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Fernando: “Where can we go to spend a private moment in Spanish?” JP, how are you?
JP: I am fine, thanks. How are you?
Fernando: I am good and a little puzzled. Oh but I am sorry. We are still outsourcing, right?
JP: We are outsourcing the title. That’s right.
Fernando: Got you.
JP: So the people will find it on Google search but don’t worry.
Fernando: Okay.
JP: There is some relevance to this title, where can we go to spend a private moment in Spanish. Now Fernando, tell us what we are going to hear in this lesson about spending a private moment.
JP: Sure thing. In this lesson, you will learn about interrogative pronouns. This conversation takes place at the library. The conversation is between Jimena and Sergio and the speakers will be using the familiar register.
Fernando: Shall we start the dialogue, Fernando?
JP: Yes.
Jimena: ¿Buscamos un cuarto privado?
Sergio: Sí, pero primero debo ir al baño. ¿Sabes dónde hay uno?
Jimena: Hay uno a la entrada de la biblioteca.
Sergio: Gracias. Regreso en dieciocho minutos.
Jimena: Shall we find a private room?
Sergio: Yes, but first I have to go to the bathroom. Do you know where there is one?
Jimena: There's one at the entrance of the library.
Sergio: Thank you. I'll be back in eighteen minutes.
JP: Well Fernando, if you are following the series, Jimena and Sergio are study mates. They are classmates in a class called “History of the chile”, right?
Fernando: Something like that, yeah.
JP: Okay, so now they are studying for the class in the library and they are looking for a private room.
Fernando: Looking for a private room.
JP: To study, Fernando.
Fernando: To study, well I know, I know. So Jimena is inquiring, “should we find a private room?”, “¿Buscamos un cuarto privado?”
JP: Right and Sergio says “Yes.”
Fernando: “Sí”.
JP: “But first I have to go to the bathroom.”
Fernando: “Pero primero debo ir al baño”.
JP: Okay, now this word “baño” is so important for anybody who is learning Spanish.
Fernando: Anyone.
JP: Anybody that’s traveling.
Fernando: Yes, anyone.
JP: “Baño”, “el baño”, is “the bathroom.”
Fernando: The bathroom…
JP: So he is looking for the bathroom and he asks Jimena if she knows where there is one.
Fernando: “¿Sabes dónde hay uno?”
JP: “¿Sabes dónde hay uno?” Okay, “do you know where there is one?” She does!
Fernando: “Hay uno en la entrada de la biblioteca”.
JP: “En la entrada”. So this is “the entrance”?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: “The entrance of the library”, “la entrada de la biblioteca”.
Fernando: Right. It seems they had a pretty hefty lunch or at least Sergio.
JP: Well, Sergio says “thank you” and “I will get back in 18 minutes.”
Fernando: 18 minutes.
JP: “Regreso en 18 minutos”.
Fernando: “Gracias. Regreso en 18 minutos”. I love Sergio’s precision.
JP: Yeah, there is something to be said about that. Shall we go to the vocabulary?
Fernando: Let’s please move on to the vocabulary. “El baño”.
Fernando: “Bathroom.”
JP: “El ba-ño”, “el baño”. “Dónde”.
Fernando: “Where.”
JP: “Dón-de”, “dónde”. “La entrada”.
Fernando: “Entrance”, “entrance fee”, “entrance ticket.”
JP: “La en-tra-da”, “la entrada”. “La biblioteca”.
Fernando: “Library.”
JP: “La bi-blio-te-ca”, “la biblioteca”. “Regresar”.
Fernando: “To return”, “to come back home.”
JP: “Re-gre-sar”, “regresar”.
JP: All right, Fernando, let’s talk about these five words. Should we start with the word for bathroom?
Fernando: “El baño”.
JP: “El baño”. So easy but very important if you are traveling in the Spanish speaking world.
Fernando: Claro.
JP: “El baño”.
Fernando: “El baño”. La siguiente, “dónde”.
JP: “Dónde”. This is the word “where.”
Fernando: To know where the bathroom is.
JP: Okay, “¿dónde está el baño?”
Fernando: Exactly.
JP: “¿Dónde?” So that’s one of the interrogative pronouns that we are going to talk about later in the grammar section. What’s the next word we are going to talk about now?
Fernando: “La entrada”.
JP: “La entrada”. Okay, this is the word for “entrance” but in Spanish, it’s a little more versatile than the English word “entrance.”
Fernando: Yes, to make an entrance.
JP: Uhum.
Fernando: The entrance to weight building.
JP: Right the physical entrance, the active entering like you said the entrance, like to make a big entrance. It’s also an amount of money, right? If you pay an entry fee, that’s “una entrada”.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: And also, you can also call the ticket that they sell you, an “entrada”.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: So all of these things, they all have to do with entering and it’s “la entrada”.
Fernando: “La biblioteca”.
JP: “Library.” Okay, not much to say about there, biblio, it sounds like a Greek word. Doesn’t it?
Fernando: Biblio.
JP: “Biblioteca” like the “bibliotheke”.
Fernando: “Bibliotheke”.
JP: Okay, the last word.
Fernando: “Regresar”.
JP: “Regresar” is “to return.” A lot of times when people don’t provide context, you can assume “regresar” means “to go home.”
Fernando: Exactly.
JP: Right but sometimes they will say “I am going back to the office”, “regreso a la oficina”, and they will specify what the context is and where they are going, right?
Fernando: Many of my friends in Mexico, they ask me “¿Cuándo regresas?”
JP: Oh that’s “when are you going back to Mexico?”
Fernando: “When am I going back home?”, “when am I going back to Mexico?”, which I happened to call home.
JP: Excellent. All right, let’s move on to the grammar point. Would you like to take us?

Lesson focus

JP: I think I will pass the button on to you.
Fernando: Okay, so we are talking about interrogative pronouns in Spanish. Now this is a big fancy word for sometimes in English, we call them the WH words, right?
JP: What?
Fernando: The WH words that are important if you are a newspaper writer because you always have to write who, what, which, when, where, why and how and how much and how many. Okay, these are all question words, right?
JP: These are pretty – it sounds like there is a bunch of them. If you are going to ask a question and it’s not a yes or no question, you are going to have to use one of these words, who, what, which, when, where, why, how, how much. Now those are the ones in English. We are talking about the ones in Spanish and we are just going to list them off to you. First of all, let’s start with the one that’s in the dialogue. When was there a question in the dialogue that wasn’t a yes/no question?
Fernando: I believe it’s when Sergio is inquiring about the bathroom.
JP: Okay, what did he say?
Fernando: “¿Sabes dónde está el baño?”
JP: “¿Sabes dónde está el baño?”, “Do you know where there is a bathroom?” So we heard that word for there which is “dónde”, right? It’s one of our vocab word.
Fernando: “Dónde” which means in English “where.”
JP: Exactly. Now let’s go through our list. So we have the word for “who” and “whom.”
Fernando: “Quién”.
JP: “Quién” means “who” or “whom.” The answer is going to be a person. Now Spanish is special because it has a plural form.
Fernando: “Quiénes”.
JP: “Quiénes”. Okay, if you know that the answer is going to be plural like if you are going to say “who are the 10 people you are going to choose?”, you would use “quiénes”, right?
Fernando: Right. “¿Quiénes son las 10 personas?”
JP: So “quién” and “quiénes” are the question words for “who” and “whom.” How about the word for “what”?
Fernando: “¿Qué?”
JP: The word for “what.”
Fernando: The word for “what”, JP, are you fooling around again?
JP: Yeah, I am doing a little joke, the “qué” joke, it’s a classic Spanish teacher.
Fernando: I can’t believe I’ve fallen for that one.
JP: ¿Qué?
Fernando: Again…
JP: Yeah, okay, so “¿qué?” means “what?”
Fernando: ¿Qué?
JP: What?
Fernando: I am not going to go through this again.
JP: Okay.
Fernando: Let’s move on.
JP: We already said “dónde” means “where.” How about the word for “when”?
Fernando: “Cuándo”.
JP: “Cuándo”.
Fernando: ¿Cuándo qué?
JP: Tell me when will you be mine...
Fernando: No, please, don’t break out in the song...
JP: Tell me “cuándo”, “cuándo”, “cuándo”.
Fernando: I am sorry, listeners.
JP: All right. Now I think Frank Sinatra spelled that with a Q because he is Italian but it’s the same word in Spanish “cuándo”, spelled with a C. Now the word for “which” in Spanish...
Fernando: Bruja.
JP: The word for “which” in Spanish like “which one”...
Fernando: “Cúal”.
JP: “Cuál”, “cuál” means “which one.” Now in Spanish, there is a plural form which is “which ones”...
Fernando: “Cuáles”.
JP: “Cuáles”. So if there are a bunch of guitars around and you own three of them, you know, I could say “which guitars are yours?”
Fernando: “¿Cuáles son tuyas?”
JP: Okay, “which are yours?” How about the word for “how”?
Fernando: “Cómo”.
JP: ¿Cómo?
Fernando: How.
JP: Yeah, that one doesn’t work.
Fernando: Darn it!
JP: Okay, the funny thing about this word “cómo” means “how” is that it’s also the polite way to get somebody – to get somebody to repeat themselves.
Fernando: ¿Cómo?
JP: Right. It’s also the polite way to get somebody to repeat themselves.
Fernando: ¿Cómo?
JP: You just say “cómo” and then…
Fernando: We are just saying…
JP: Okay, “¿cómo?” Now we already did this joke with “qué” but “qué” is a little more rude, right?
Fernando: Yeah, “qué” you don’t want to use.
JP: You don’t want to do unless you are fooling around with your friend. The polite word “cómo”, “cómo”, also means “how” like “how does it taste?”
Fernando: “¿Cómo te sabe?”
JP: “¿Cómo te sabe?”, “How does it taste to you?”, right? And the last interrogative pronoun that I want to talk about are the words for “how much” or “how many.”
Fernando: “Cuánto”, “cuántos”. And in the feminine form “cuánta” y “cuántas”.
JP: Now the neuter form is “cuánto”, right? When we say “how much?”
Fernando: “¿Cuánto?”
JP: “¿Cuánto?” If you know that you are talking about something feminine like “how many pages do I have to read?”
Fernando: “¿Cuántas páginas?”
JP: “¿Cuántas páginas?”, “How many pages?”
Fernando: “La página”. Yes, all right.
JP: Okay, “página” is feminine. So we are going to use “cuántas”.
Fernando: “¿Cuántas páginas?”


JP: I guess it’s time to go for now but we will see you again in the next edition of spanishpod101. ¡Hasta luego!
Fernando: ¡Adiós!


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