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Lesson Transcript

Jessi: Hi everyone, I’m Jessi.
Karen: And I’m Karen. Welcome to Beginner series, Season 5, Lesson 22. “Style yourself Spanish.”
Jessi: So Karen, what are we going to learn in this lesson?
Karen: In this lesson, we are going to learn about reflexive verbs.
Jessi: Where does this conversation take place and who is it between?
Karen: The conversation takes place at a party and it’s between Lourdes and Katerina.
Jessi: Okay, sounds great. Let’s listen to the dialogue.
Karen: Sí, vamos a escuchar.
Lourdes: Hola Stefanie. Wow, te ves diferente, ¿qué te hiciste?
Katerina: Ay sí, pues adivina.
Lourdes: Hmm, te cortaste el pelo. ¿O estás usando diferente maquillaje?
Katerina: Ninguna de esas. Soy Katerina, ¡no Stefanie!
Lourdes: Hi, Stefanie. Wow, you look different—what did you do?
Katerina: Yeah! Take a guess.
Lourdes: Hmm, you cut your hair. Or are you using different makeup?
Katerina: Neither of those. I'm Katerina, not Stefanie!
Jessi: Okay, so we are back. And how could Lourdes have mistaken Katerina for a totally different person?
Karen: I know, I know. It seems like a crazy idea.
Jessi: She must have changed a lot then.
Karen: I guess so.
Jessi: So she was trying to guess what was different with her. Everything from she cut her hair, to she was using different makeup.
Karen: That’s right.
Jessi: Is there anything you can tell us about your impression of makeup and hair and fashion in Latin America?
Karen: I’m not sure that there are any major differences. I mean make up brands are mostly the same, hairstyles are not too different but if I had to say something, I think the fashion and hairstyles in Latin America are pretty casual in general.
Jessi: Really?
Karen: Yes, I mean it depends where you are too. But on the whole, the styles are pretty laid back, especially say compared to other places like Europe and Asia where a lot of people are into high fashion name brands.
Jessi: Yes, it seems like not as many people are into name brands compared to other places. I mean these are just observations in general but…
Karen: Yes, I think you are right. I’ve travelled throughout Europe and Asia and they just seem to be more fashion conscious there overall.
Jessi: I see, interesting observation. It would be interesting to hear what the listeners think too. If you’ve travelled to Latin America and noticed any differences in hairstyles or fashion, let us know.
Karen: Sure, that would be interesting to see.
Jessi: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is...
Karen: “Adivinar”.
Jessi: “To guess.”
Karen: “A-di-vi-nar”, “adivinar”.
Jessi: Next is...
Karen: “Cortar”.
Jessi: “To cut.”
Karen: “Cor-tar”, “cortar”.
Jessi: Next we have...
Karen: “Maquillaje”.
Jessi: “Make up.”
Karen: “Ma-qui-lla-je”, “maquillaje”.
Jessi: The next word is...
Karen: “Ningún”.
Jessi: “None”, “not any.”
Karen: “Nin-gún”, “ningún”. “Ninguno” is masculine and “ninguna” is feminine.
Jessi: The next word is...
Karen: “Diferente”.
Jessi: “Different.”
Karen: “Di-fe-ren-te”, “diferente”.
Jessi: Next is...
Karen: “Verse”.
Jessi: “To look at oneself.”
Karen: “Ver-se”, “verse”.
Jessi: Next up is...
Karen: “Pelo”.
Jessi: “Hair.”
Karen: “Pe-lo”, “pelo”.
Jessi: Last we have...
Karen: “Usar”.
Jessi: “To use.”
Karen: “U-sar”, “usar”.
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: “Adivinar”.
Jessi: “To guess.”
Karen: Yes, this one has the meaning of “to guess.”
Jessi: In the dialogue, when Lourdes asks Katerina what she did to herself, Katerina says...
Karen: “Pues adivina”.
Jessi: “Take a guess.” So if you want someone to guess something, you can use this verb, “adivinar”. Okay, and the next word?
Karen: “Cortarse”.
Jessi: “To cut oneself.”
Karen: This one comes from the verb “cortar”, which means “to cut.”
Jessi: We have “se” at the end, which makes it reflexive.
Karen: Exactly, “cortarse”. In the dialogue, Lourdes says “te cortaste el pelo”.
Jessi: “You cut your hair.” Yes, she was trying to guess, “adivinar”, what was different with Katerina. Okay, and the next word?
Karen: “Maquillaje”.
Jessi: “Makeup”, “cosmetics.”
Karen: Now “maquillaje” is used when talking about the makeup that a person is wearing and also when talking about cosmetics themselves.
Jessi: Yes, and there’s also a verb that’s similar, right? To mean “to put on makeup”?
Karen: Oh right! You mean “maquillarse”.
Jessi: “Maquillarse”. Yes, that’s the one. This one is reflexive too by the way.
Karen: Right, because it means “to put makeup on oneself.”
Jessi: Okay, and the last word?
Karen: “Ninguno” o “ninguna”.
Jessi: “None”, “nobody”, “no one” or “neither.”
Karen: So this one is actually a very common word that is used a lot and for all sorts of things. It can mean that there is nothing or that there is no one.
Jessi: Yes, the meanings are all related to “none.”
Karen: That’s correct.
Jessi: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use reflexive verbs.
Karen: That’s right. First, Jessi, what are reflexive verbs?
Jessi: Good question. When we first learn Spanish we learn that all verbs end in either “ar”, “ir”, or “er”. Reflexive verbs are verbs that have “se” at the end, after the “ar”, “ir”or “er” and used when the subject of a sentence refers to the same person. Karen, can you give us an example?
Karen: Sure. For example, you know the verb “lavar”, right?
Jessi: Yes, “to wash.” Right?
Karen: Exactly. Now the reflexive version of this is “lavarse” and it means “to wash oneself.”
Jessi: The “oneself” is the important part here, right?
Karen: Yes. So what happens when we conjugate it? If we want to say “I wash myself”, it would be “me lavo”.
Jessi: “I wash myself.” So in this sentence, the subject and the object are the same.

Lesson focus

Karen: Yes, and that’s why we use the reflexive verb “lavarse”. Let’s look at a few more examples of common reflexive verbs. For example, “moverse”.
Jessi: “To move oneself.”
Karen: “Cortarse”.
Jessi: “To cut oneself.”
Karen: “Llamarse”.
Jessi: “To call oneself.”
Karen: Alright, now that that’s clear, let’s talk about how to conjugate them.
Jessi: Yes, there’s something important that we need to go over when it comes to conjugating reflexive verbs.
Karen: Yes, when we conjugate reflexive verbs, we need to use reflexive pronouns together with them.
Jessi: Karen, can you let us know what those are?
Karen: Sure. The pronouns used with reflexive verbs are “me”.
Jessi: “Myself.”
Karen: “Te”.
Jessi: “Yourself.”
Karen: “Se”.
Jessi: “Herself”, “himself”, “yourself” formal.
Karen: “Nos”.
Jessi: “Ourselves.”
Karen: “Os”.
Jessi: “Yourselves”, used in Spain.
Karen: “Se”.
Jessi: “Themselves”, “yourselves”, plural. So these pronouns come before the conjugated verb in a sentence and we need to make sure we drop that “se” at the end of the verb.
Karen: Exactly.
Jessi: Can you give us an example?
Karen: Sure. There’s one that you guys have been using since the beginning and that’s “me llamo”.
Jessi: “I call myself.” Now this usually just gets translated as “my name is” or “I am” in the beginning stages, but now that you’ve learned about reflexive verbs and how they work, you can see how it literally means “I call myself”.
Karen: Right. The “me” means “myself” and “llamo” means “I call.” So literally, “I call myself”.
Jessi: Right and this also goes for the rest of the conjugations.
Karen: Yes. For example, “ella se llama María” is “her name is Maria”. Or literally, “she calls herself Maria”.
Jessi: Right, now let’s hear some example sentences that use different verbs.
Karen: “Te compras una cartera”.
Jessi: “You buy yourself a purse.”
Karen: We have the pronoun “te”, “yourself”, and “compras”, which is “comprar” in the “tú” form.
Jessi: Since we have the reflexive pronoun, it’s pretty clear that the person is buying the purse for themselves.
Karen: Right. If we didn’t have “te” and just said “compras” it could be for anyone, for that person, or for someone else.
Jessi: How about another example?
Karen: “Nos comimos toda la torta”.
Jessi: “We ate the whole cake ourselves.”
Karen: As we can see, it’s not that complicated at all.
Jessi: Lastly, let’s see how the reflexive was used in the dialogue.
Karen: Lourdes says “Wow, te ves diferente, ¿qué te hiciste?”
Jessi: “Wow! You look different. What did you do?” We actually have two examples here.
Karen: Yes, the first verb is “verse”. This is often used when talking about how someone looks.
Jessi: Right, in the sense of how they appear. So “me veo” would be “I look”, “te ves” would be “you look” and so on.
Karen: And then “¿qué te hiciste?” is “what did you do to yourself?” The pronoun “te” plus the verb “hacer” in the second person past tense.
Jessi: And then we had one more example in the dialogue.
Karen: “Te cortaste el pelo”.
Jessi: “You cut your hair.” Now be careful with this one. You may automatically think it means “you cut your hair yourself” and that makes sense when we think of the meaning of the reflexive, but does it mean that, Karen?
Karen: Well, to be honest, it could have that meaning but since people don’t normally cut their own hair and have it cut by someone else, “cortarse el pelo” usually means “get your haircut.”
Jessi: Okay. So if I say “me corté el pelo”, I probably mean “I got my hair cut” and not that I did it myself.
Karen: Así es. That’s exactly right.


Jessi: Well, I think that’s going to do it for this lesson.
Karen: Sí, eso es todo por hoy. Get instant access to all of our Spanish lessons...
Jessi: With any subscription instantly access our entire library of audio and video lessons.
Karen: Download the lessons or listen or watch online.
Jessi: Put them on your phone or another mobile device and listen, watch and learn anywhere.
Karen: Lessons are organized by level, so progress in order one level at a time.
Jessi: Or skip around to different levels. It’s up to you.
Karen: Instantly access them all right now at spanishpod101.com.
Jessi: Please let us know if you have any questions and we’ll see you in the next lesson. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Karen: ¡Adiós!


Please to leave a comment.
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SpanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Practice making your own sentences using reflexive verbs here! :)

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 02:11 AM
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Hola single and ready to mingle,

Please let us know when you’re ready to participate.

Sigamos practicando!



Team SpanishPod101.com

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 11:39 AM
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Hola Dexter,

Thank you for participating!

Sigamos practicando.

Please let us know if you have any questions.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Tuesday at 05:26 AM
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Mi gata se baña.

Me comí toda la pizza.

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 12:43 PM
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Hola Tiko,

That’s funny.

I believe this was recorded long before.

Please let us know if you have any questions.



Team SpanishPod101.com

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 08:59 AM
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Hola Mustafa,

Thank you for your comments.

I believe you have just answered your questions.

This is why translating every word could be very confusing a nonsense, even though its difficult at the beginning the best is to try to understand a language in its own language and no other.

And the best way understanding is putting it in practice.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Wednesday at 07:32 PM
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Well, I looked around on some websites because this issue bothers me so much and I think a good summary is like this:

A few things to note from the list above:

Many reflexive verbs have to do with daily routine: washing, combing, drying, etc. and many have to do with emotions.

As mentioned before it's not obvious why some of these verbs are reflexive; they just are. The sooner you accept that, the better off you'll be.

Some of the verbs listed are inherently reflexive and can't be conjugated any other way. Some also have non-reflexive forms that convey different meanings. Speaking of which…

My own advice: Basically just accept that the grammar and established speech patterns are different in another language... You can try to make an analogy with your native language, but don't expect the logic to apply every time.

I think it's not good when people try to teach the grammar in a language as if it's totally analogous to the situations in another language. Yes it might be the same concept in many cases, but there are definitely many peculiar cases where the logic doesn't justify the grammar. In that case, just make clear that "one way you can think about this idea is like...."

or this concept is SOMETHING LIKE what you see in English when.... that's the key... it's just a way to help you think about it...

On the other hand, when one makes a parallel without mentioning that it's an incomplete parallel, then they mislead ambitious students.

Wednesday at 07:17 PM
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I have a lot of trouble with reflexive pronouns and indirect object pronouns, especially with more complex sentences. I think someone should do a podcast with many examples of reflexive verbs and show how they would differ if the reflexive pronoun was taken out. I think in some cases there is almost no difference, whereas in other case the meaning changes completely...

I don't know the best way to think about this idea. Maybe in any case in English where the action is done to oneself, the reflexive verb will apply. For example, I had to stop myself. I call myself. I (myself) wake up. They fight (amongst themselves). You feel bad (you feel bad, yourself, emotionally). We talk about our problems. I do it myself. I wrote it myself.

1. Me llamo Mustafa (I call myself Mustafa > My name is Mustafa); llamo Mustafa (I call Mustafa > I call (the person named Mustafa)

2. Tuve que pararme antes de hice algo lamentable (I had to stop myself before I did something regrettable). Tuve que parar antes de hice algo lamentable (I had to stop before doing something regrettable).

3. Me despierto (I myself wake up - I wake up); Despierto (I wake - who?)...

This is a tough subject, because it's hard to know which verbs need to be in the relexive. If you think about it, so many actions can be done to your own self. I talk to myself. I say to myself. I hit myself. I write (to) myself. I save myself. I call myself. I throw myself. I defend myself. I kill myself. I help myself. I wash my hair. I devote myself...

If you take the example of "I wash my hair," that's one I really don't understand.

What's wrong with "Lavo mi pelo/cabello?"

Is it different from "Me lavo el pelo/cabello?"

Confusing subject.

spanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 02:20 PM
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Hola Karey,

Thank you for your comment!

:smile:It could be the reason.

Stay tuned, we have more lessons for you!



Team SpanishPod101.com

Monday at 05:22 AM
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Maybe Stefanie and Caterina are twins?

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Practice making your own sentences using reflexive verbs here! :)