Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Jessi: Hi everyone, I’m Jessi.
Karen: And I’m Karen. “Latin American wardrobe malfunctions.”
Jessi: So Karen, what are we going to learn in this lesson?
Karen: In this lesson, listeners are going to learn how to use the reflexive pronoun “se” as an indirect object plus a verb.
Jessi: Where does this conversation take place and who is it between?
Karen: The conversation takes place at Bryan’s house and it’s between Bryan and Lita.
Jessi: Okay, let’s listen to the dialogue.
Karen: Sounds good, escuchemos.
Bryan: ¿Qué te parece esta camisa? Creo que se me ve muy bien.
Lita: Igual, y si… pruébate otra.
Bryan: ¿Por qué? ¿Se me nota mucho la panza?
Lita: La panza se te nota con o sin camisa.
Bryan: What do you think of this shirt? I think it looks really good on me.
Lita: It might work, but...try on another one.
Bryan: Why? Does my belly show that much?
Lita: Your belly shows with or without a shirt.
Jessi: Okay, so in the dialogue, Brian is trying on a shirt. Which she calls in Spanish, Karen?
Karen: “Una camisa”.
Jessi: And this is just your typical word for shirt in Spanish, right?
Karen: Yes, but keep in mind that it usually refers to a shirt with long sleeves.
Jessi: What would a shirt with short sleeves be then?
Karen: That would be called “una camiseta”.
Jessi: So we have “camisa” and “camiseta”.
Karen: That’s right.
Jessi: Can you give us any more clothing related words?
Karen: Well, there’s also “una blusa”
Jessi: “A blouse” I suppose?
Karen: Exactly. “Blusa” is “blouse” and is only worn by women.
Jessi: I think these terms are pretty universal in Spanish but there are a lot of clothing terms that are only used in certain countries.
Karen: That’s true, for example take the word “jacket.”
Jessi: “Una chaqueta”?
Karen: Yes, unless you are from Mexico, for example, you would use the word “chamarra”.
Jessi: I’ve heard that before too!
Karen: Right. Let’s say if you are from Perú, you’ll probably use “casaca”.
Jessi: Now that’s a new one for me.
Karen: So as you can see, some clothing names are different depending on what country you are in.
Jessi: Very good to keep in mind. Let’s take a look at the vocab from this lesson. The first word is...
Karen: “Parecer”.
Jessi: “To seem”, “to resemble.”
Karen: “Pa-re-cer”, “parecer”.
Jessi: Next is...
Karen: “Probarse”.
Jessi: “To try”, “to try on.”
Karen: “Pro-bar-se”, “probarse”.
Jessi: Next is...
Karen: “Notarse”.
Jessi: “To be obvious”, “to be noticeable.”
Karen: “No-tar-se”, “notarse”.
Jessi: Next we have...
Karen: “Panza”.
Jessi: “Stomach”, “belly”, “tummy.”
Karen: “Pan-za”, “panza”.
Jessi: Next is...
Karen: “Camisa”.
Jessi: “Shirt.”
Karen: “Ca-mi-sa”, “camisa”.
Jessi: Next is...
Karen: “Igual”.
Jessi: “Equal”, “just the same”, “likewise.”
Karen: “I-gual”, “igual”.
Jessi: Next is...
Karen: “Muy bien”.
Jessi: “Very well.”
Karen: “Muy bien”, “muy bien”.
Jessi: And last we have...
Karen: “Ver”.
Jessi: “To see.”
Karen: “Ver”, “ver”.
Jessi: Let’s have a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word we’ll look at is...
Karen: “Parecer”.
Jessi: “To seem”, “to resemble” or “to look like.”
Karen: This one can be a little bit tricky, since it has a few different meanings. One common one is “to seem” or “to look like” as in “no me parece que esté correcto”.
Jessi: “It doesn’t seem to me that this is correct.”
Karen: In that case, you are stating your opinion, how things seem to you. Another example is “me parece que no deberías trabajar”.
Jessi: “It seems to me” or “in my opinion, I don’t think you should work.”
Karen: It can also mean “to look like.” For example, “te pareces a Shakira”.
Jessi: “You look like Shakira.” Okay, and the next word?
Karen: “Probarse”.
Jessi: “To try on”, as in “to try on clothes.”
Karen: This one comes from the verb “probar”. “Probarse” is a reflexive form of the verb and it means “to try on.”
Jessi: “Probar” by itself means “to try” and that could be for trying food or for trying something out as in experimenting with something but when we add “se” and make it reflexive, “probarse”, it means “to try on clothes.”
Karen: That’s correct. When Lita tells Bryan to try on another shirt, she says “pruébate otra”.
Jessi: Alright, and the next word?
Karen: “Notarse”.
Jessi: “To be obvious”, “to be noticeable.” This is another reflexive verb.
Karen: Right. “Notarse” is a reflexive form of the verb “notar”. Now “notar” by itself means “to notice” or “to observe.”
Jessi: But like the word we just saw, when we add “se” to make the reflexive form, “notarse”, the meaning changes just a little.
Karen: Right. The reflexive form “notarse” means “to be obvious”, “to be noticeable.” In the dialogue, “notarse” is used and this verb means “to notice”, “to tell” or “to feel.”
Jessi: So what did Bryan say in the dialogue?
Karen: He said, “¿se me nota mucho la panza?”
Jessi: “Does my belly show that much?” or “is my belly really noticeable?” So again just note that this “notarse” means “to be noticeable.” It refers to the person or thing being noticed. Okay, and the last word we’ll look at is?
Karen: “Panza”.
Jessi: “Belly.”
Karen: This word is only used in informal situations. It’s a good word to know but just know that it is informal.
Jessi: What would be the proper word to use?
Karen: For “stomach” you could use “estómago”.
Jessi: Got it.
Karen: Alright, let’s move on to the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Jessi: In the last two lessons we’ve been talking about the reflexive verbs. Just to refresh everyone’s memory, reflexive verbs are verbs that have “se” at the end after the “ar”, “ir” and “er”, and are used when the subject and object of the sentence refer to the same person or thing
Karen: That’s right.
Jessi: And in this lesson, we’ll be talking about a construction which is sometimes known as the accidental reflexive construction. Basically, it’s using a reflexive verb with an indirect object. This grammar is used to describe unintentional, unplanned or accidental occurrences.
Karen: Yes, this is used to describe an occurrence that is beyond a person’s control.
Jessi: By using it, you are kind of taking the blame off the person just saying that it happened. The outcome was unintentional. Okay, I think this would best be understood with some examples. Karen?
Karen: Well, here’s the structure: the reflexive pronoun “se” plus an indirect object pronoun plus a verb.
Jessi: So the reflexive pronoun “se” comes before the indirect object pronoun. The indirect object pronoun indicates the subject and the verb, instead of being conjugated to agree with the subject, agrees with whatever noun follows that verb. Okay, I’m sure that all sounds a bit confusing, so how about showing some examples? I think that’s the best way to explain it.
Karen: Definitely a good idea. For example, Jessi, how would you say the sentence “I lost the keys” in straightforward Spanish?
Jessi: I would say “yo perdí las llaves”, “I lost the keys.”
Karen: Okay, that works but compare that with this example, “se me perdieron las llaves”. This also means “I lost the keys.”
Jessi: “Se me perdieron las llaves”.
Karen: Right. In this case though, we are not really admitting directly “I lost the keys.” It’s a bit more indirect, like an accidental occurrence.
Jessi: Kind of like “the keys got lost and it happened to me.”
Karen: Right, that kind of nuance. The keys become the subject of the sentence.
Jessi: So let’s see what we have here. We have the reflexive pronoun “se”, the indirect object pronoun “me”, because it happened to me, and the verb “perdieron”. Notice that the conjugation of the verb matches “las llaves”.
Karen: Think of the focus being on the keys. The keys got lost. That should help you make some sense of this structure.
Jessi: So Karen, what are some verbs that can be used in this structure a lot?
Karen: Good question. There are some verbs that get used this way a lot. One of them is “olvidarse”.
Jessi: “Olvidarse”, “to forget.”
Karen: Yes, to say that you forgot something, you can say “se me olvidó”, plus the thing you forgot.
Jessi: Let’s hear some examples.
Karen: Sure. “Se me olvidó el libro”.
Jessi: “I forgot the book.”
Karen: “Se me olvidó llamarte”.
Jessi: “I forgot to call you.”
Karen: That’s right. Another example of a verb used this way a lot is “romperse”.
Jessi: “Romperse”, “to break.”
Karen: Yes. For example, “se me rompió el vaso”.
Jessi: “The glass broke on me.” This is talking about an unintentional incident. If something breaks, you probably want to avoid the blame, so as you can imagine, this is used a lot.
Karen: Así es.
Jessi: So how about if it happens to someone other than you?
Karen: Good question. In that case, the indirect object pronoun “me” will change. So for example you would have “se te rompió”, “se le rompió”, “se nos rompió”, “se les rompió”, etcetera.
Jessi: The conjugation of “rompió” match the item that comes after it and “se me rompió el vaso”, it’s singular, right?
Karen: Yes, it’s just one glass. So we use “rompió”. But for example, if it were more than one we would say “se me rompieron los vasos”.
Jessi: Great and lastly, let’s look at how this grammar was used in the dialogue.
Karen: Sure. Bryan says “¿se me nota mucho la panza?”.
Jessi: “Does my belly show that much?” So this “notarse” means “to be noticeable.”
Karen: Exacto.


Jessi: Okay. Well, that’s going to do it for this lesson.
Karen: Be sure to let us know if you have any questions or need any help. ¡Hasta luego!
Jessi: Thanks for listening. See you all next time.