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JP: “I’m quitting smoking in Spanish”. Y como siempre estoy aquí con Fernando. ¿Qué tal Fernando?
Fernando: Hola JP, ¿cómo estás?
JP: Muy bien gracias. ¿Tú?
Fernando: JP ¿de que vamos a hablar ahora?
JP: In this lesson we will review the Present Participle. The conversation takes place in the park. The conversation is between Bernardo and Helvia. The speakers use the familiar register.
Fernando: Excelente, gracias JP. Bueno pasemos al dialogo JP.
JP: Muy bien.
Fernando: Excelente.
Bernardo: ¿Cuándo vas a dejar de fumar?
Helvia: Llevo tiempo queriendo dejarlo, pero mi fuerza de voluntad es muy débil. Ayúdame, porfas.
Bernardo: Lo haría pero después no quiero que mis esfuerzos sean en vano porque al final no me hiciste caso.
Helvia: Te juro que ahora sí te hago caso. Sé las repercusiones de salud que tendré si sigo fumando.
Bernardo: Sí, pero aún así, debes querer dejarlo por más de una sóla razón. ¿Cómo te quieres ver en un mes?
Helvia: Quiero poder correr cinco kilómetros con facilidad, sin parar.
Bernardo: Es una buena meta a corto plazo. ¡Entonces empieza apagando ese cigarro que tienes en la mano!
Bernardo: When are you going to quit smoking?
Helvia: I've been wanting to quit for a while now, but my willpower is weak. Help me, please.
Bernardo: I'll do it, but later. I don't want my efforts to be in vain because in the end you didn't listen to me.
Helvia: I swear to you that this time I'll pay attention. I know the health repercussions that I'll have if I keep smoking.
Bernardo: Yes, but even so, you should want to quit for more than one reason. How do you want to look in a month?
Helvia: I want to be able to run five kilometers easily without stopping.
Bernardo: It's a good short-term goal. So let's start by putting out that cigarette that you have in your hand!
JP: We’re back and we’ve got kind of a long dialogue today.
Fernando: Sí lo es y tocan un tema medio delicado. El fumar.
JP: So, Helvia is a smoker and she wants to quit. Bernardo is kind of her coach, right?
Fernando: Sí le pregunta: ¿Cuándo vas a dejar de fumar?
JP: Yes, “When are you going to quit smoking?” And she says “Well, I’ve been smoking for a while, now.”.
Fernando: Llevo tiempo queriendo dejarlo, pero mi fuerza de voluntad es muy débil.
JP: So, her will power is not so great.
Fernando: No, definitivamente no. Incluso le pide ayuda. “Ayúdame porfas”.
JP: Ok. Bernardo agrees to help her, but he’s going to put down some conditions, right?
Fernando: Sí. “ Lo haría pero después no quiero que mis esfuerzos sean en vano porque al final no me hiciste caso.”
JP: Ok, so you better pay attention to him.
Fernando: Sí. porque el dejar de fumar parece ser algo dificil. Para Helvia.
JP: Right. Right. But it’s worth it, for the health reasons, right?
Fernando: Claro. De hecho eso dice Helvia. “Te juro que ahora sí te hago caso. Sé las repercusiones de salud que tendré si sigo fumando.”
JP: Ok. “I know the health repercussions.”
Fernando: Sí. Una palabra bastante rebuscada. Repercusiones.
JP: Yes, that’s a complicated word, a long word in any case.
Fernando: Sí. Sí sí.
JP: So, Bernardo suggests that maybe she needs more than just one reason, right?
Fernando: Sí exacto. hay que tener un plano. Bernardo incluso le dice: “ Sí, pero aún así, debes querer dejarlo por más de una sóla razón. ¿Cómo te quieres ver en un mes?”
JP: Ok, now I translated that as “How do you want to look in a month?”, but really he’s asking her “What, how do you see yourself, where do you want to be in a month?”.
Fernando: Sí es una pregunta figurativa. Es decir, ¿cómo te quieres ver en un mes’ Osea, que quieres hacer, qué quieres poder hacer.
JP: Yes, so he’s trying to get her to set a goal of how her life is going to be different in a month.
Fernando: Sí una meta corto plazo. quiero poder correr cinco kilómetros con facilidad sin parar.
JP: Ok. All right. So, cinco kilometros, that’s a, how many miles is that, do you know?
Fernando: Son como 3… Tres punto y algo millas.
JP: Ok. I don’t think I can run. cinco kilometros sin parar, I don’t think I can do that.
Fernando: Pero si fuera a un puesto de tacos al pastor?
JP: Oh, well, yes. sí, if there’s a goal.
Fernando: Claro. Y bueno y Bernanrdo incluso le dice eso. “Es una buena meta a corto plazo”.
JP: Right. Now, he has a suggestion for her to start right away, right?
Fernando: “Entonces empieza apagando ese cigarro que tienes en la mano”.
JP: Ok, yes. “The cigarette that you have in your hand, right there. Put that one out, first.”
Fernando: Sí.
JP: That’s a start, right?
Fernando: Exactamente. Asi es como se empieza.
JP: Ok. Shall we go to the vocabulary?
Fernando: Sí pasemos. Apagar.
JP: “To turn off”, “to extinguish”
Fernando: a-pa-gar, apagar. Porfas
JP: “Please”, the casual version of porfavor.
Fernando: por-fas, porfas. Hacer caso.
JP: “To pay attention”, “to mind”
Fernando: ha-cer ca-so, hacer caso. La meta a corto plazo.
JP: “Short term goal”
Fernando: la me-ta a cor-to pla-zo, la meta a corto plazo. El cigarro.
JP: “Cigarette”
Fernando: el ci-ga-rro, el cigarro
JP: All right, Fernando. Which vocabulary word are we going to start with?
Fernando: Empezemos con apagar.
JP: “Apagar” is “to turn off”. Now, you can turn off the lights, right? Apagar. Apaga la luz.
Fernando: Apaga la luz. Apaga la estufa.
JP: All right. “Turn off the stove”. Now, in their dialogue, there’s nothing electric.
Fernando: No, no hay nada electrico. Creo que se refiere más bien al cigarro.
JP: Oh, ok. So, in this case you don’t turn off a cigarette, you put it out.
Fernando: Sí, lo apagas.
JP: You extinguish it.
Fernando: Lo extingues.
JP: Ok, apagar. All right. What’s next?
Fernando: porfas.
JP: Porfas. Ok. Now, this is a cute word and I think it’s a Mexican thing, right?
Fernando: Sí se usa mucho en México definitivamente.
JP: Ok, it’s a short word for porfavor, but you can say porfas in like very familiar situations, right?
Fernando: Claro y se entiende en todo lados en donde se habla español.
JP: That’s right. I seem to remember when I was studying Guatemala, that they used to like to say “porfa” without the “s”.
Fernando: Porfa, si también se usa.
JP: Ok, what’s next?
Fernando: Hacer caso.
JP: “Hacer caso” – “to pay attention”. Now, this is literally like “to make case”, which doesn’t make any sense. So, “hacer caso” – “to pay attention”.
Fernando: Hazme caso porque te voy a ayudar.
JP: Ok, so “Pay attention to me” or “Mind me” “because I’m going to help you.”
Fernando: Exactamente.
JP: Ok. “HAcer caso”. So, when you’re giving somebody a stern recommendation, you can use [*], but also it’s the opposite of ignoring, right? Ok.
Fernando: Exactamente. En una clase tienes que hacer caso a lo que dice el profesor.
JP: Ok. You have to pay attention to what the teacher’s saying.
Fernando: Exactamente.
JP: All right. What’s next?
Fernando: Es una frase. La meta a corto plazo.
JP: Ok. “La meta a corto plazo”. Now, “meta” this is a “goal”, right?
Fernando: Sí.
JP: So, “la meta a corto plazo” is to be “a short term goal”.
Fernando: Exacto.
JP: Ok. How would we say like a long term goal?
Fernando: Una meta a largo plazo.
JP: Ok.
Fernando: O, la meta a largo plazo.
JP: Ok. “La meta a largo plazo”. Like a medium term goal, is there?
Fernando: Una meta a… ¿Me estas bromeando verdad?
JP: Yes.
Fernando: Hijo...
JP: Now wait, wait, I’ll move on.
Fernando: Hijo...
JP: What’s next?
Fernando: El cigarro.
JP: “El cigarro”. Now this is the last one. “El cigarro” is “the cigarette”, right?
Fernando: Sí.
JP: Now, it might be tempting for all you English speakers there, to look at the “el cigarro” and think it’s the cigar.
Fernando: Sí, muy buena observación.
JP: But our word for cigar?
Fernando: Es “puro”.
JP: “Puro”, no? “el puro”. Now, “el cigarro”, these are the regular cigarettes that you buy in packs.
Fernando: Exacto.
JP: Ok, cool. All right. Shall we move on to the grammar point?

Lesson focus

Fernando: Sí, pasemos pero tú lo vas a llevar acabo.
JP: All right, Fernando. We have a pretty easy review today and it’s of the Present Participle. Ok. Now, the Present Participle in the English is usually a verb form that ends in “ing”, like “singing” or “dancing” or…
Fernando: “Quitting”
JP: “Quitting”. Even “smoking”.
Fernando: “Smoking” - fumando.
JP: Ok.
Fernando: Lo que para nosotros es “ando”
JP: Yes, usually ends in “ando” or “iendo”. If you have a verb that ends in “ar”, it’s going to be “ando”. So, what’s our example? How about the word for “to speak”?
Fernando: Hablar. Hablando.
JP: Hablando. Ok. “Hablando” is the Present Participle.
Fernando: Sí.
JP: Now, that’s an “ar” verb, “ar” verbs end in “ando”, “er” and “ir” verbs end in “iendo”. Ok. So, how about the verb for “to eat”?
Fernando: Comer. SAbia que ivas a decir eso.
JP: Yes, it’s my favorite verb. So, “eating”?
Fernando: Comiendo.
JP: “Comiendo”, ok. So, this is pretty easy, there’s not like a ton of irregulars, it’s always “ando” or “iendo”.
Fernando: Sí.
JP: Now, there’s a couple of things I have to say about the Present Participle. We call the Present Participle in Spanish “el Participio presente”. Ok? So, that’s, sounds just like Present Participle.
Fernando: Y ¿cual es la diferencia entre el participio presente y gerundio?
JP: Ok, that’s just where I was getting at. Now, this word “gerundio” and “participio presente” are the same thing in Spanish, right? But, you might notice me avoiding the word “gerundio”, because in English they’re different. In English we have a Gerund and a Past Participle. And they’re different. A Gerund in English is a verb form that acts like a noun. So, if I say “Running is fun.” or “Running is difficult.”, that’s a Gerund “running”, right?
Fernando: Gerundio, okey.
JP: Now, where’s the Present Participle, is always going to be an ad verbal construction like “I am running.” or “She is eating.”, ok? Now, they both sound the same in English, “ing” and “ing”, right? But there’s a slight difference between a Gerund and a Participle in English. In Spanish, you can either call it “el participio presente” or “gerundio”, because Spanish doesn’t have this problem of having a slight difference. Spanish only has…
Fernando: Somos mucho más fáciles.
JP: Right. You’ll notice that where English uses its gerunds, Spanish will not. So, if I say “Running is fun.”…
Fernando: Correr es divertido.
JP: Ok. We use the Infinitive “correr” and not the “gerundio”.
Fernando: perfecto.
JP: Ok. So, moving on, the cool thing about the Present Participle in Spanish is that you can use it with an auxiliary verb, like “estar”, and you can talk about things that are going on right now. So, “Right now I’m speaking.”.
Fernando: EStoy hablando.
JP: “Estoy hablando”, right? “I’m speaking.”. “Right now I am not eating.”
Fernando: Ahorita no estoy comiendo.
JP: No estoy comiendo. “I am not writing.”
Fernando: No estoy escribiendo.
JP: Ok. Now, you will notice that in each of those three cases we used the verb “estar”, right?
Fernando: Estamos grabando.
JP: “We are recording.” That’s exactly what we’re doing. Now, there’s other cool verbs you can use with the Present Participle like “andar”. And if you use it with “andar”, it means to be like going around. Like if you’re going around telling lies.
Fernando: Anda mintiendo.
JP: “Anda mintiendo”. So, that’s someone that’s not just telling a lie, but he’s going around telling lies.
Fernando: Ha de ser un político.
JP: Yes. We now, we can also use “seguir” or “continuar”, to mean somebody keeps doing something. For example, in our office, our friend Rob, he keeps singing.
Fernando: Continua cantando.
JP: Right. He’s just singing and singing, he just keeps doing it.
Fernando: Y es medio molesto la verdad. Cantar, no él.


JP: Ok. Ok, so we use the Present Participle with “estar”, with “andar”, with “seguir”, with “continuar”. We have a whole description of this in the grammar section of this lesson. I guess that’s it for today, right?
Fernando: Al parece sí.
JP: Alright. Hasta luego.
Fernando: Adios.


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