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Fernando: “Is this your first Spanish dispute?” JP, I’ve had many Spanish disputes, this will not be my first or last.
JP: It won’t be my first either. Fernando, what are we going to talk about in this lesson?
Fernando: In this lesson, you will learn about ordinal numbers. The conversation takes place at a restaurant, the conversation is between Margarita and Joana and the speakers will be using the familiar register.
JP: Alright, let’s listen to this conversation.
Margarita: Creo que nos cobraron de más en la cuenta.
Joana: Qué extraño. Siempre que vengo me cobran lo que pido.
Margarita: Sí, a mí también, pero siempre hay una primera.
Joana: Por la edad nos quedan pocas 'primeras' experiencias.
Margarita: I think they overcharged us on the bill.
Joana: How strange. Whenever I come here, they charge me for what I order.
Margarita: Yes, me too, but there's always a first time.
Joana: We have few "first time" experiences left because of our age.
Fernando: That’s putting it nicely. “I think they overcharged us on our bill!”
JP: Yes, that’s Margarita’s first line.
Fernando: “Creo que nos cobraron de más en la cuenta”.
JP: Alright, let’s break that down. So let’s start with the action in the sentence which is “I think” or “I believe.”
Fernando: “Creo”.
JP: This is the verb “creer”, means “to think” or “believe”, when you have an opinion in Spanish you are going to want to use this verb, “creer”. So “I think that…”
Fernando: “Creo que…”
JP: Okay, what do we think? They charged us.
Fernando: “Creo que nos cobraron”.
JP: “Nos cobraron”. So this is the verb in the preterit tense, “cobraron”, and since they charged it us, is “nos cobraron”. Now how did they charge us?
Fernando: “De más”.
JP: “De más”, so they “overcharged” us and of course it’s on the bill.
Fernando: “En la cuenta”.
JP: “En la cuenta”. “La cuenta” is “the bill.”
Fernando: “Creo que nos cobraron de más en la cuenta”.
JP: “I think they overcharged us on the bill.” What does Joana say?
Fernando: “Qué extraño”.
JP: “Extraño” means “strange.”
Fernando: “Siempre que vengo me cobran lo que pido”.
JP: The first word means “always.”
Fernando: “Siempre”.
JP: “Siempre”. We are going to use this adverb for “whenever”, so “whenever I come here…”
Fernando: “Siempre que vengo…”
JP: “Siempre que vengo”, “they charge me…”
Fernando: “Me cobran…”
JP: “Me cobran”, that’s that verb “cobrar” again. “To charge”, this time it’s the present tense. “Me cobran”, “they charged to me what I order.”
Fernando: “Siempre que vengo me cobran lo que pido”.
JP: “Siempre que vengo me cobran lo que pido”. The grammar in this sentence is a little complex for the beginner level so don’t worry about analyzing the whole thing down to it’s parts. Just take them as separate chunks, “siempre que vengo”, “whenever I come here”, “me cobran lo que pido”, “they charge me for what I order.”
Fernando: And Margarita agrees with her, “sí, a mí también”.
JP: “Yes, to me as well.” In English we’d probably say “yes, me too”.
Fernando: “Pero siempre hay una primera”.
JP: “But there is a first time for everything”, we say in English. “Siempre” means “always” and then “there is a first.”
Fernando: “Hay una primera”.
JP: “Hay una primera”. That verb “hay” means “there is” or “there are”, and then we have this ordinal number which means “first.”
Fernando: “Primera”.
JP: “Primera”, we are going to talk about ordinal numbers like “primera” in the grammar section but let’s put this sentence together. “Yes me too, but there’s always a first time.”
Fernando: “Sí, a mí también, pero siempre hay una primera”. And Joana, a little self-deprecating, “Por la edad nos quedan pocas ‘primeras’ experiencias”.
JP: Okay. “We have few first time experiences left because of our age.” Alright, we had to break this sentence so the first phrase, “because of our age”.
Fernando: “Por la edad”.
JP: “Por la edad”. “La edad” means “age.” So, “because of our age”, “por la edad”, “we are going to say we have few left” or “few are left to us.”
Fernando: “Nos quedan pocas”.
JP: “Nos quedan pocas”, this is the verb “quedar” which means “to remain”, so “few remain to us.” What are the few things that remain to us?
Fernando: “Primeras experiencias”.
JP: “Primeras experiencias”, so “first time experiences.” So Joana is saying: okay, we are old people you know, yes there is a first time for everything but since we are getting on in age these first times are going to come less and less.
Fernando: Because they’ve already experienced them.
JP: Okay. Maybe Joana is saying it’s not the first time that she’s been overcharged in the bill.
Fernando: Hopefully, because she seems sweet.
JP: I’ll give you her number, Fernando. Let’s move to the vocabulary.
Fernando: “Cobrar”.
JP: “To charge.”
Fernando: “Co-brar”, “cobrar”. “Pedir”.
JP: “To order.”
Fernando: “Pe-dir”, “pedir”. “Primero”.
JP: “First.”
Fernando: “Pri-me-ro”, “primero”. “Qué extraño”.
JP: “How strange.”
Fernando: “Qué ex-tra-ño”, “qué extraño”.
JP: Fernando let’s talk about these vocabulary words in greater depth.
FernandoM: Let’s start with “cobrar”.
JP: “To charge”, this is a very important verb at the beginner level, because if you are going to a Spanish speaking country you are going to want to go shopping and so to find out prices, you are going to often use this verb, “cobrar”, “to charge.”
Fernando: “¿Cuánto cobra?”
JP: “How much do you charge for this?”, “cobrar”.
Fernando: “Qué extraño”.
JP: I included this phrase because it’s something that you can just say whenever something strikes you as odd, “¡qué extraño!”
Fernando: “¡Qué extraño!”
JP: That “extraño” means “strange.”
Fernando: If you are shopping and you don’t like the price, “¡qué extraño!”
JP: “How weird?”
Fernando: I found this cheaper at another place.
JP: “How odd.” “Que extraño”.
Fernando: “Pedir”.
JP: “To ask for” or “to order” or “to request.”
Fernando and JP: “Pedir”.
JP: Alright, what’s the last one?
Fernando: “Primero”.
JP: “Primero”, the first shall be last. The last shall be first.
Fernando: Now you are getting all poetic on me.
JP: Yes. Well, “primero” means “first” and it’s an ordinal number which we are about to talk about in the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Fernando: Let’s take it away.
JP: So there’s different classes of numbers in English as in Spanish and we have the normal counting numbers which we call the cardinal numbers and those are “one”, “two”, “three”, “four”, “five”... and in Spanish?
Fernando: “Uno”, “dos”, “tres”, “cuatro”, “cinco”.
JP: Alright, we also have the ordinal numbers and the ordinal numbers tell us what order things are in. So for example instead of saying something is number one, I can say it’s “first.”
Fernando: “Primero”.
JP: “Primero”, exactly. If I want to say something is “second”...
Fernando: “Segundo”.
JP: “Segundo”. “Third”...
Fernando: “Tercero”.
JP: “Tercero”. How about “fourth”?
Fernando: “Cuarto”.
JP: “Fifth”!
Fernando: “Quinto”.
JP: “Sixth”!
Fernando: “Sexto”.
JP: “Seventh”?
Fernando: “Séptimo”.
JP: “Eighth”?
Fernando: “Octavo”.
JP: “Ninth”?
Fernando: “Noveno”.
JP: “Tenth.”
Fernando: “Décimo”.
JP: Okay. Fernando, ______ (inaudible 0:06:58) read this list.
Fernando: Pero es divertido, hace mucho que no lo leo.
JP: It is fun and if you haven’t read it in a long time. We are flying through it now but you should take a look at the list so you can study it more. The list can be found in the grammar section of this lesson which you’ll find on our website www.spanishpod101.com, but before we go I want to warn you that these ordinal numbers are adjectives, they will agree with the noun they modify in person and number and they will come before the noun they modify unlike the majority of adjectives. So Fernando, if I want to say “the fifth ‘enchilada’”?
Fernando: “La quinta enchilada”.
JP: “La quinta enchilada”. How about “the 8th ‘enchilada’”?
Fernando: “La octava enchilada”.
JP: “La octava enchilada”, so that’s an example of the feminine form. Now I’m going to talk about the masculine form. How about “the fifth tamale”, Fernando?
Fernando: “El quinto tamal”.
JP: “The fourth tamale”?
Fernando: “El cuarto tamal”.
JP: How about “the third tamale”?
Fernando: “El tercer tamal”.
JP: “El tercer tamal”, in this case we use the form “tercer” before the noun. The longer form, “tercero”, can actually come after the noun. You can actually say “el tamal tercero” and in fact this form “tercero” is only used when the adjective is being used as a noun, alright? So if you want to say “the third”...
Fernando: “El tercero”.
JP: “El tercero”, “el tercer tamal”. “The second tamale”?
Fernando: “El segundo tamal”.
JP: Okay, and “the first tamale”?
Fernando: “El primer tamal”.
JP: “El primer tamal”. Now “primer” is a shorter form just like “tercer” and if you want to use the adjective as a noun, you should use the form “primero”.
Fernando: JP, are we going to give more examples? Because if we are, we are going to need a food break.


JP: You know what? I think the food break is a good idea, let’s wrap this up. ¡Hasta luego!
Fernando: Adiós.


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