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Lesson Transcript

Lizy: Bienvenidos a SpanishPod101.com!
Lizy: Buenos días, soy Lizy Stoliar.
Alan: Alan La Rue here. Newbie series, Lesson #25. “Can you speak slower, please?” Bienvenidos a todos. Lizy, ¿cómo te va?
Lizy: Super bien, Alan. And how are you?
Alan: Super bien, wow I like that. Well I am well too Lizy and welcome, welcome to everyone to the newbie series coming to you from spanishpod101.com
Lizy: Lesson 25.
Alan: Buenos días Lima y muy buenos días a todo el mundo. Today’s lesson picks up where we left off last time looking at different ways that we can use the verb “poder”, “to be able.”
Lizy: Right. The conversation that we will be looking at shortly takes place in the famous cathedral de Lima.
Alan: Yma is our tour guide who is leading a bilingual tour speaking Spanish and English. For our purposes, we will be looking at what she says in Spanish but we will want to remember that she is bilingual.
Lizy: Sounds like a good one.
Alan: So today as we listen to this conversation, we are going to want to get back to the state of mind we’ve been in for the last two lessons thinking about the verb “poder” and the ideas of ability and potential.
Lizy: Alan, one quick question.
Alan: Sure.
Lizy: Well, the verb “poder” is a really common verb right?
Alan: Definitely.
Lizy: If you had to decide, what would you say are the seven most useful verbs to know in Spanish?
Alan: Uff ______ (0:01:20) question Lizy. I haven’t even had my coffee this morning and you are asking me what are the seven most useful verbs to know in Spanish. Well, umm, I think “ser” and “estar” which both mean “to be” are very important. The verb “hacer” which means “to do”, “poder”, “to be able.” Let’s see “querer”, “to want”, how about “ir”, “to go” and well since we are in such a good mood this morning, let’s not forget “amar”, “to love.”
Lizy: Ah Alan, you surprise me with your sensitivity. Now let’s listen to the conversation.
Alan: Immerse yourself in what you are about to hear. If you’d like, listen to the conversation a few times before moving on to the vocabulary and commentary. So get up.
Lizy: Ahora sí.
Alan: Here we go.
YMA: Ahora, continuamos con el altar.
MARISSA: ¿Puede usted hablar más despacio, por favor?
YMA: ¡Claro! ¿Hablo muy rápido para Ustedes?
LUKE: Sí. Queremos escuchar cada cosa. ¡Es muy interesante!
YMA: Now, we continue with the altar.
MARISSA: Ma'am, can you speak slower, please?
YMA: Of course! Do I speak very fast for you all?
LUKE: Yes. We want to listen to everything. It is very interesting!
Lizy: Have you visited the cathedral before, Alan?
Alan: Yeah, a couple of times. It’s magnificent.
Lizy: Sí, es un lugar muy representativo de la etapa colonial en nuestra capital. It’s a very representative place of the colonial period in our capital.
Alan: You know Lizy, this makes me think of another really cool site in downtown Lima and it’s not too far from “la catedral”.
Lizy: Which one?
Alan: I am talking about “las catacumbas”. This is around the corner from the cathedral. It’s in the basement of another church called San Francisco. Hundreds of years ago, they used to put the dead there instead of burying them in a cemetery and so now, it’s just full of the bones of thousands and thousands of people and you can tour it. All the bones have been organized but it’s a fascinating, fascinating place and even a little bit spooky.
Lizy: Yes, es increíble ver tantos huesos de tanta gente. It’s incredible to see so, so many bones, uh spooky but seriously it’s another great example of Lima’s rich history.
Alan: 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: “Continuar”.
Alan: “To continue.”
Lizy: “Con-ti-nuar”, “continuar”.
Alan: Next we have...
Lizy: “Más despacio”.
Alan: “Slower.”
Lizy: “Más des-pa-cio”, “más despacio”.
Alan: Now we have...
Lizy: “Por favor”.
Alan: “Please.”
Lizy: “Por fa-vor”, “por favor”.
Alan: And then...
Lizy: “Rápido, rápida”.
Alan: “Fast”, “quick”, “quickly”, “rapids.”
Lizy: “Rá-pi-do, rá-pi-da”, “rápido, rápida”.
Alan: Then...
Lizy: “Cada”.
Alan: “Each”, “every.”
Lizy: “Ca-da”, “cada”.
Alan: And finally...
Lizy: “Cosa”.
Alan: “Thing”, “matter.”
Lizy: “Co-sa”, “cosa”.
Alan: Lizy, I’ve just got to mention something really quick about the phrase “por favor”.
Lizy: What’s that?
Alan: How many syllables are there in the word “favor”.
Lizy: Two. “Fa-vor”.
Alan: And where does the stress fall, on the first or second?
Lizy: “Fa-vor”. On the second.
Alan: And if you leave out the second syllable, how would the phrase sound now?
Lizy: “Por fa”, right. This is how we say “please” when we are speaking really fast and informally.
Alan: Yeah and I think it’s also used when someone wants to downplay a request. For example, using the short form of “por favor” and also “mantequilla” which means “butter”, you could say “pasame la manti, por fa”, “pass me the butter, please.”
Lizy: Muy bien, Alan. Let’s take a closer look at some of the words that came up today.
Alan: Yes and let’s contextualize them so that we just don’t understand how they work but also what they mean.
Lizy: So first, how about the word “continuar”.
Alan: A verb. Okay, “continuar”, this looks an awful lot like an English word.
Lizy: Which one?
Alan: “Continue.”
Lizy: Right.
Alan: And this Spanish word “continuar” also means “continue” as well as “to go on”, “to carry on” and also “to extend.”
Lizy: In today’s conversation, Yma says “Ahora, continuamos con el altar.”
Alan: And here, she is using the present indicative with the value of a command or a future action. It’s like saying let’s move on to the alter.
Lizy: Anything else to mention here?
Alan: Yeah, one more point. In the present tense of the indicative mood, we are going to write an accent over the letter “u” for all of the forms except for first and second person plural.
Lizy: That was a lot.
Alan: Well don’t let it intimidate you. The more you read and write in Spanish, the easier it will be to correctly spell and punctuate it.
Lizy: Estudiar y aprenderás. Study and you will learn.
Alan: All right. Moving on, Lizy, how would you translate “cada día me levanto a las 8”?
Lizy: It would be “every day, I wake up a 8.”
Alan: Every day?
Lizy: Yep.
Alan: “Cada día”.
Lizy: Así es, maestro.
Alan: And what about if I say “contesté cada pregunta”. How would you translate that?
Lizy: This time it would be “I answered every question.”
Alan: Every question?
Lizy: Sí, Alan, cada pregunta.
Alan: So in the first example, we translated the word “cada” as “every” and in the second as “each.” So when we hear someone using it, we want to remember that it could mean either.
Lizy: Right. Like in the conversation where Luke says “Queremos escuchar cada cosa”.
Alan: Right and that’s like, “I want to hear everything.” So let’s build off this for just a bit before we move on to the grammar today.
Lizy: All right.

Lesson focus

Alan: So the word “cosa” has a lot of meanings. The first we will look at is “thing.”
Lizy: As in...
Alan: As in “es una cosa rara”, “it’s a strange thing.”
Lizy: And with another meaning...
Alan: “Es una cosa importante”. And this is like saying, “it’s an important matter.” In this case, the word “cosa” is like “asunto”, “matter” or “issue.”
Lizy: Muy bien.
Alan: Now there is a great expression that takes the word “cosa”.
Lizy: Which one is that?
Alan: Well, it’s the one that someone uses when they are really surprised and disapproves about something when they can’t believe it. Look, for example, when my son refuses to obey his mom, my wife says “qué cosa”.
Lizy: Ah right.
Alan: That’s right and by that she means something like, “what did you say?” or “what was that?” Lizy, you must have some situation or experience in mind when you’ve heard the phrase “qué cosa”.
Lizy: Bueno, ayer fue a comprar uvas y el vendedor me dijo que el kilo estaba a 6 soles, y yo le dije… ¿qué cosa? ¡Si está a 3!
Alan: So yesterday when Lizy went to buy grapes, she asked the shopkeeper what the price was and he answered 6 soles. Now this was more expensive than the previous week. So she said “¿qué cosa?” or “what?” And I bet he lowered the price for you, didn’t he?
Lizy: Yes he lowered a little bit, but not much. Bueno Alan, ahora continuamos con la gramática.
Alan: Sí, señorita. Let’s have a more thorough look at the grammar used in this lesson. Today’s task not a hard one but an important one. We are going to have a close look at the question, “can you speak slower, please?”
Lizy: “¿Puede usted hablar más despacio, por favor?”
Alan: “¿Puede usted hablar más despacio, por favor?” “Ma’am can you speak slower, please?” So this is not just a question that you learned to ask, it’s a tool. Something that you can actually use any time you are speaking to someone in Spanish.
Lizy: That’s a good point.
Alan: And what’s interesting is that by asking someone if he or she will speak slower, you are also communicating to them that even though you are a foreigner and don’t understand Spanish completely, you are trying to follow along. You are paying attention. When you ask this question, people are much more likely to have patience with you.
Lizy: And what about how this question is formed?
Alan: Well, it’s not too hard really. Starting with the word “puede”, we see the third person singular form of the verb “poder”, “to be able.”
Lizy: And after that...
Alan: Then we have the form of address, “usted”, recognizes as the formal way to address someone. The “You” with a capital “Y.”
Lizy: So far, we have “¿puede usted…?”
Alan: Then comes the verb “hablar” just in the infinitive nothing complex about that one. So now we are up to “¿puede usted hablar…?”, “can you speak...?”
Lizy: So, what comes after that?
Alan: After that, we have an interesting phrase, “más despacio”. The word “más” should ring some bells. We’ve seen it a number of times where it means “more”, “plus” and also words used to make comparisons. So here, when Luke asks “¿puede usted hablar más despacio, por favor?” he is saying, “ma’am, can you please speak slower.”
Lizy: Okay, so we see how this is used in a formal context but what about when the situation is informal?
Alan: Well Lizy, let me turn that question around on you. How do you conjugate the verb “poder” to the second person singular of the present tense?
Lizy: We would say “puedes”.
Alan: Right. And now if you substitute that for “puede usted”...
Lizy: “¿Puedes hablar más despacio, por favor?”
Alan: “Can you please speak slower?” Notice that the only thing that’s different when changing this question from formal to informal is the conjugation of the verb “poder”.
Lizy: Instead of using “usted” form and the corresponding third person singular form “puede” we now use the to form with the verb form “puedes”.
Alan: And that’s all it takes. This is an important question to learn as you begin your studies of Spanish because it helps you get people to speak with you instead of at you.


Lizy: Bueno, ya fue. C’est la vie. That’s all for today.
Alan: Lizy, ha sido un placer como siempre.
Lizy: Y como siempre de igual manera, maestro.
Alan: Now remember that these lessons are designed to be used in tandem with the language tools in the premium learning center at spanishpod101.com. So if you don’t already have a premium membership, you can sign up for a free 7-Day trial.


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

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Thanks to Kevin Macleod for the music used in today's lesson. Has anyone out there tried to ask someone to speak slower in a Spanish speaking country before? Did they slow down or keep talking just as fast as ever!?

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 09:55 AM
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Hola Gloria,

Thank you for sharing your experience, this would be of great help to other students here at SpanishPod101.com.

And yes, even when you're a native spanish speaker we have to ask people to repeat things. :wink:



Team SpanishPod101.com

Thursday at 01:42 PM
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Tuve una experiencia con ENLACE (WORD-LINKING) hace 40 años. Cuando yo era estudiante estudiando español en la universidad, asisití a la iglésia hispana, por primera vez, para comprender mejor el español. Escuché al pastor. Sin embargo, no entendí nada. Por el sermón entero, oí la frase, “ela morde dios.” Oí la misma frase cada vez mas. Por fin, entendí las últimas cuatro palabras del sermón, “el amor de Dios” que significa the love of God o God’s love.

Era mi primera experiencia con WORD-LINKING, la última, no. Ahora estudio con SpanishPod101 y puedo comprender casi todo el idioma. Si todavía tengo un problema, puedo decir, “No entendí parte de lo que me has dicho. ¿Es posible que tú puedas repetirlo?”

(I had an experience with WORD-LINKING 40 years ago. When I was a student studying Spanish in the university, I attended, for the first time, a Hispanic church, in order to better understand Spanish. I listened to the pastor. However I did not understand anything. Throughout the entire sermon, I heard the phrase, “ela morde dios.” I heard the same phrase over and over. Finally, I understood the last four words of the sermon, “el amor de Dios” which means the love of God or God’s love.

It was my first experience with WORD-LINKING but not the last. Now I am studying with SpanishPod101 and I understand almost all of the language. If I still have a problem, I can say, “I did not understand part of what you said to me. Is it possible that you can repeat it?)

Saturday at 09:58 PM
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Hi Bjørn,

Im mexican and I can answer:

"Mande" its a polite of saying "Yes" or "What".It comes from "Mandar" or "to order" but its a tricky one. It can be used as "What can i help you with?","What did you say?" or "I am at your orders" For example:

1: Luis can I ask you something?

2:Mande (literally it would mean "i am at your orders", "What can I help you with? or simply "Yes?")

Another example:

1:I am watching TV

2: Mande? (In this case hes asking "What?" meaning he didn`t understand what you said and hes asking you to repeat yourself)

I remember when I was younger and I didnt catch something and I said "Que/What?" my mom would scold me and say "Se dice mande/Its said mande". But I guess it is mostly only used on Mexico.

Tuesday at 08:10 AM
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How about a phrase I hear from Mexican friends, is it "Mande?"

Sunday at 01:39 PM
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:grin: hola a todos, yo soy un hispanohablante me encantaria ayudarles con todas sus dudas acerca del espanol, yo tambien aprendiendo otro idioma: el ingles. es un gran reto aprender una lengua diferente pero que mejor que alguien que es hablante nativo para aclarar sus dudas.

Monday at 09:09 AM
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Literally: "me dejo" (do I let myself) + "entender" (to understand). It's like saying "do you know what I mean?" or "do you know what I'm getting at?".

Monday at 07:31 AM
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Que querer decir "¿me dejo entender?"

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 09:29 PM
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Sí, sería muy común en todo el mundo hispanohablante. Me imagino que la frase completa sería así: "A ver... (puedes repetírmelo) de nuevo?"

¿Qué tal? ¿Están de acuerdo? Rodney, ¿me dejo entender?



Friday at 08:40 PM
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I've also used "una vez más, pero un poco más despacio".

And also a question..

"A ver… de nuevo" - That's the entire phrase? So if someone says something I don't understand, I just say "A ver… de nuevo" and it's understood as "say that that again"? And this is common to all Spanish speakers?

Tuesday at 11:18 AM
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Just so everyone knows...Not only am I an employee of Spanishpod101.com, I'm also a student! Thanks for the phrases Joe. I was pulled over for speeding and I asked the officer, "¿puede usted hablar más despacio por favor?" Not only did he speak slower, he let me go with a warning!