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Lesson Transcript

Fernando: “I want to take classes in Spanish every day of the week.” Well that’s a mouthful. How are you JP?
JP: I am great, Fernando. How are you doing?
Fernando: I am good, thank you.
JP: Now Fernando, tell us what we are going to talk about today in this lesson?
Fernando: Well in this lesson, you will learn about days of the week. This conversation takes place at a professor’s office and the conversation is between Sergio and his history professor. The professor addresses Sergio in the informal register and Sergio answers with the formal register.
JP: So, let’s listen to this conversation.
Maestra: Entonces, ¿quieres tomar mi clase de ‘Historia del chile’?
Sergio: Así es, maestra. ¿Qué días son las clases?
Maestra: Los martes y jueves a las tres de la tarde.
Sergio: Excelente. Yo puedo esos días.
Teacher: So, would you like to take my class "History of the chili pepper"?
Sergio: That's right, professor. What days are the classes?
Teacher: Tuesdays and Thursdays at three p.m.
Sergio: I can make it those days.
*the English translation in the main audio says Monday, but the correct translation is Tuesday
Fernando: Yes, he is talking to his professor. I guess she is Botany professor.
JP How do you know she is a Botany professor?
Fernando: Because the name of her course is “Historia del chile”.
JP: Okay, “History of the chili pepper.” Now that is a great botanical topic.
Fernando: Sergio says he wants to take her class but he asked her what days are the classes, “¿Qué días son las clases?”
JP: “What days are the classes?”, “¿Qué días son las clases?”
Fernando: And the answer is “los martes y jueves a las tres de la tarde”.
JP: Okay, so “los martes” is Tuesdays and “los jueves” is Thursdays, “a las tres de la tarde”.
Fernando: “Three in the afternoon”, “a las tres de la tarde”. Sergio then says “Excelente. Yo puedo esos días”.
JP: Okay, “excelente” is like “excellent” and then...
Fernando: “Yo puedo esos días”.
JP: “I can do those days.” All right, “yo puedo esos días”. Cool let’s hear the vocab.
Fernando: “Así es”.
JP: “That’s right.”
Fernando: “A-sí es”, “así es”.
JP: Okay, what’s next?
Fernando: “El chile”.
JP: “Chili pepper.”
Fernando: “El chi-le”, “el chile”. “El día”.
JP: “Day.”
Fernando: “El dí-a”, “el día”.
JP: All right, two more.
Fernando: “Poder”.
JP: “To be able”, “can.”
Fernando: “Po-der”, “poder”.
JP: All right, last one.
Fernando: “Excelente”.
JP: “Excellent.”
Fernando: “Ex-ce-len-te”, “excelente”. Well, let’s take a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Let’s start with “así es”.
JP: “Así es”. Now this is an affirmation, “así es”. Literally “así es” means “it is thus.” You know “that’s how it is” but I think it’s okay to translate it as “that’s right.”
Fernando: “Así es”.
JP: Ok, “así es”. What’s the next word?
Fernando: Next we have “el chile”.
JP: “El chile”. This is of course “the chili pepper”, “el chile”, and it refers to all kinds of chili peppers, right Fernando?
Fernando: All kinds, “jalapeños”, “habaneros”, the “chile poblanos”...
JP: Okay, so all shapes and sizes, all levels of spiciness. They are all called “chiles”.
Fernando: Así es.
JP: Okay, what’s next?
Fernando: “El día”.
JP: “El día”. Easy word. It means “day”, “el día”. One thing you should notice about “el día” is that it ends in an “a”, right? “El día”. But grammatically it’s masculine. So all the adjectives that modify it are going to be masculine as well. “El día”, “los días”, “los días bonitos”, right? The singular is “el día”.
Fernando: “El día”. The next word is “excelente”.
JP: “Excelente”, of course this means “excellent”, “excelente”. Right, what else?
Fernando: Last one is “poder”.
JP: “Poder”. Now this is a modal verb, “poder”, and when I say it’s a modal verb, that means it’s followed by an infinitive and it means “can” or “to be able.” So if “comer” means “to eat”, then “poder comer” means “to be able to eat.”
Fernando: How about “hablar”?
JP: Okay, “hablar” means “to speak.” So “poder hablar” means “to be able to speak.” Okay, so you get it. Put “poder” before an infinitive and it means “to be able to do that action”, right? So how did we hear it used in the dialogue, Fernando?
Fernando: The professor says her classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then Sergio says “yo puedo esos días”.
JP: Oh, great.
Fernando: What’s wrong?
JP: Well, after making that huge deal about “poder” plus infinitive, here we have an example of “poder” without an infinitive.
Fernando: We do, but it’s not hard to understand, “yo puedo esos días”, “I am able to on those days”, “I can go those days.”
JP: All right, that’s true. Now anyway, the form of “poder” that we heard in “yo puedo esos días” is the word “puedo”. It means “I can”, right? “I am able”, “puedo”, that’s the verb “poder”.
Fernando: So JP, what’s the grammar point for today?

Lesson focus

JP: Well, I want to say a word or two about the days of the week.
Fernando: Should we review them first?
JP: Yeah. Okay, let’s go through them real fast.
Fernando: Okay.
JP: We’ve got them listed in the lesson notes for this lesson. So if you want to see the written form, you can go to our website and take a look. Okay, let’s start with Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
Fernando: “Lunes”, “martes”, “miércoles”.
JP: “Lunes”, “martes”, “miércoles”. How about Thursday and Friday?
Fernando: “Jueves”, “viernes”.
JP: “Jueves”, “viernes”. And then the weekend?
Fernando: “Sábado”, “domingo”.
JP: “Sábado”, “domingo”. Saturday and Sunday, “sábado”, “domingo”.
Fernando: Okay, that’s the whole week. What is it that you want to say about the days of the week?
JP: Okay, usually when we use the days of the week in English, we use a preposition. We say on Monday, on Tuesday. In Spanish, we don’t do that. We usually just use the definite article “el”. So if I want to say, “I am going to Boston on Friday.”
Fernando: “Voy a Boston el viernes”.
JP: See you just did it. I said on Friday and you said “el viernes”.
Fernando: Well, that’s how we do it.
JP: Okay. Now the last thing I want to say is something that we did here in the dialogue. It’s when the prof says what day her class is on.
Fernando: “Los martes y jueves a las tres”.
JP: Right. “Los martes y jueves”, “on Tuesdays and Thursdays.” When we use the definite article “los” with the day of the week, it means on those days, right? Every week. So “los martes” is “on Tuesdays.” We could say every Tuesday, “los martes”. The same thing with “los jueves”, it means “on Thursdays” or “every Thursday”, “los jueves”.
Fernando: So “el lunes” means “on Monday”, “los lunes” means “every Monday” or “on Mondays.”


Fernando: I think that just about does it for today, JP.
JP: All right folks that will do it. So I guess it’s time to go. ¡Hasta luego!
Fernando: Adiós.