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Natalia: Buenos días, me llamo Natalia.
Carlos: What’s going on? My name is Carlos. Newbie series, Season 3, Lesson #1.
Natalia: “May I help you with something?”
Carlos: What’s going on pod101 world? Welcome to spanishpod101.com, the fastest, easiest and like overall best way to learn Spanish and I am joined in the studio by...
Natalia: Natalia.
Carlos: As always, what’s going on everybody? Now you know, I only want to shop on the internet.
Natalia: Well, I love shopping in the internet too but for argument sake, why?
Carlos: Because of pushy clerks in the stores here in Costa Rica.
Natalia: Well, yeah you know, it depends on the store you go but they are so formal and so pushy at the same time.
Carlos: You know you can call me sir all you want but like Jorge is bothering Marta and she is just too polite to omit it.
Natalia: Well. Yeah, it’s hard sometimes.
Carlos: Well. What grammar gem you are going to hit us with today, Naty?
Natalia: The very fundamental verb “estar”.
Carlos: Attention listeners, comment.
Natalia: Comment...
Carlos: And comment some more.
Natalia: It’s easy.
Carlos: And asking question really helps to improve your progress. Let’s listen to today’s conversation.
JORGE: Hola, ¿le puedo ayudar en algo?
MARTA: No, solamente estoy viendo...
JORGE: Tenemos promoción en la sección de faldas.
MARTA: Muchas gracias.
JORGE: Si ocupa alguna cosa, alguna talla, lo que sea, me avisa.
MARTA: Eh... Muy amable, gracias.
JORGE: Hello, there. May I help you with something?
MARTA: No, I'm just looking...
JORGE: We have a sale in the skirts section.
MARTA: Thank you very much.
JORGE: If you need something, a size, whatever, let me know.
MARTA: That's very kind of you, thank you.
Carlos: See all those questions that I said I am still looking.
Natalia: I mean sometimes you know the owners of the stores are the ones that tell them to follow people around. You know, sometimes they don’t have cameras and all they have is the clerks to run behind you to see if you steal something. I don’t know. That’s why I said it depends on the store you go.
Carlos: I guess I just – I didn’t know.
Natalia: You are not used to it. Is it not the same in the States?
Carlos: Yeah, no, it’s not. All right, well let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. First we have an indefinite pronoun.
Natalia: “Algo”.
Carlos: “Something.”
Natalia: “Al-go”, “algo”. “Quiero tomar algo”.
Carlos: “I want to drink something.” Next we have an adverb.
Natalia: “Solamente”.
Carlos: “Only”, “just”, “solely.”
Natalia: “So-la-men-te”, “solamente”. Por ejemplo: “Solamente quiero ir a mi cama”.
Carlos: “I only want to go to my bed.” And now a verb.
Natalia: “Ocupar”.
Carlos: “To occupy”, “to take up.”
Natalia: “O-cu-par”, “ocupar”. Por ejemplo: “El ejército ocupó el pobre pueblo durante tres años”.
Carlos: “The army occupied the poor town for 3 years.” Another verb.
Natalia: “Avisar”.
Carlos: “To inform”, “to let know”, “to warn.”
Natalia: “A-vi-sar”, “avisar”. “Tenemos que avisarle a todo el mundo”. “We have to tell everyone.”
Carlos: Okay, now an adjective.
Natalia: “Amable”.
Carlos: “Kind.”
Natalia: “A-ma-ble”, “amable”. Por ejemplo: “Ella es una persona amable”.
Carlos: “She is a kind person.” And finally a set phrase.
Natalia: “Lo que sea”.
Carlos: “Whatever.”
Natalia: “Lo que se-a”, “lo que sea”. Por ejemplo: “Lo que sea, no me importa, haz lo que quieras”.
Carlos: “Whatever, I don’t care. Do whatever you want.” “Amable”. You know I always had problems with that one.
Natalia: “Amable”.
Carlos: See it’s weird because like “muy amable” it just doesn’t come out right whenever I say it like I want to be “gracias, muy amable” and it just doesn’t seem right when I say it.
Natalia: But it doesn’t sound right to you, you sound good “muy amable”.
Carlos: “Muy amable”. It’s one of those sounds that go together and kind of confuse each other. Any way Naty, if this is okay, then it’s okay. Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Natalia: The first word we will look at is “algo”, which is an indefinite pronoun.
Carlos: “Algo”, “something”, a very common and useful word.
Natalia: Oh for sure. I mean think of how common Jorge’s question is.
Carlos: Which?
Natalia: His first question in the conversation.
Carlos: What “Hola, ¿le puedo ayudar en algo?”, “Hey, can I help you with something?”
Natalia: That’s the first thing you will hear every time you walk into a store.
Carlos: Yeah, it gets annoying actually and…
Natalia: Ay, Carlos!
Carlos: I am sorry. The clerks in the US aren’t so pushy.
Natalia: Everyone here works on commission. That’s why.
Carlos: I see that either way you still get some manners.
Natalia: But “algo” can be used in diverse ways.
Carlos: How so?
Natalia: “Le eché algo de azúcar a tu café, ¿está bien?”. “I added a bit of sugar to your coffee, is that okay?”
Carlos: Well, you know I wouldn’t have thought that I could use “algo” like that. No doubt, you learn something new every day.
Natalia: Next on our list, an adverb, “solamente”.
Carlos: “Only.” I know this one because I had to say this a lot when I walk into a store. “No, solamente, estoy viendo”.
Natalia: Right, above they won’t stop anyone from following you and bothering you.
Carlos: I know but it doesn’t mean they won’t try but let’s hear another sentence that makes “solamente” clear.
Natalia: Okay. “Solamente queda una galleta y somos dos. Que gane el mejor”.
Carlos: “There was one cookie left and there are two of us. Let the best man win.” Interesting that you would say the best man win.
Natalia: Doesn’t matter who wins. I am getting the cookie you know.
Carlos: I see you know and she is right.
Natalia: I am also right about our next word.
Carlos: Which is...
Natalia: The verb “ocupar”.
Carlos: “Ocupar”, “to occupy”, “to take up.”
Natalia: Right.
Carlos: But in our conversation, the clerk says “Si ocupa alguna cosa, alguna talla, lo que sea, me avisa”, and it’s translated as “if you need something, a size, whatever, let me know.”
Natalia: Well, that is a loose translation but it can be thought of as something taken up for occupying your attention.
Carlos: Oh, I see what you mean, but now I definitely need another sample sentence to get it right.
Natalia: How about “Ocupo más tiempo de lo que me imaginaba. Perdona, no voy a poder acompañarte esta noche”.
Carlos: Let me see. “I need more time than I thought I would. I am not going to be able to join you tonight.” You know that happens a lot.
Natalia: But you see that it all centers around being occupied?
Carlos: No, I got that. What’s next?
Natalia: Next up on our list is another verb, “avisar”.
Carlos: No, I thought I knew what it was, but I don’t.
Natalia: “Avisar” means “to inform”, “to let know” or “to learn”.
Carlos: You know I was leaning towards advice but I wasn’t sure.
Natalia: Well, it would have been close but not complete.
Carlos: True. You know, I should have seen it from the example in our conversation.
Natalia: Yeah, it was the same sentence. “Si ocupa alguna cosa, alguna talla, lo que sea, me avisa”.
Carlos: “If you need something a size, whatever, let me know.” Right, so here it is being used as “to let know.”
Natalia: Exactly, like if I said “me dices si cambias de idea”, what am I telling you?
Carlos: “Let me know if you change your mind.” Nice, I see what you mean.
Natalia: Next up an adjective that is good to learn, “amable”.
Carlos: “Amable”. This means “kind” and not like type but like very kind of you.
Natalia: Exactly.
Carlos: You know like I said before, it’s one of the phrases that I have a lot of trouble with. You know “muy amable”. You know I could say “amable” on its own but once I put them together, I swear it just sounds wrong to myself.
Natalia: By the way, audience, “muy amable” means “very kind” like we heard in the conversation “Muy amable, gracias”. “That’s very kind of you, thank you.” Practice it.
Carlos: Muy amable, muy amable.
Natalia: Good. Repeat after me, “Su familia es muy amable. Son todos muy cariñosos”.
Carlos: “Su familia es muy amable. Son todos cariñosos”. “Her family is very kind. They are well affectionate.” You know I just get my tongue twisted with it.
Natalia: Okay, no more torture but last but not least a set phrase.
Carlos: Hit me.
Natalia: “Lo que sea”.
Carlos: “Lo que sea”. “Whatever.” One of my favorite things to say when I was younger, “whatever.”
Natalia: Why is it that New Yorkers never say that.
Carlos: Even if I am new, I wouldn’t change it but “lo que sea” wasn’t used sarcastically in the conversation. Was it?
Natalia: No, not at all. Look at the sample again “Si ocupa alguna cosa, alguna talla, lo que sea, me avisa”.
Carlos: “If you need something a size whatever, let me know.”
Natalia: Like if you ask me where I wanted to have dinner and I said “Lo que sea, no me importa, haz lo que quieras”. “Whatever, I don’t care. Do whatever you want.”
Carlos: I would be able to tell that you are bored or just in a bad mood.
Natalia: Exactly. Tone means a lot when it comes to language.
Carlos: Well, ain’t that the truth.
Natalia: Let’s look at the fundamentals of verb conjugation.
Carlos: Sure let’s.
Natalia: In Spanish, there are three main conjugations for verbs, the verb “estar” is the first conjugation verb whose infinitive ending is “ar” as do all first conjugations were.
Carlos: Good old, “estar”. “Estar” is one of the two Spanish verbs that mean “to be.”
Natalia: And the other...
Carlos: That will be “ser” which we will look at in upcoming lessons.
Natalia: The verb “estar” is used to express temporary condition such as the way one feels. Characteristics such as colors and personality traits, such as punctuality.
Carlos: But that’s not all the uses of the verb.
Natalia: Definitely not but these categories will be helpful as we learn how and in which context it is used.
Carlos: So then let me guess. Next we are going to formation.
Natalia: Exactly.
Carlos: To form the present tense on the indicative mood of the verb “estar” in the singular, you need to remove the “ar” ending from the infinitive form “est-” and then add the personal ending for the present tense.
Natalia: Check it out. Also all conjugated verbs are related to a personal pronoun.
Carlos: Okay. First person singular, “yo estoy”. “Tú estás”. “El/ella/usted está”, formal. “Nosotros estamos”. “Vosotros estáis”, you all informal. “Ellos/ellas/ustedes estan”, “they” masculine, “they” feminine, “you all” formal.
Natalia: Also all conjugated verbs are related to a personal pronoun. Look at some sample sentences, “Yo estoy contento”.
Carlos: “I am pleased.”
Natalia: “Tú estás bronceado”.
Carlos: “You are tanned”, informal.
Natalia: “Él está bien”.
Carlos: “He is well”.
Natalia: “Ella es amable”.
Carlos: “She is nice”.
Natalia: “Ustedes está en Miami”.
Carlos: “You are in Miami”, formal.
Natalia: Notice how all you have to do is create a new sentence with the sample provided here is replace “contento”, “bronceado”, “bien”, “amable” or “in Miami” with a new adjective or a complement that describes some kind of temporary being.
Carlos: You know I did notice that.
Natalia: For example, we can say “Tú estás triste”.
Carlos: “You are sad.”
Natalia: Or “Ella está enojada”.
Carlos: “She is upset.”
Natalia: Because the verb “estar” is so integral to the Spanish language, you will find it popping up all over the place. For example, from “ser” you have “bienestar”, refers to well being, and “malestar”, refers to discomfort.
Carlos: Those are just two examples. You know, keep your eyes open for more.
Natalia: And we’ve said “estar” is one of two verbs in the Spanish language that mean “to be.”
Carlos: Right. The other is “ser”. It will be well worth your while to learn these two verbs and how to differentiate them right from the start. If you do, you will save yourself a lot of time down the road, trust me.
Natalia: Definitely trust him.


Carlos: That just about does it for today. Premium members, don’t forget to subscribe to the premium feed.
Natalia: One of our most powerful web 2.0 features to date.
Carlos: The premium feed gives you the power to easily and effortlessly get all the content.
Natalia: Audio files, PDFs, videos, get everything we have.
Carlos: Everything with just a click of a button and get it through iTunes.
Natalia: Not a premium member and want to test it out?
Carlos: Get the sample feed at spanishpod101.com. We will be waiting. ¡Hasta luego!
Natalia: ¡Hasta luego!


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Thanks to Herman Pearl for the music in today's lesson! What's your opinion on pushy clerks?

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