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Lesson Transcript

Jessi: Hi everyone, Jessi here.
Karen: And I’m Karen.
Jessi: “Practice your pronouns at the post office in Latin America.” So Karen, can you tell us what we are going to learn in this lesson?
Karen: In this lesson, we are going to learn about direct object pronouns.
Jessi: Direct object pronouns, which means words like “me,” “te,” “lo,” “la,” etcetera, right?
Karen: Exactly.
Jessi: Where does this conversation take place and who is it between?
Karen: The conversation takes place at the post office and it’s between Carla and the cashier.
Jessi: Great. Now let’s listen to the dialogue.
Karla: Disculpe, para enviar esta postal, ¿a dónde puedo ir?
Cajera: Puede comprar una estampilla aquí o puede ir al correo a dejarla.
Karla: ¿Y está cerca la oficina de correos?
Cajera: Si tiene auto, sí, pero a pie, no tanto. Es mejor enviarla desde aquí.
Karla: Excuse me, where can I go to send this postcard?
Cashier: You can buy an stamp here, or go to the post office to drop it off.
Karla: Is the post office nearby?
Cashier: If you've got a car, yes, but if you go by foot, not really. It's better to send it from here.
Karen: That’s correct unfortunately. Every person that I know is very careful when sending things to any Spanish speaking country.
Jessi: Yes, that’s right. Things sent by mail have the habit of disappearing for no reason or arriving really late. And you hear about this happening a lot unfortunately. It’s actually happened to my mum before when she’s trying to send something.
Karen: Yes, I’ve never sent a gift or something valuable through regular mail. If I want to send something that I know is valuable, I pay more money to make sure that it gets there.
Jessi: But for letters on postcards there is generally no problem, right?
Karen: That’s true. To be honest I’ve never heard of a letter or anything like that disappearing.
Jessi: So what would you recommend people do if they wanted to send something like a package?
Karen: Well, like I mentioned before, I usually pay extra if I have to mail something valuable and it’s worth it. If you have something of value to send pay the extra money to ensure that it gets there. Don’t rely on first class mail.
Jessi: Good to keep in mind. Okay, let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is...
Karen: “Disculpe”.
Jessi: “Excuse me.”
Karen: “Dis-cul-pe”, “disculpe”.
Jessi: Next is...
Karen: “Enviar”.
Jessi: “To send.”
Karen: “En-viar”, “enviar”.
Jessi: Next up is...
Karen: “Dejar”.
Jessi: “To let”, “to leave.”
Karen: “De-jar”, “dejar”.
Jessi: Next we have...
Karen: “Correo”.
Jessi: “Mail”, “post office.”
Karen: “Co-rre-o”, “correo”.
Jessi: The next word is...
Karen: “A pie”.
Jessi: “On foot.”
Karen: “A pie”, “a pie”.
Jessi: Next up is...
Karen: “Poder”.
Jessi: “To be able to”, “can.”
Karen: “Po-der”, “poder”.
Jessi: Next is...
Karen: “Estampilla”.
Jessi: “Stamp.”
Karen: “Es-tam-pi-lla”, “estampilla”.
Jessi: Next is...
Karen: “Postal”.
Jessi: “Postcard.”
Karen: “Pos-tal”, “postal”.
Jessi: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word we’ll look at is...
Karen: “Disculpe”. It comes from the feminine noun “disculpa”. Now “disculpe” is a formal way to say “excuse me.” So listeners, you can use “disculpe” if you want to ask a question, if you bump into someone accidentally or if you want to apologize for something. It is a very useful word to know when travelling in a Spanish speaking country.
Jessi: That’s right so keep that one in mind. Next we have…
Karen: “Enviar”.
Jessi: “To send.” This is an “ar” verb.
Karen: “Enviar” also has the meanings of “to dispatch” or “to ship.”
Jessi: What’s the next word?
Karen: “Dejar”.
Jessi: “To leave”, and this is also an “ar” verb.
Karen: Now this word “dejar” means “to leave something or someone somewhere.” Note that it’s not used to mean “leave” as in “leaving a place”, in that case we use another verb.
Jessi: Right, and while “to leave” is a primary meaning, there are also many other ways to translate it depending on the context. What do we have next?
Karen: “Correo”.
Jessi: Mail or post office.
Karen: Now in most cases it means “mail” but as we can see in the dialogue it is also used to indicate “the post office.”
Jessi: Right. So if you say “voy al correo” that would mean “I am going to the post office.” And the last phrase?
Karen: “A pie”.
Jessi: “By foot. “
Karen: So we have the words “a” and “pie”, together in a phrase.
Jessi: “A” is a preposition meaning “by” and “pie” means “foot.”
Karen: So literally it means “by foot” or “on foot.”
Jessi: Yes, and it’s used to talk about a method of getting somewhere.
Karen: Right, so if someone asks you “how you go to work in the morning?”, you could say “voy a pie” and that literally means “I go on foot.”
Jessi: And in English we would more likely say “I walk”.
Karen: Okay, let’s move to the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Jessi: In this lesson, you’ll learn about direct object pronouns. In a sentence, the direct object pronoun is the person or thing that receives the action or verb. Let’s show an example in English. For example, let’s take the sentence, “I bought the book.” “Book” is the object that receives the action of the verb, right? Now we can use a pronoun in place of “book”.
Karen: “It.”
Jessi: Yes, we can replace “book” with “it” and we get “I bought it.” This “it” would be called a direct object pronoun. So now, let’s go through the direct object pronouns used in Spanish. Karen will say them in Spanish and I will follow with what it means in English.
Karen: “Me”.
Jessi: “Me.”
Karen: “Te”.
Jessi: “You”, familiar.
Karen: “Lo” and “la”.
Jessi: “Him”/ “her”/ “it”/ “you”, formal.
Karen: “Nos”.
Jessi: “Us.”
Karen: “Los” and “las”.
Jessi: “Them” or “you all”, formal. Okay, good. Now in English the direct object pronouns always come after the verb as in “I bought it.” How about in Spanish?
Karen: In Spanish, direct object pronouns usually go in front of the verbs.
Jessi: Can we hear an example?
Karen: Sure, like if we were to translate your example, “I bought it”, it would be “Yo lo compré”.
Jessi: Let’s break it down. “Yo”, “I”, “lo”, “it”, “compré”, “bought.” So literally the order would be “I it bought”.
Karen: Right.
Jessi: Direct object pronouns can come directly after the verbs if they are in the infinitive form. Let’s look at an example from the dialogue.
Karen: The cashier tells Carla, “puede ir al correo a dejarla”.
Jessi: “You can go to the post office to drop it off.” So we have the verb “dejar” and “la” is referring to the postcard Carla is asking about.
Karen: That’s right, and “dejar” here is in the infinitive and so “la” comes after it, “dejarla”.
Jessi: “To leave it.”
Karen: Let’s look at another example from the dialogue, “es mejor enviarla desde aquí”.
Jessi: “It’s better to send it from here.”
Karen: We have “enviarla”, the infinitive “enviar” plus the direct object pronoun, “la”.
Jessi: Which is of course referring to the post card.
Karen: Right.
Jessi: So “enviarla”, “to send it.” How about an example that uses a different direct object pronoun?
Karen: Yes. How about “iré a la cita a conocerte”.
Jessi: “I will go to the appointment to meet you.”
Karen: The verb “conocer”, “to meet”, plus “te”.
Jessi: “Conocerte”, “to meet you.”


Karen: Okay, well that’s going to wrap it up for this lesson. Thanks for listening and see you all next time. ¡Hasta luego!
Jessi: ¡Adiós!