Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Lizy: Bienvenidos a SpanishPod101.com!
Lizy: Buen día, soy Lizy.
Alan: Alan La Rue here. Newbie series, lesson #24. “Can you all speak English?”
Lizy: Hola Alan, bienvenidos todos.
Alan: Lizy, ¿cómo te ha ido? How’s it been going?
Lizy: Muy bien, muy bien, gracias Alan.
Alan: Hi there and welcome to spanishpod101.com. Alan here and I am joined by the one and only Lizy Stoliar.
Lizy: Thank you very much. Muchas gracias, gracias Alan por esa presentación.
Alan: You are listening to the 24th lesson of the newbie series coming to you from Lima Peru here at spanishpod101.com
Lizy: Last time, we learned about how to express that you are able to do something.
Alan: Right or that you can do something.
Lizy: Que puedes hacer algo.
Alan: Correcto. Today we will delve in a bit deeper to the word “poder” which means “to be able”, “can” and sometimes “power.”
Lizy: Me parece muy interesante.
Alan: Now is this our custom here in the newbie series. We are going to start today’s lesson off with the short conversation. Today we will listen to a tour guide meet a group of visitors at the famous cathedral of Lima.
Lizy: ¡Qué impresionante es la catedral!
Alan: Yeah, the cathedral really is something isn’t it. My favorite part of it is well, besides the cathedral which is wonderful, outside they’ve done such a nice job fixing up the “plaza mayor”.
Lizy: Yes, it’s enchanting. That’s where the government palace is too. Tourists love the area.
Alan: They absolutely do love it. Well this should be interesting.
Lizy: Sin duda.
Alan: Right on. So before we jump in to this conversation, remember to click the center button of your iPod and see the lesson transcript in the display. That way you can follow along as you listen.
Lizy: Bueno Alan, ya llegó la hora. It’s time.
Alan: Muy bien. Here comes the conversation. Great conversation. So the guide is going to lead the group in English but in her introduction in greeting, she speaks to them in Spanish.
YMA: ¿Ustedes entienden inglés?
MARISSA: Sí, yo entiendo, si usted habla despacio.
LUKE: Sí. Mi esposa y yo entendemos inglés.
YMA: Muy bien. Empecemos el tour con la tumba de Francisco Pizarro.
YMA: Can you all understand English?
MARISSA: Yes, I can, if you speak slowly.
LUKE: Yes. My wife and I understand English
YMA: Very well. We begin the tour with the tomb of Francisco Pizarro.
Lizy: Right. She asks, “¿Ustedes entienden inglés?”
Alan: Right and this is to show courtesy because she is aware that not everyone may be able to understand since this is a place visited by tourists from all over the world.
Lizy: Exactly.
Alan: So Lizy, what are the languages other than Spanish are common to hear in a city like Lima.
Lizy: Well Alan, it’s very common to hear German, Chinese, English and our indigenous language Quechua.
Alan: Yes, that’s right Lizy. This is a very cosmopolitan city, much more cosmopolitan than the other cities in Peru but probably not quite as cosmopolitan as large cities in Europe, the United States or Canada. Well now that we’ve gone through the conversation, what do you say we run through some of the vocabulary?
Lizy: Sounds like a good idea.
Alan: So let’s begin with...
Lizy: “Entender”.
Alan: “To understand.”
Lizy: “En-ten-der”, “entender”.
Alan: Next...
Lizy: “Despacio”.
Alan: “Slowly.”
Lizy: “Des-pa-cio”, “despacio”.
Alan: Now we have...
Lizy: “Esposo, esposa”.
Alan: “Husband, wife.”
Lizy: “Es-po-so, es-po-sa”, “esposo, esposa”.
Alan: After that...
Lizy: “Empezar”.
Alan: “To begin”, “to start.”
Lizy: “Em-pe-zar”, “empezar”.
Alan: Then...
Lizy: “Tour”.
Alan: “Tour.”
Lizy: “Tour”, “tour”.
Alan: And finally...
Lizy: “Tumba”.
Alan: “Tomb”, “grave.”
Lizy: “Tum-ba”, “tumba”.
Alan: Okay. So before we look at the usage for these words, let’s spend one hot minute on the word “tour.”
Lizy: Muy bien.
Alan: This is a great word to use when you are practicing your pronunciation.
Lizy: Why is that?
Alan: Because it’s spelled the same in Spanish as it is in English, “t-o-u-r.”
Lizy: In Spanish, we say “tour”.
Alan: Right and in English, “tour.” So “tomamos un tour” or “we took a tour.”
Lizy: Bueno Alan, ahora veamos algunas palabras y cómo se usan.
Alan: Sounds good Lizy. Let’s move on and look at how some of these words are used.
Lizy: Where should we start?
Alan: With the word “to understand.”
Lizy: Okay.
Alan: So if I ask you “Lizy, ¿me entiendes?” I am saying “Lizy, do you comprehend what I am saying?”, right?
Lizy: Claro. The question “¿me entiendes?” is like asking “do you understand me?”
Alan: Okay and if I say “te entiendo”, now this is like...
Lizy: “I understand you.”
Alan: Aha, so the verb “to understand” in the infinitive form is...
Lizy: “Entender”.
Alan: “Entender”.
Lizy: That’s right “entender”, “to understand.”
Alan: Right and if we say “ya entiendo” it’s like saying “now I get it” or “now I understand.”
Lizy: Exactly. It’s a lot like saying “ya veo”.
Alan: And again we can use the verb “ver” here, since it’s referring to perception.
Lizy: Muy bien.
Alan: All right. Next up today is “despacio”.
Lizy: “Despacio”.
Alan: Here is the word that anyone can use when they are first starting out.
Lizy: For example.
Alan: Well let’s say that I am at the checkout line at the grocery store and you’ve just finished ringing up my purchase, what might you say to me?
Lizy: “Su total es 36 soles con 20 centavos, ¿desea boleto o factura?”
Alan: Right and because you are speaking so fast to me since you are in a hurry with so many customers behind me, let’s say that I really can’t understand you very well, so I say “despacio, por favor”.
Lizy: Which means...
Alan: “Slowly please” or you can also say “más despacio, por favor” and now this is like “slower, please.”
Lizy: So we can say that the word “despacio” means either “slow” or “slower.”
Alan: All right, just two more.
Lizy: How about the word “empezar”?
Alan: Right on, “empezar”. How about an example?
Lizy: “Siempre empiezo el día a las 6 de la mañana”.
Alan: “I always start my day at 6 in the morning.” So the word “empezar” means “to begin”, right?
Lizy: It does.
Alan: And that means that it’s a verb “empezar”, “to begin.”
Lizy: “Yo empiezo”, “I begin.”
Alan: And Lizy, what’s the stem of this verb?
Lizy: It’s “empez-”.
Alan: Right, spelled “e-m-p-e-z” but when we say “yo empiezo” now the stem is “empiez-” spelled “e-m-p-i-e-z-”.
Lizy: Right, it’s a stem change.
Alan: An “e” to “ie” stem change just like we see in the verb “comenzar”. For example, from “comenzar”, “comienzo”.
Lizy: From “empezar”, “empiezo”.
Alan: And this is the case for all the forms of the present tense in the indicative mood except for the first and second person plural.
Lizy: Right. We say “empezamos” and “empezáis”.
Alan: And “comenzamos” and “comenzáis”.
Lizy: Así es.
Alan: Now just one more word, an important word. A word that you will never forget because of its unique and how – how can I put this, I guess its delicate meanings.
Lizy: Which one?
Alan: “Esposo”. Now this is a masculine singular form “esposo” and it means “husband.”
Lizy: Right and if we add “a” to the end, we get “esposa” and this means “wife.”
Alan: And if we say that “ellos son esposos” we mean “they are spouses.”
Lizy: Okay.
Alan: But now here is the kicker, the word “esposas” in the feminine plural also means “handcuffs.”
Lizy: And what are you inferring?
Alan: Ah, nothing I guess but just you know, it’s a meaning that definitely depends on the context, doesn’t it?
Lizy: Umm I hope your wife isn’t listening. Espero que tu esposa no esté escuchando.
Alan: If you are, honey, no te preocupes, it’s just an explanation. Just doing our work, baby come on, don’t change the locks again.
Lizy: Bueno. Let’s move on and look at some of the grammar for today.

Lesson focus

Alan: Great idea. So today we are looking at the verb “poder”.
Lizy: “Poder”.
Alan: “¿Puedes ayudarme? “Can you help me?”
Lizy: “Sí, puedo”. “Yes, I can.”
Alan: “¿Podemos viajar juntos?” “Can we travel together?”
Lizy: “Si, podéis”. “Yes, you all can.”
Alan: So as we said last time the verb “poder” is used to refer to the potential of an act happening. When we say “¿te puedo ayudar?” we are literally saying you, “I am able to help.”
Lizy: Notice how the verb “ayudar” is in the infinitive form.
Alan: Right and this means “to help” but we can’t say “I to help you.” That doesn’t make sense.
Lizy: We need to complete the meaning of the verb.
Alan: That’s right. And to do this we are going to use the verb “poder” and “poder” will be conjugated while the verb “ayudar” will not. So we say “te puedo ayudar”, “I can help you” or “I am able to help you.” Now today, we are going to learn how to say “we can” or “you all can” and “they can.” So Lizy, first, how about an example?
Lizy: “Mi esposa y yo podemos entender inglés”.
Alan: “My wife and I can understand English.”
Lizy: This could also be translated “my wife and I are able to understand English.”
Alan: Right. So Luke here speaking for himself and his wife which means that it is the “we” form or the first person plural. For that reason, the verb “podemos” is used in which we see that “mos” ending. That is so characteristic of the “we” form.
Lizy: Sometimes it amazes me how much the verb “poder” is used in Spanish.
Alan: Now let’s move on to the “you all” form. Lizy, can you give us an example, please?
Lizy: “Vosotros podéis venir con nosotros”.
Alan: And that means “you all can come with us” or “you are all able to come with us.” So for “vosotros” a form generally used in Spain but not in the Americas, we will say “podéis”.
Lizy: “Vosotros podéis”.
Alan: And that’s the informal way of addressing a group of people, what about the formal way?
Lizy: “Ustedes pueden hablar bien”.
Alan: “You all can speak well.” So here we see that the “ustedes” form has been used. This is the third person plural of the present indicative.
Lizy: Remember that in Latin America, this form is used for both informal and formal situations, while in Spain it is reserved for formal situations.
Alan: That’s important to remember. Notice that the verb “poder” has been conjugated to “pueden”. This form is used for “ustedes”, “you all” as well as “ellos”, “they” masculine and “ellas”, “they” feminine. So now we have “pueden”, “you all can” or “you are all able” and “they all can” or “they all are able.”
Lizy: Así es
Alan: Well Lizy, here again another great lesson.
Lizy: For me too, Alan.
Alan: Now from here, the next step is to stop by spanishpod101.com and go to the premium learning center where you will find tons of language tools that go along with this lesson.
Lizy: Also look for regional lessons to reference this lesson.
Alan: Definitely. So you can get a taste of the real flavor of spoken Spanish.
Lizy: Bueno, Alan, ha sido un gustazo.
Alan: Lizy, de igual manera. Estaremos en contacto, ¡cuidate!


Lizy: Okay, hasta la vista baby.
Alan: Chao, Lizy
Lizy: ¡Chao!


Spanish Grammar Made Easy - Unlock This Lesson’s Grammar Guide

Easily master this lesson’s grammar points with in-depth explanations and examples. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Thanks to Kevin Macleod for the music used in today's lesson! English and Spanish are two of the most widely spoken languages in the world these days, making it all the more important to be able to speak and understand these languages. Has anyone met a native Spanish speaker in their home-country? Where were they from and were you able to communicate at all with them?

Saturday at 1:22 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hola Mette,

Thank you for your comment!

1. Yes they are synonyms.

2. That's right, our team will look into the lesson, thank you for your feedback.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Friday at 12:05 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


Two questions came to my mind:

1. Is there any difference between entender/comprender - to understand ?

2. In the PDF file in the grammar section, I can read about languages in Spanish. But if I'm not wrong, then Lisy and Alan talk about the verb 'poder' as the focus in the grammar for this lesson . I just wondered :wink:

Thank you


Tuesday at 2:33 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Eduardo,

Thank you for the comment:smile:

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Saturday at 10:17 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.



Wednesday at 5:46 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hola Eduardo,

Thank you for your comment. The correct one is Pizarro. We are really sorry about that, the PDF would be changed soon.

Thank you for noticing it.


Team SpanishPod101.com

Thursday at 5:50 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


¿Cual es el correcto Pizarro o Pizzaro? Porque en la guia PDF tienes los dos.



Monday at 3:20 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hola Mira,

Thank you for your comment. We're really glad to have you here, and glad to hear you like the Cultural Insights. Let us know if you have any questions. We're here to help.


Sunday at 3:58 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hola everyone from Kazakhstan, very good classes. Espessially I like expainations of differen cultures in LATAM.

Wednesday at 10:34 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hola a todos,

I'm Alejandra, I am a Costarican Spanish teacher.

Please feel free to check out my web site at: www.epifaniaschool.com.

Now that I introduce myself, I would like to answer some questions you have.

Let's go first with empezar and comenzar, the both verbs have the same meaning, it is up to individual preferences to use one more than the other.

There is no difference between lentamente and despacio, both are adverbs, so both modify the verb's meanings. Feel free to use both, or the one that is easier for you to remember.:grin:

The commands, empecemos is the command for the first person plural (WE).

Empezamos is the verb empezar conjugated in present tense for the first person plural (WE). And Vamos a empezar is the perifrastic Future (Going to + verb) for We.

Natives use the future as a suggestion, sometimes we use the future as a soft command, so you could use Vamos a ... like a soft command.

Hope this answers your questions.

Please keep comment, questions like this helps everyone to learn more and better!!!!:wink:

Monday at 5:17 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

command - 1st plural empecemos (formal)

empezamos con el vino (is it informal?)

and can i say: Vamos a empezar - let's start!