speakers will be using the formal register.
JP: Alright, let’s listen to this conversation.
Gabriel: Por favor, tome mi asiento.
Señora: Qué lindo. Es usted muy amable, joven.
Gabriel: Muchas gracias. Al cabo me bajo en la siguiente parada.
Señora: Ay joven, no se hubiera molestado. Pero en verdad, gracias.
Gabriel: Please take my seat.
Señora: How nice. You are very kind, young man.
Gabriel: Thank you. Anyway, I'm getting off at the next stop.
Señora: Oh, young man, you shouldn't have bothered. But really, thank you.
Fernando: He’s a nice dude.
JP: He’s giving up his seat for the older lady.
Fernando: Yes and regardless of how old or young you are, that’s what you should do.
JP: It’s always nice to give up your seat.
Fernando: It’s always nice. He actually offers, “Por favor, tome mi asiento”.
JP: Great, let’s go through this word for word. First we have the words for “please.”
Fernando: “Por favor”.
JP: “Por favor” means “please” and then “take my seat.”
Fernando: “Tome mi asiento”.
JP: Fernando, what’s the word for “seat”?
Fernando: “Asiento”.
JP: “Asiento”, and to say “my seat”?
Fernando: “Mi asiento”.
JP: “Mi asiento”. Now to offer to someone he is going to say “take my seat” the word for “take” is “tomar” and he actually employs a command, he says “take my seat.”
Fernando: “Tome mi asiento”, in the third person singular.
JP: “Tome mi asiento”.
Fernando: Which makes this conversation formal.
JP: That’s right, he is using the formal register as a way to show respect to the woman.
Fernando: If it were familiar it’d be “toma mi asiento”.
JP: Exactly, “toma mi asiento”. But that would probably be too familiar to be addressing this woman.
Fernando: And I think she’s an elderly lady.
JP: Yes.
Fernando: La señora, very kindly, responds “Qué lindo”.
JP: “How nice.”
Fernando: “Es usted muy amable, joven”.
JP: “You are very kind, young man.” Now what was that word that she called him that means “young man”?
Fernando: “Joven”.
JP: “Joven” can be an adjective that means “young” but you can call a young man “joven” as well.
Fernando: Yes, you can.
JP: Now when she said “you are so kind”, how did that work?
Fernando: “Es usted muy amable”.
JP: She’s also using the formal register with him, she calls him “usted”, “usted” means “you.” So “you are”, “es usted”...
Fernando: “Es usted muy amable”.
JP: “Muy amable”, now that part means “very kind.” The word for “kind” is…
Fernando: “Amable”.
JP: And to make it “very kind”?
Fernando: “Muy amable”.
JP: Let’s put it together. “How nice, how lovely, you are so kind, young man.”
Fernando: “Qué lindo. Es usted muy amable, joven”.
JP: And Gabriel answers the compliment “thank you very much”.
Fernando: “Muchas gracias”.
JP: “Muchas gracias”. Gabriel is so polite, I’m very impressed with him.
Fernando: He’s probably one of those dudes that has a really cool haircut, skinny jeans, looks kind of, you know, cool.
JP: Okay.
Fernando: But he’s a nice guy, yo know, he’s not one of those posers.
JP: Alright, he’s not a mean skinny jean guy.
Fernando: Yes, he doesn’t have any tattoos.
JP: Okay.
Fernando: And... “al cabo me bajo en la siguiente parada”.
JP: Ok. He’s saying, “Anyway, I’m getting off at the next stop”, right? So it’s not that much trouble, I’m getting off at the next stop, anyway. Let’s take a closer look at that sentence.
JP: And we are going to start at the end. What’s the word for bus stop?
Fernando: “Parada”.
JP: If we want to say “the next bus stop”?
Fernando: “La siguiente parada”. But here we are not using the Spanish word for bus.
JP: What do you mean? Oooh! I see. “Parada” is the word for “stop” you don’t necessarily have to call it a bus stop because what other kind of stop is it going to be?
Fernando: I mean unless you are in a big city that has a subway station. Either way, I mean there’s plenty more seats.
JP: Okay.
Fernando: Let’s... I mean just for the sake of it. Let’s say it’s a bus stop.
JP: Okay, so “at the next stop.”
Fernando: Yes. “En la siguiente parada”.
JP: “En la siguiente parada”. Right, before that is the verb, and the verb in English we say “to get off”, in Spanish we actually say “to descend”, “to get down” and the verb is “bajar”. So he was just going to say “I’m getting off at the next stop”.
Fernando: “Me bajo en la siguiente parada”.
JP: “Me bajo”, is the verb “bajar”, we use it to “get off of a vehicle.” And the expression to begin this sentence?
Fernando: “Al cabo”.
JP: Literally this is “at the end” which is translated here as “anyway, I’m getting off at the next stop.” Let’s put it together.
Fernando: “Al cabo me bajo en la siguiente parada”.
JP: Alright, the last sentence, moving on, the “señora” answers with a formulated phrase which shows that she’s grateful. This is a phrase that you often hear when somebody is very grateful.
Fernando: “Ay joven, no se hubiera molestado”.
JP: “No se hubiera molestado”. There’s a lot of grammar in these four words but for now we are just going to learn it as a phrase. “No se hubiera molestado”, “you shouldn’t have bothered”, “you shouldn’t have gone to the trouble.”
Fernando: Even though it’s a beginner lesson, it’s a phrase you hear often.
JP: Absolutely.
Fernando: So that’s why we thought it’s good to bring it up in the early stages of Spanish classes.
JP: Absolutely, “no se hubiera molestado”, “no se hubiera molestado”.
Fernando: “Pero en verdad, gracias”.
JP: “But truly, thank you.” Let’s take a look at that. The word for “thank you”?
Fernando: “Gracias”.
JP: Okay. Now she qualified it, “but really…”
Fernando: “Pero en verdad…”
JP: “Pero en verdad”. Now the first word?
Fernando: “Pero”.
JP: “Pero” means “but.” The last word is the word for “truth.”
Fernando: “Verdad”.
JP: So she says “pero en verdad”, means “but truthfully”, “but really, thank you.”
Fernando: Which is also an expression.
JP: “Pero en verdad, gracias”. Alright, should we move on to the vocabulary?
Fernando: Yes. “Amable”.
JP: “Kind”, “nice”, “friendly.”
Fernando: “A-ma-ble”, “amable”. “La parada”.
JP: “Stop.”
Fernando: “La pa-ra-da”, “la parada”. “Qué lindo”.
JP: “How nice.”
Fernando: “Qué lin-do”, “qué lindo”. “No se hubiera molestado”.
JP: “You shouldn’t have gone to the trouble.”
Fernando: “No se hu-bie-ra mo-les-ta-do”, “no se hubiera molestado”.
JP: Alright, let’s take a look at these words.
Fernando: Let’s start with “Qué lindo”.
JP: “Qué lindo”, “how lovely”, “how nice”, “qué lindo”.
Fernando: This is a pretty basic expression.
JP: Now I know some of you are thinking “lindo”, why is it in the masculine?Shouldn’t it be “linda” if it’s feminine. This expression, “qué lindo”, you can use it as a general all-purpose “how nice” for any situation. If you are going to point at a specific object, like if I’m looking at your shoes, I might have to use plural “‘qué lindos’ your shoes.”
Fernando: “Qué lindos zapatos”.
JP: “Qué lindos zapatos”, but if it’s just an all-around situation what’s going on, then you are going to use this phrase, “qué lindo”.
Fernando: “Qué lindo”, “qué lindo está el día”.
JP: “How lovely is the day”, “the day is so lovely”, “what a lovely day”.
Fernando: “Amable”.
JP: Means “kind”, “nice”, “friendly”, it’s also part of the set phrase when you want to thank somebody you can say “gracias, muy amable”, “thank you, it’s very kind of you.”
Fernando: A lot of kind words in this dialogue.
JP: There are, this is a very kind and polite dialogue I’m enjoying it.
Fernando: This is like a commercial.
JP: For kindness?
Fernando: For kindness.
JP: Well.
Fernando: “La parada”.
JP: “La parada”. This is “the stop”, we can assume that it’s the bus stop. It’s actually related to the verb “parar” which is “to stop.” So “la parada” would be “the stoppage” or “the stopping.”
Fernando: Yes that is precisely how this is used. In subway situations, you would use “estación”.
JP: Right. You’d talk about a station, but when it’s like a bus which, you know, stops on the side of the road, it’s a stop.
Fernando: “La parada”.
JP: “La parada”.
Fernando: Exacto.
JP: Perfect.
Fernando: La última, “no se hubiera molestado”.
JP: “No se hubiera molestado”. We already referred to this when we were breaking down the dialogue but just to repeat it “no se hubiera molestado”, it seems like such a long phrase with so many syllables. Latinos will probably say it in eight syllables, but you know what, it’s worth learning because it’s such a gracious thing to say. “No se hubiera molestado”.
Fernando: Eight syllables. That’s a lot. Anyway.
JP: It is. It’s worth learning though.
Fernando: It’s a mouthful.
JP: “You shouldn’t have gone to the trouble.”
Fernando: Yes. Alright. Let’s move on to the grammar section.

Lesson focus

JP: Alright, in the grammar section today we are going to talk about commands in the formal register, but you know what? We are not going to hit it too hard because it’s actually something that we usually save for advanced levels. If you were to take a grammar class right now, it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to learn the commands in the formal register. However, we are doing it now because something like commands in the formal register is actually very easy to understand. So in terms of listening comprehension, this is appropriate here.
Fernando: JP, are you trying to upsell our listeners?
JP: Well, of course the goal is to get people onto the more advanced levels.
Fernando: Okay.
JP: Absolutely.
Fernando: Upsell them on, better language skills.
JP: Absolutely. Now look, I’ve got a whole complicated grammatical explanation for those of you that are ready to study the commands in the formal register and in fact you can go to our website which is www.spanishpod101.com and find that grammatical explanation attached to this lesson. Here in the podcast, I don’t necessarily want people to be able to formulate, I just want them to understand what we heard in the dialogue. For example, when Gabriel says “please, take my seat”.
Fernando: “Por favor, tome mi asiento”.
JP: “Por favor, tome mi asiento”. That “tome” is a command, “take”, “take my seat.” It’s the command form and it’s in the formal register. Now if you studied Spanish at all you’d know that, you can hear that it’s related to the verb “tomar” which is “to take.” So “to take”, “tomar”, and then the command “take”, “tome”, “tome mi asiento”.
Fernando: I’m familiar with that verb over the weekends.
JP: It also means “to drink” that’s why Fernando is quite a boozer!
Fernando: What’s another example we could use?
JP: Here’s a great one that our beginner listeners will appreciate especially if you are travelling in a Spanish speaking country. “Bring me a beer, please.”
Fernando: “Tráigame una cerveza, por favor”.
JP: “Tráigame una cerveza, por favor”. Now most of you probably already know “una cerveza, por favor”, a lot of people know that, “a beer, please.” The command here is the word “tráigame” which literally is “bring me”, “bring to me” and the verb is “traer”, means “to bring”, and the command form is “traiga” so “tráigame”, “bring to me”, “tráigame una cerveza, por favor”, “please, bring me a beer.”
Fernando: Gracias.
JP: Okay, I don’t want to get too much into the grammar but for those of you who are in more advanced, I’ll tell you exactly how to get this form. You are going to look for the present subjunctive form and the way you do that of course is to take the first person singular in the present indicative which is “traigo” and you change the verb, so “traiga”. If you are just in the beginner level, don’t worry about what I just said but for those of you in the more advanced,”traiga”, “traer”, “traiga”. Alright, one more, Fernando.
Fernando: How about the verb “decir”?
JP: Okay, give us a command.
Fernando: “Diga ‘hola’”.
JP: That command is “diga” and that’s the verb “decir”. Now for those of you in the more advanced, you are going to take “decir” in the first person, “I say”, so “yo digo”, and you are going to change the vowel, “diga”, and that’s how you get the command form. “Diga ‘hola’”, “say ‘hello’”.


JP: For now it’s time to go, so ¡hasta luego!
Fernando: ¡Adiós!


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