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Fernando: “Finding the right class in Spanish.” I am joined by JP. JP, how are you?
JP: I am fine, thanks. How are you?
Fernando: I am doing well.
JP: All right Fernando, what are we going to talk about today?
Fernando: In this lesson, you will learn about demonstratives. This conversation takes place in a university lecture hall. The conversation is between Gustavo and the professor and the speakers will use the formal register.
JP: So, let’s have a listen to the dialogue.
Maestra: Bienvenidos a la clase. Por favor, tomen asiento.
Gustavo: ¿Ésta es la clase de ‘Historia del Arte’?
Maestra: No. Esta clase es ‘Historia del chile’.
Gustavo: Ay, disculpe.
Teacher: Welcome to class. Please take your seats.
Gustavo: Is this the "History of Art" class?
Teacher: No. This is "History of the chili pepper."
Gustavo: Oh, sorry.
Fernando: Apparently he…
JP: He got lost. He must be a fresher.
Fernando: Yes, definitely freshman.
JP: Okay.
Fernando: Or a transfer.
JP: Or a transfer. Yeah, maybe he just doesn’t always wait around.
Fernando: Right.
JP: Okay, so we start with the professor welcoming everyone in the class and asking them to have a seat, right?
Fernando: Right and I think Gustavo is a little hesitant at first because the teacher is giving the introduction and he immediately raises his hand.
JP: Right.
Fernando: And asks “¿Ésta es la clase de ‘Historia del Arte’?”
JP: Okay. “Is this ‘Art History’ class?” And the answer is “no”.
Fernando: “No. Esta clase es ‘Historia del chile’”.
JP: “Historia del chile”. Now we are talking about this class before in the Beginner series. It’s probably a botany class or evolutionary biology class.
Fernando: That would appear to be the case.
JP: Okay, anyway it’s not Gustavo’s Art History class.
Fernando: No, it is not.
JP: So he gets up saying “oh, sorry.”
Fernando: Yeah, “Ay, disculpe”.
JP: Okay and that’s the end. So let’s take a look at the vocabulary that’s important in this lesson.
Fernando: “Bienvenido”.
JP: “Welcome.”
Fernando: “Bien-ve-ni-do”, “bienvenido”. “La clase”.
JP: “Class”.
Fernando: “La cla-se”, “la clase”. “Por favor”.
JP: “Please.”
Fernando: “Por fa-vor”, “por favor”. “Tomar asiento”.
JP: “To have a seat” or “to take one’s seat.”
Fernando: “To-mar a-sien-to”, “tomar asiento”. “Disculpe”.
JP: “Excuse me.”
Fernando: “Dis-cul-pe”, “disculpe”.
JP: Okay, cool. Now Fernando, a lot of these words and phrases that are important in this dialogue are just very important words and phrases in Spanish to be polite.
Fernando: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. Let’s start with “bienvenido”.
JP: “Bienvenido”. This is “welcome”, right?
Fernando: “Bienvenido”. That’s the first thing that teacher says to the class.
JP: He says “welcome”, right? “Bienvenidos”. Now she says “bienvenidos” with an “s” on it.
Fernando: That’s because she is addressing a number of people, in this case her students.
JP: Right. So she is getting used to the plural, “bienvenidos”.
Fernando: “Bienvenidos”. And in a mixed crowd, the plural will always be in the masculine.
JP: Okay, so when she says “bienvenidos” she is addressing both men and women.
Fernando: Exactly.
JP: Okay. If it was all women, she would probably just say...
Fernando: “Bienvenidas”.
JP: “Bienvenidas”. If it was one woman, she would say...
Fernando: “Bienvenida”.
JP: “Bienvenida”. But since it’s a whole class, she is going to say...
Fernando: “Bienvenidos”.
JP: “Bienvenidos”. Okay.
Fernando: And you know, of course if it’s a bachelor party she will say “bienvenidas”.
JP: Okay. But it’s not, it’s “la clase”.
Fernando: It’s “la clase”.
JP: Okay. “La clase” is our next word.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: And “la clase” it is just like in English when we say “class.”
Fernando: Yes, indeed.
JP: Now this can mean the group of students who are at a class. It could also mean “a social class”, “una clase social”.
Fernando: “Una clase social”.
JP: Okay. So the different ways we use “class” in English are going to be the same in Spanish, “clase”.
Fernando: “Clase”.
JP: “La clase”. All right, what’s next?
Fernando: “Por favor”.
JP: “Por favor”. Okay, now this is a super, super important word. I can’t believe you haven’t heard it yet.
Fernando: Sorry!
JP: No, “sorry” is later. Right now “por favor”, “please”, right?
Fernando: “Please”, “por favor”.
JP: Now whenever you request something or you want to be polite, you are going to ask somebody “por favor”.
Fernando: “Por favor”. And that’s something that is inculcated I think in every one of us. What do you say?
JP: “Por favor”.
Fernando: When you are asking for something, “por favor”.
JP: “Por favor”. What’s the next phrase?
Fernando: “Tomar asiento”.
JP: “Tomar asiento”. Okay, I translate it as “to take one’s seat” or “to have a seat”, right?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: “Tomar asiento”. Now literally this is two verbs, “tomar”, which is “to take”, and then “asiento” is “seat.” So “tomar asiento”, “to take one’s seat.” How did we hear it in the dialogue?
Fernando: The teacher asked her students to take a seat after welcoming them.
JP: What did she say?
Fernando: “Por favor, tomen asiento”.
JP: “Por favor, tomen asiento”. “Please have a seat.”
Fernando: Yes.
JP: And then the last word in our list.
Fernando: “Disculpe”.
JP: “Disculpe”. This is what Gustavo said he wasn’t leaving, right?
Fernando: Yeah. “Disculpe”, “sorry to interrupt.”
JP: Yeah, “sorry about that”, “disculpe”.
Fernando: I am not bad.
JP: Okay, that’s the verb “disculpar”, “to excuse” or “to pardon” or “to forgive” and so he says “disculpe” as he leaves the school. So we go to the grammar section.
Fernando: Let’s!

Lesson focus

JP: Okay, now this grammar section is all about demonstratives. Do you want to take this one, Fernando?
Fernando: You know what, I think I am going to pass.
JP: Okay. Okay, demonstratives are pointing words. We are going to call them pointing words and there is two kinds which is demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns. Now let’s start with demonstrative pronouns. When you pointed something in English, you are going to say “this” or “that”, right?
Fernando: Exactly.
JP: Okay, now “that” is a demonstrative pronoun. You are not naming it like right now for example, “I am looking at the piano” but I am not going to say “it”, I am going to say “that”, right? And I am pointing at it. I am really – I am pointing at it in the studio.
Fernando: There is no piano, guys.
JP: Well, it’s a keyword. It’s a Roland XP50. So if I don’t want to say the piano, I will just point out and say “that”. I’d say “look at that.”
Fernando: Right.
JP: Okay, that’s a demonstrative pronoun, right? It’s a pronoun because I am replacing the word and it’s demonstrative because I am pointing. Now we have several demonstrative pronouns in Spanish and they all agree in gender and number with the grammatical name of this item in Spanish. So for example, if I pointed to piano and say “that” in Spanish, what would I say, Fernando?
Fernando: “Éste”.
JP: So if I want to say “that’s mine” and I point to the piano, what I would say?
Fernando: “Éste es mío”.
JP: “Éste es mío”. Okay. There you can see that that’s a demonstrative pronoun. Now on the other side of the room, there is a guitar. We happened to be in a recording studio. On the other side of the room there is a red guitar and if I point to it and I say “that’s mine”.
Fernando: “Ésta”.
JP: “Ésta”. “Ésta es mía”.
Fernando: “Ésta es mía”.
JP: Okay, it’s not. It’s neither of ours but whatever. Now once again, the word “guitarra” is feminine and singular, that’s why we say “ésta”. “Ésta”, “that”.
Fernando: “Ésta es mía”.
JP: “Ésta es mía”. Okay, it’s a pronoun because we are replacing that with guitar. Now that’s a demonstrative pronoun. There is also demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative adjectives are pointing words that are also adjectives. So if I pointed that guitar and I want to say “that guitar.”
Fernando: “Esta guitarra”.
JP: “Esta guitarra”. Okay, you notice that I said “esta” and “guitarra” together, right?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: And that’s because “esta” is acting like an adjective. It’s acting like a demonstrative adjective right and “guitarra” is feminine and singular. So it’s “esta guitarra”.
Fernando: “Esta guitarra”.
JP: Whereas if I point at that piano...
Fernando: “Este piano”.
JP: “Este piano”. Right, that’s “this piano” here.
Fernando: “Este piano”, “this piano”, yes.
JP: Okay, cool. So I will just explain the difference between demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives. Demonstrative adjectives are usually followed by the noun they modify, correct?
Fernando: Correct.


JP: All right folks, I think that’s it for today. So it’s time to say goodbye. ¡Hasta luego!
Fernando: Adiós.


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