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Lizy: ¡Hola, hola!
Alan: “It’s Absurd, it really is stupidity.” In this lesson, you will learn more about what to do if an ATM eats your credit card in a Spanish speaking country.
Lizy: This conversation picks up where we left off last time in the office of a bank.
Alan: We will listen to Martín call the manager as bluff as they finish an unproductive meeting.
Lizy: As we said last time, this is a formal conversation since we are in the professional atmosphere.
Alan: However some seem more professional than others.
Lizy: Okay, let’s listen to the conversation.
MARTÍN: Entonces, ¿por qué presentan la solicitud como una opción? ¡Es absurdo! Jejeje.... ¡es realmente una tontería!
GERENTE: Esas son las normas, señor. ¿Le podría asistir en algo más?
MARTÍN: Hmm... Sí, de hecho necesito usar los servicios, pero temo no ser devuelto.
GERENTE: Jeje... Bueno, señor...
MARTÍN: Me es difícil creer que usted no pueda hacer nada.
GERENTE: Así son las cosas. Que tenga un buen día.
MARTÍN: So then, why do offer the request as an option? It's absurd! Hahaha... it really is stupidity!
MANAGER: Those are the rules, Sir. Could I assist with anything else?
MARTÍN: Hmm... Yes, actually I need to use the rest room, but I'm afraid it won't give me back.
MANAGER: Hehe... well, Sir.
MARTÍN: It's hard for me to believe that you can't do anything.
MANAGER: That's how it goes. Have a nice day.
Alan: Lizy, what do you think? Is the manager acting in the interest of the client or of the bank?
Lizy: Creo que el gerente está velando por el interés de ambos, Alan.
Alan: Sí, tienes razón, ¿no? A veces si no quieren devolver la tarjeta es porque al fondo pueden temer que tú eres un ladrón, ¿no? Hay mucho robo de tarjetas y gente que las usan.
Lizy: Así es.
Alan: Por eso hay esas políticas y tienen que entenderles.
Lizy: Así es.
Alan: Now is the time to move on to the vocabulary section of today’s lesson guide. Here we are going to break these words down and give you some key points. Listen closely. First, we have a feminine noun.
Lizy: “Tontería”.
Alan: “Stupidity”, “stupid things”, “nonsense.”
Lizy: “Ton-te-rí-a”, “tontería”.
Alan: And to put this in context, we have the example...
Lizy: “No digas tonterías”.
Alan: “Quit talking nonsense.” Next up, we will look at another feminine noun.
Lizy: “Norma”.
Alan: “Rule”, “norm”, “standard.”
Lizy: “Nor-ma”, “norma”.
Alan: And an example of this would be...
Lizy: “Una de las normas más importantes es la de control de calidad”.
Alan: “One of the most important regulations is that of quality control.” This time, we have a verb.
Lizy: “A-sis-tir”.
Alan: “Attend”, “to serve”, “to assist.”
Lizy: “A-sis-tir”, “asistir”.
Alan: And the sample sentence is...
Lizy: “¿Con qué te puedo asistir?”
Alan: “How can I help you?”, and now we have a masculine plural noun.
Lizy: “Servicios”.
Alan: “Restroom facilities.”
Lizy: “Ser-vi-cios”, “servicios”.
Alan: And an example of this would be...
Lizy: “¿Dónde encuentro los servicios?”
Alan: “Where can I find the restroom facilities?” This time, we will look at the past participle...
Lizy: “Devuelto”.
Alan: “Returned”, “given back.”
Lizy: “De-vuel-to”, “devuelto”.
Alan: And to put this into context, we have the following example...
Lizy: “Cuando me llamaste, ya te había devuelto las llaves en tu casa”.
Alan: “When you called me, I had already left you the keys at your house”. And to finish these off, we will look at a word that can be either an adverb or an adjective.
Lizy: “Así”.
Alan: “Like this”, “like that”, “so”.
Lizy: “A-sí”, “así”.
Alan: And finally, an example of this is...
Lizy: “Así parecería”.
Alan: “So it would seem.” Okay, time for today’s pronunciation tip. Let’s focus on the verb “asistir”.
Lizy: “Asistir”.
Alan: Pay attention to the sound of the “I”. It kind of sounds like the double “E” in English as in “feet”, “asistir”.
Lizy: “A-sis-tir”, “asistir”.
Alan: Let’s see how to use some of this vocabulary.
Lizy: First up, “tontería”.
Alan: Would you be so kind just to tell our audience what that means?
Lizy: “Tontería” means “stupidity” or “a stupid thing.”
Alan: Let’s associate it with the adjective “tonto” or “tonta”, meaning “stupid.”
Lizy: Right, “hablar tonterías” means “to talk nonsense.”
Alan: Wait, Lizy, this reminds me of the word “porquería”, which pretty much means the same thing.
Lizy: Definitely.
Alan: How was this word used in the conversation?
Lizy: “¡Es realmente una tontería!”
Alan: “It really is stupidity.”
Lizy: You could say that about so many things.
Alan: Ain’t that the truth. Okay, next up, “norma”.
Lizy: “Norma”.
Alan: This feminine noun looks a lot like “normal” or “norm.”
Lizy: I would say “norm” is closer, especially since that’s what it means.
Alan: So “una norma” is “a norm”, “a rule”, “a standard.” Now, where did we see this in today’s conversation, Liz?
Lizy: The manager says, “Esas son las normas, señor.”
Alan: “Those are the rules, sir.” Any other words to learn along with “norma”?
Lizy: How about “normalizar”?
Alan: Ah, definitely. It means “to standardize.”
Lizy: One must have standards.
Alan: Yes, definitely, especially since our next word is “servicios”.
Lizy: “Servicios”.
Alan: Now we know that “servicio” means “service.”
Lizy: “Una empresa ofrece muchos servicios”.
Alan: Aha, but sometimes when we use this masculine noun in the plural form, we refer to “los servicios higiénicos” which are the “restroom facilities.”
Lizy: I think its funny how this came up in the conversation.
Alan: What is that?
Lizy: When the manager asks Martín if there is anything he can help him with, Martín says “Sí, de hecho necesito usar los servicios, pero temo no ser devuelto”.
Alan: Well, what he means there is “actually, I need to use the restroom but I am afraid, it won’t return me”, just like the ATM didn’t return its card. We will need to move on to the next word “devuelto”. First we have the prefix “de” and this is attached to the word “vuelto”.
Lizy: Looks familiar.
Alan: It should. It comes from the verb “volver”, “to turn.”
Lizy: When we add that prefix “de” to it, we get “devolver”, “to return” as in “to get back.”
Alan: So what form is “devuelto”?
Lizy: That’s the past participle which means “returned.”
Alan: Okay. So what’s the joke?
Lizy: So the joke is that Martín, whose ATM card has just been taken from him and not returned, says to the bank manager, “de hecho necesito usar los servicios, pero temo no ser devuelto”.
Alan: “Actually I need to use the restroom facilities but I am afraid it won’t give me back.” That is kind of funny.
Lizy: I think so.
Alan: All right guys, stick around because today’s grammar point is coming up next.

Lesson focus

Lizy: What are we discussing today?
Alan: Indirect object pronouns.
Lizy: Oh, that’s right. We covered possessive pronouns in our last lesson.
Alan: That’s right. So it’s a logical progression.
Lizy: Exactly.
Alan: An indirect object is to whom or for whom the action of the verb is carried out.
Lizy: Okay, so how do we know when we are hearing an indirect object pronoun?
Alan: When the noun that’s acting as an indirect object is replaced by a pronoun, then it’s called an indirect object pronoun.
Lizy: So I know them in Spanish but what are they in English just for our reference?
Alan: Well, in English indirect object pronouns are “me”, “you”, “him”, “her”, “us” and “them.”
Lizy: Right. So indirect object pronouns receive the verbal action. So they don’t tell us what happened but rather for whom it happened or to what it happened. What can be tricky about learning this in Spanish is that they usually don’t require prepositions.
Alan: That does trip up a lot of students but don’t worry guys, it will clear up quickly. Depending on the placement of one of these words and context, we can understand the prepositional meaning implicit in the pronominal phrase.
Lizy: We might need to go through them.
Alan: By all means.
Lizy: “Me”.
Alan: “To/for me.”
Lizy: “Te”.
Alan: “To/for you”.
Lizy: “Le”.
Alan: “To/for him”, “to/for her”, “to/for you.”
Lizy: “Nos”.
Alan: “To/for us.”
Lizy: “Os”.
Alan: “To/for you all.”
Lizy: “Les”.
Alan: “To/for them.”
Lizy: “Les”.
Alan: “To/for you all”, formal. Lizy, I think some examples here are in order.
Lizy: “Me es difícil creer que usted no pueda hacer nada”.
Alan: “It’s hard for me to believe that you can’t do anything.”
Lizy: “Que las vacaciones te sean gratas”.
Alan: “May the holidays be enjoyable for you.”
Lizy: “Te daré todo lo que tengo”.
Alan: “I will give you all that I have.”
Lizy: “A Mariana la universidad le mandó su diploma”.
Alan: “The University sent to Marianna her diploma.”
Lizy: Do you think everyone understood this?
Alan: Well, I know one way to find out. Time for the “tarea”, homework. In today’s grammar point, we studied indirect object pronouns and learned how they are used to show to whom an action occurs. Now we are going to give you five sentences in Spanish and what you have to do is translate them to English. Each will contain an indirect object pronoun. So get ready to apply what you have just learned. Ready?
Lizy: ¡Vamos! Número 1, “le di una llamada”. Número 2, “no me devolviste la llamada”. Número 3, “Martín nos ha enviado una carta”. Número 4, ”quiero que les entregues este informe”. Número 5, “envíame un correo”.


Alan: And remember brainiacs, you can always check out the answers and the comments on the answers by downloading the premium audio track titled “tarea”, homework. That just about does it for today. Be well, study hard and enjoy, ¡chao!
Lizy: Eso fue todo por el momento. ¡Estudien muchísimo y no se pierdan!


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