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Lizy: ¡Hola a todo el mundo, soy Lizy!
Alan: Hi everybody, Alan here. “Oh you’ve got to go to the clinic.” It looks like Gabriel’s stomach is still bothering him, Lizy.
Lizy: Oh, let’s hear what’s wrong.
Alan: So to speak.
Lizy: In this lesson, you will learn how to use adjectives.
Alan: The conversation is between Lucía and Gabriel.
Lizy: The speakers are friends. Therefore the speakers will be speaking informally.
Alan: Let’s listen in to today’s conversation.
LUCÍA: Gabriel, ¿sigues mal del estómago?
GABRIEL: Sí, no sé qué hacer.
LUCÍA: ¡Ay, tienes que ir a la clínica!
GABRIEL: ¿A la clínica?
LUCÍA: No te preocupes. La asistencia médica ahí siempre es muy buena.
GABRIEL: Si tú lo dices... ¡vamos pues!
LUCÍA: Gabriel, is your stomach still off?
GABRIEL: Yeah, I don't know what to do.
LUCÍA: Oh, you've got to go to the clinic!
GABRIEL: To the clinic?
LUCÍA: Don't worry. The medical assistance there is always very good.
GABRIEL: If you say so... then let's go!
Lizy: I hope he didn’t get food poisoning.
Alan: Well, that’s never, ever fun.
Lizy: Have you had that experience in Peru, Alan?
Alan: Ah I guess when I first came here, but overtime he sort of learned what to eat and where to eat.
Lizy: I have seldom had food poisoning. I’ve got it only when I am stressed.
Alan: Okay, well this is probably more than our listeners really want to know. So let’s move on. And let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. Here we are going to break these words down and give you some key points. Now listen closely. Today’s first word is a verb...
Lizy: “Seguir”.
Alan: “To keep on”, “to continue”, “to still be.”
Lizy: “Se-guir”, “seguir”.
Alan: As in the example...
Lizy: “¿Sigues detrás de ella?”
Alan: “Are you still after her?” Okay, next up we have a verbal phrase.
Lizy: “Tener que ir”.
Alan: “To have to go.”
Lizy: “Te-ner que ir”, “tener que ir”.
Alan: As we see in the example...
Lizy: “Tenemos que ir. ¡Póngale!”
Alan: “We have to go, get a move on!” Now this time we have a feminine noun.
Lizy: “Clínica”.
Alan: “Clinic.”
Lizy: “Clí-ni-ca”, “clínica”.
Alan: As in the example...
Lizy: “Anda a la clínica antes de que te pongas muy mal”.
Alan: “Go to the clinic before you become very ill.”
Lizy: Okay, next up we have a negative exclamation, “¡No te preocupes!”
Alan: Don’t worry.
Lizy: “¡No te pre-o-cu-pes!”, “¡No te preocupes!”
Alan: As in the example...
Lizy: “¡No te preocupes por la revisión! Yo la haré”.
Alan: “Don’t worry about the revision, I will do it.” Okay guys, next up we have an adjective.
Lizy: “Médico, médica”.
Alan: “Medical.”
Lizy: “Mé-di-co, mé-di-ca”, “médico, médica”.
Alan: As in the example...
Lizy: “¿A qué hora tienes la cita médica?”
Alan: “What time do you have your doctor’s appointment?” Okay, next up we have an adverb.
Lizy: “Ahí”.
Alan: “There”, “over there.”
Lizy: “A-hí”, “ahí”.
Alan: As in the example...
Lizy: “Estoy ahí a las ocho”.
Alan: “I will be there at 8 o’clock.” Okay guys, I think there is one word here that you have to pay particular attention to and that’s “clínica”. Don’t get confused because in English, of course it’s “clinic”. So in Spanish, you don’t want to say “clínica” no “clinica” the accent is firmly on the first syllable, “clínica”.
Lizy: “Clínica”, no “clinica”.
Alan: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Lizy: The first word we will look at is...
Alan: “Seguir”.
Lizy: However here we should point out its usage is different.
Alan: I agree. Why don’t we tell our audience how exactly?
Lizy: When Lucía asks Gabriel “¿sigues mal del estómago?” she is really asking, “is your stomach still off?”
Alan: Right. So in this sense, the verb “seguir” means “to still be.”
Lizy: This is something that students should learn to look out for.
Alan: Aha, the infamies context. That will change the meaning of a word or phrase.
Lizy: That knowledge only comes with practice and experience.
Alan: So let’s move on to our next word.
Lizy: Actually we have a phrase.
Alan: Which is...
Lizy: “Tener que ir”.
Alan: “Tener que ir”. This is a great expression. Okay, let’s dissect it.
Lizy: Sure.
Alan: We know that “tener” means...
Lizy: “To have.”
Alan: And if we add “que ir” after it, what do we get?
Lizy: “Tener que ir”, “I have to go.”
Alan: Lizy, how was this used in the conversation?
Lizy: “¡Tienes que ir a la clínica!”
Alan: “You’ve got to go to the clinic!”
Lizy: Also we should remember that you could form the same sentence in the past tense.
Alan: That’s a good point, Liz. Now if we want to use the preterit imperfect, it would become “¡tenías que ir a la clínica!”
Lizy: “You have to go to the clinic.”
Alan: Which is actually a good lead into our next word...
Lizy: “Clínica”
Alan: “Clínica”. Not so hard. Look at the similarity between the Spanish and English words, “clínica” and “clinic.”
Lizy: Only two differences. The Spanish word has an accent over the first “I” and there is an “A” at the end.
Alan: I think our audience is good on that.
Lizy: Our next word is easy also.
Alan: What “médico”?
Lizy: Yep, “médico.”
Alan: Aha, this is another one that we’ve seen before but today we will look at it in a new light.
Lizy: In previous lessons, we’ve looked at “médico” when it’s used as a noun to refer to “a doctor.”
Alan: That’s right. A common example would be “fui al médico”, “I went to the doctor.”
Lizy: But it was used differently in today’s conversation. “La asistencia médica”, which means “medical assistance” or “medical attention.”
Alan: Now here the word “médico” or “médica” is used as an adjective but we will look more at this in the grammar section of today’s lesson.

Lesson focus

Lizy: We only have one word left.
Alan: “Ahí”.
Lizy: “Ahí”.
Alan: Here is one of those fundamental words that is confusing for those learning another language.
Lizy: Bueno. If something isn’t “aquí”, then it’s...
Alan: “Ahí”.
Lizy: Aha, the word “ahí” is an adverb that means “en ese lugar”, “in that place.”
Alan: Right, but we often translate it as “there” or “over there.”
Lizy: Also notice that this word is spelt “a-h-í” with an accent.
Alan: There is a word that means the same thing which is “allí” spelled “a-l-l-í” with an accent. Now you can use these interchangeably.
Lizy: Synonyms can be difficult.
Alan: That’s right. Stick around for today’s grammar point. Okay, time to look at some grammar.
Lizy: Today’s topic.
Alan: Words that make other words just sound better.
Lizy: How so?
Alan: Well, they describe their adjectives.
Lizy: Adjectives are modifiers.
Alan: Adjectives are our friends because they modify.
Lizy: Aha, yeah that’s why they are called modifiers.
Alan: That’s right. They shape the meanings of a noun by describing its characteristics.
Lizy: “Asistencia médica”, “medical assistance”, as an example of this.
Alan: Now in Spanish, there is a fairly well established set of rules by which we use adjectives.
Lizy: Right. Today we are going to consider two aspects of adjectives.
Alan: That’s right. Agreement and placement and trust me guys, this makes a huge difference.
Lizy: Okay, first we should say that adjectives are either singular or plural.
Alan: This way of breaking down the group in two is called “el número”, “the number” of the adjective.
Lizy: How is number shown, Alan?
Alan: Well, number shown in the ending of the word.
Lizy: Masculino.
Alan: “Medic-” plus “os”, “médicos”, that’s masculine and “medic-” plus “as” is “médicas”, feminine.
Lizy: We call this inflection. Also shown in the ending is the gender of the word not to be confused with the sex of a person.
Alan: So then we know it is a safe assumption to say that adjectives are either masculine or feminine.
Lizy: That takes care of the first aspect. Now let’s go to the second.
Alan: Now that would be placement. Lizy, would you be so kind?
Lizy: Adjectives are normally placed after the noun they modify. So in the example “la asistencia médica aquí es siempre muy buena”, “the medical attention here is always very good.” Notice that the adjective “médica” comes after the noun which it modifies, “asistencia”.
Alan: That would be normal placement but there are exceptions to every rule.
Lizy: When we want to place more emphasis on the characteristic being attributed to the meaning of the noun than to the meaning of the noun itself.
Alan: Examples always help.
Lizy: “¿Has visto mi camisa roja?”
Alan: “Have you seen my red shirt?”
Lizy: “Ha sido una noche larga.”
Alan: “It’s been a long night.”
Lizy: “Nunca recibo tus correos electrónicos, no sé qué pasa”.
Alan: “I never receive your emails, I don’t know what the deal is.”
Lizy: So once again, these are normal examples of placement.
Alan: Now friends, once you learn to recognize the gender and number of nouns, using adjectives is pretty easy since you just need to make sure that they agree with each other.
Lizy: Which is really just another way of saying that we need to conserve the “concordancia”, the agreement or concordance.
Alan: Unfortunately, the system is not perfect in this regard at all. So there are plenty of exceptions, Lizy.
Lizy: For example, adjectives like “verde”, “green” and “sonriente”, “smiley” end in an “E” in the singular and “ES” in the plural.
Alan: So one of these two forms is used despite the gender of the noun its modifying.
Lizy: So we would say “los niños sonrientes”, “smiley boys” as well as “las niñas sonrientes”, “the smiley girls.” In terms of their usage, adjectives are also known in Spanish to be used as a form of address.
Alan: Sometimes we call this the evocative.
Lizy: For example, if I say “Martín, escúchame”, “Martín, listen to me”, the name Martín is a form of address or the noun in the evocative. Sometimes this noun gets replaced by an adjective which assumes the quality of a noun. Linguists sometimes call it “la sustantivación del adjetivo”.
Alan: For instance, to flatter a woman.
Lizy: Note that you have a would.
Alan: Well, if I wanted to, one might say, “hola linda”, “hello beautiful” or to complain.
Lizy: Sounds more applicable.
Alan: “¡Apúrate flojo!” which means “hurry up lazy!” or to show affection often in the diminutive “ven acá, mi gordito”, “come here, my chunky monkey.”
Lizy: Chunky monkey?
Alan: Well it sounds better than “chubby.”
Lizy: I guess.
Alan: In English, to call someone “chubby” generally wouldn’t be seen in the least bit affectionate, Lizy.
Lizy: I hope that it is pointed out to people who are learning English.
Alan: That’s right. That’s one of those cultural differences that could really result in an awkward situation. Lizy, when you were studying English, did you ever make a fumble like that when you are speaking with an English speaker.
Lizy: No, I am very cautious. You know that, Alan.
Alan: Okay, all right.
Lizy: Well time for the “tarea”.


Alan: That’s right. Before we wrap up for today, it’s time to assign today’s homework.
Lizy: In today’s grammar point we covered a few different aspects of adjectives in Spanish among which gender and number are probably the most important at this stage.
Alan: So here is what you have to do. We are going to give you five phrases each of which will contain a noun and an adjective. What you have to do is translate the phrase to English and give the person and number of the noun and adjective. Ready?
Lizy: ¡Empecemos! Número 1, “la mesa antigua”. Número 2, “los hombres estúpidos”. Número 3, “una buena pregunta”. Número 4, “mis hermanas mayores”. Número 5, “esa nueva carretera”.
Alan: And remember, overachievers you can always check out the answers and the comments on the answers by downloading the premium audio track titled “tarea” which means “homework.” That just about does it for today.
Lizy: Okay that’s all for today. Take care of yourself. Thanks for listening. ¡Chao!
Alan: ¡Chao!


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