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¡Bienvenidos a Spanishpod101.com!
Dylan: Hola, hola a todos, habla Dylan, ¿cómo están?
Carlos: What’s going on pod101 world? My name is Carlos. Newbie series, Season 3, Lesson #16. “Spanish Exclamations. You Traded Your Rolls for Muscles, How Exquisite!” Hello and welcome to the newbie series, season 3 at spanishpod101.com where we study modern Spanish in a fun, educational format.
Dylan: So brush up on the Spanish that you started learning long ago or start learning today.
Carlos: Thanks for being here with us for this lesson. In this lesson, you will learn about Spanish exclamations.
Dylan: This conversation takes place in a public place.
Carlos: The conversation is between Michelle and Manuel.
Dylan: The speakers are friends. Therefore the speakers will be speaking informally.
Carlos: Basic and premium members...
Dylan: If you have a 3G phone...
Carlos: You can see the lesson notes in your favorite browser on your phone.
Dylan: Stop by spanishpod101.com to find out more.
Carlos: Let’s get into today’s conversation.
MANUEL: ¡Épa!! ¡Qué cambio!
MICHELLE: ¿Qué cambio?
MANUEL: ¡Cambiaste los rollos por músculos! Como que te sirvió el gimnasio.
MICHELLE: Sí, perdí mucho peso, tengo un instructor un poco loco, pero sabe lo que hace.
MANUEL: ¡Ya hasta me dan ganas de ir al Muscle Masters!
MICHELLE: Deberías, amigo...
MANUEL: Epa!! What a trade!
MICHELLE: What trade?
MANUEL: You traded in your rolls for muscles. The gym did you so well.
MICHELLE: Yeah, I lost a lot of weight, I have a semi-crazy instructor, but he knows what he's doing.
MANUEL: Now it even makes me want to go to Muscle Masters!
MICHELLE: You should, dude.
Dylan: Wow! I guess all that screaming at her paid off, hah!
Carlos: Ey, poco a poco. That’s one of the phrases from our Spanish conversation taking little by little she might have gotten over it. You remember, she is like, well, my name is Michelle.
Dylan: She is like, “my body can’t breathe…”
Carlos: And now she got the bang, she got the bang and she is walking around and she is playing to the “machista” society that is not an American..
Dylan: Go Michelle huh!
Carlos: All right, got to get it down. Michelle is doing it. Guys let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Dylan: “Cambio”.
Carlos: “Change.”
Dylan: “Cam-bio”, “cambio”.
Dylan: “Rollo”.
Carlos: “Roll”, “roll of fat.”
Dylan: “Ro-llo”, “rollo”.
Dylan: “Servir”.
Carlos: “To be useful”, “to serve”, “to be good for.”
Dylan: “Ser-vir”, “servir”.
Dylan: “Músculo”.
Carlos: “Muscle.”
Dylan: “Mús-cu-lo”, “músculo”.
Dylan: “Peso”.
Carlos: “Weight.”
Dylan: “Pe-so”, “peso”.
Dylan: “Dar ganas”.
Carlos: “To have the urge to.”
Dylan: “Dar ga-nas”, “dar ganas”.
Carlos: Let’s have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Dylan: The first word we will look at is “cambio”.
Carlos: “Cambio”, “change.”
Dylan: But here we see it as “trade.”
Carlos: Well, Manuel is surprised when he sees Michelle and says “¡Qué cambio!”
Dylan: “What a trade!”
Carlos: But we can easily say “what a change.” Man, she really must have made a turnaround.
Dylan: No more McDonald for her.
Carlos: Nope. Now we have heard the masculine noun “cambiar” before.
Dylan: Yes, we have and we know a related verb would be...
Carlos: “Cambiar”, “to change”, but a word we see a lot is the related word, “intercambio”.
Dylan: Right, “an exchange.”
Carlos: Yeah, I don’t know. Just thought I should mention it considering all the people that go on vacationing to exchange money.
Dylan: True, but let’s keep the context to our conversation.
Carlos: All right, “Michelle necesitó un cambio de imagen”.
Dylan: “Michelle needed an image change.”
Carlos: Especially if she had a lot of our next word.
Dylan: Hah what “rollos”, “rolls”?
Carlos: Exactly. No one wants to look at those.
Dylan: No, it’s not a good look.
Carlos: “Cambiaste los rollos por músculos”.
Dylan: “You changed your rolls for muscles.”
Carlos: So it looks like Manuel is really, really surprised.
Dylan: And impressed.
Carlos: I mean I hope she’s become too mannish. I mean it’s not really a good luck for woman either. You know like I can never date a girl that like could beat me up.
Dylan: What! You are going to intimidate it?
Carlos: A bit.
Dylan: A little chub is good sometimes.
Carlos: No, it can be, it can be and if you know how to carry it and you know Latinas definitely do.
Dylan: Like my friend, Josefina.
Carlos: What about her, she is thick?
Dylan: “Josefina no está gorda, sólo tiene unos rollitos”.
Carlos: “Josefina isn’t fat, she only has little rolls.” That can be attractive. Soft, you know.
Dylan: Ah I am not going to go any deeper into that subject, Carlos.
Carlos: Fine, we can move on.
Dylan: You know how in English one might call a stomach a gut or a spare tire?
Carlos: Yes, but not by experience.
Dylan: Do you know what we call that here?
Carlos: What?
Dylan: “Una llanta”.
Carlos: One thing I hope to avoid.
Dylan: Definitely, “quieres tener músculos”.
Carlos: I definitely want to have muscles.
Dylan: Then go to the gym like Michelle did.
Carlos: So you can say to me “¡Cambiaste los rollos por músculos!”
Dylan: “You changed your rolls for muscles”, exactly.
Carlos: You know that will be a nice thing to hear. You know too many plates of rice and beans. Hey well can I say, I love them.
Dylan: I grew up here. Of course I know.
Carlos: Pero sí, “yo voy al gimnasio para tener músculos fuertes”. “I go to the gym to have strong muscles.”
Dylan: You go or you will go?
Carlos: Okay, I will go but I like to think in the present tense.
Dylan: Okay, it is a very important related word.
Carlos: More than the Spanglish, definitely.
Dylan: “Las abdominales”.
Carlos: “Abdominals”, a true sign of fitness. Alas! My six-pack is hidden in the fridge.
Dylan: No, that means…
Carlos: It’s the truth though. It’s a nice fridge though. It’s got stainless steel and everything.
Dylan: Well, your six-pack would be useful on the beach.
Carlos: Yes, they would definitely serve a purpose.
Dylan: It would be good for…
Carlos: Okay, okay, our next word is “servir”.
Dylan: “To be useful”, “to serve”, “to be good for.”
Carlos: Those are nice little hints though, Dylan.
Dylan: Well, like we said, the gym was good for Michelle. Manuel is almost shocked when he says “Como que te sirvió el gimnasio”.
Carlos: “The gym served you very well.”
Dylan: This is a really motivating lesson.
Carlos: You better believe it.
Dylan: It is a good verb to know though. Lots of meanings. So if I said “A Jorge le sirvió hacer la tarea. Le fue muy bien en el examen”.
Carlos: “It was good for Jorge to do the homework. He did well on the test.”
Dylan: See this verb means more than one of its obvious translations.
Carlos: “To serve.” So it’s almost like saying “ayudar”.
Dylan: “To help”, definitely or how about “apoyar”?
Carlos: “To support.” Yeah, I can see that too.
Dylan: Well, next we have a very loaded word.
Carlos: Loaded with what?
Dylan: Depends where you are. It could be either pounds or kilos.
Carlos: Ah you mean “peso”, “weight.”
Dylan: Yep, and not just the lifting kind.
Carlos: Whenever you can say “perdí mucho peso”, “I lost a lot of weight”, like Michelle is – is never a bad thing.
Dylan: Unless you are losing muscle.
Carlos: Always playing Devil’s advocate, Dylan. Good point.
Dylan: Carlos, ¿cuál es tu peso ideal?
Carlos: “¿Mi peso ideal?” “My ideal weight?” Eh, como 82 kilogramos.
Dylan: ¿82?
Carlos: 185 pounds. I would say that is my ideal weight. I am about…
Dylan: Hah it’s not our subject. Let’s get some related words.
Carlos: You like what I do that, right?
Dylan: Yeah. My fault.
Carlos: Okay.
Dylan: You didn’t say you are 15 away.
Carlos: “Presar”.
Dylan: People, look at his picture in the, who are we section.
Carlos: It isn’t my face. Go ahead. “Presar” is a verb that means...
Dylan: “To weigh.” No it’s not “presar” it’s “pesar”.
Carlos: “Pesar”. A verb that means...
Dylan: “To weigh.”
Carlos: Or you can call somebody “pesado”.
Dylan: “Heavy.” Yeah, that’s just a nice way of saying the gerund verb.
Carlos: That you are little bit overweight.
Dylan: Uhoo it could also mean that you are a pain in the you know what…
Carlos: Oh, I didn’t know that. Oh okay, yes I remember that now. Okay…
Dylan: Well, let’s move on to the next word, Carlos.
Carlos: Obviously Michelle has had a really big change. “Dar ganas”.
Dylan: No, it’s not.
Carlos: I was moving on.
Dylan: Hah figured, it just wasn’t me.
Carlos: Obviously Michelle has made a really big change.
Dylan: Why is that?
Carlos: Because Manuel says “¡Ya hasta me dan ganas de ir al Muscle Masters!”
Dylan: “Muscle Masters”. Now it even makes me want to go to Muscle Masters.
Carlos: Wait, wait, wait don’t forget the price tag.
Dylan: Right. I forgot, $400 a month.
Carlos: Yeah, for that the deal should work out for me.
Dylan: You know, you know what I’ve always wanted?
Carlos: Other than a six pack, what?
Dylan: “A mi me dan ganas de estudiar medicina”. “I’ve always had the urge to study medicine.”
Carlos: Really? That’s too much work for me. Way too much learning.
Dylan: But that is a good example of something giving you desire.
Carlos: Or urge, excellent because in this phrase, you see the combination of the verb “dar”, “to give” and “ganar”, “to earn.” So I guess the combination of the two becomes “to urge”, “to desire”, “to want.”
Dylan: “A mi mamá le dan ganas de comer pizza”.
Carlos: Ah okay, your mother has the urge to eat pizza. Me all the time.
Dylan: “A mi me dan ganas de estudiar medicina”.
Carlos: You have the urge to study medicine. Okay, now what about – now I’ve heard like “me da miedo” or “me da tristeza” or “me da lástima”. Is it like the same thing kind of?
Dylan: Well, “me da miedo” is “I get scared”, I receive the...
Carlos: Fear.
Dylan: Fear.
Carlos: Something gives you fear.
Dylan: Yeah, exactly, and “dar tristeza” is “to give sadness” and “dar lástima” is “to give pity.”
Carlos: Cool. So a lot of bad things that I don’t want.
Dylan: Yeah, none of us want that.
Carlos: Okay, cool.
Dylan: Now let’s take a look at a very, very exciting grammar point.

Lesson focus

Carlos: Exciting you say, how exciting?
Dylan: So exciting, if anything, the epidemic of exciting.
Carlos: That’s pretty exciting. How many exclamation points, Dylan?
Dylan: Well, if we are talking about Spanish, at least two.
Carlos: Ah okay, thanks for clarifying.
Dylan: Exclamations, Carlos. What is an exclamation?
Carlos: An exclamation is a word or phrase that’s uttered with great emotion or intensity.
Dylan: What do they express?
Carlos: They express the emotional state of the speaker.
Dylan: And information. We have an interesting situation. There are numerous kinds of exclamations.
Carlos: Are we going to study all of them? You know, let’s go with a short lesson.
Dylan: No, no, no, no…today we are going to focus on those that begin with “Qué”.
Carlos: Okay, like in today’s conversation when Manuel sees Michelle and exclaims “¡Épa! ¡Qué cambio!”, “what a trade.”
Dylan: Right. It is important to remember to begin an exclamation with an inverted exclamation mark.
Carlos: You mean upside down, right?
Dylan: Yes, upside down. You could say it either way.
Carlos: But then we finish the sentence with a regular exclamation point like we do in English.
Dylan: When pronouncing these, one must make sure that the emotion of the utterance is transmitted through the speech.
Carlos: Yeah, if the emotion is not transmitted, the meaning can and most likely will change.
Dylan: In Spanish, there are two basic ways to construct exclamation.
Carlos: How?
Dylan: With the verb and without a verb.
Carlos: Sounds simple enough.
Dylan: Well, let’s look at the word order for each of these patterns.
Carlos: Cool. So pattern 1...
Dylan: Exclamatory adjective plus adjective plus verb plus noun.
Carlos: ¡[Qué] + [exquisito] + [está] + [el vino]!
Dylan: “¡Qué exquisito está el vino!”
Carlos: “How exquisite the wine is!” Okay, pattern 2.
Dylan: Exclamatory adjective plus adjective plus noun.
Carlos: ¡[Qué] + [exquisito] + [el vino]!
Dylan: “¡Qué exquisito el vino!”
Carlos: “What exquisite wine!”
Dylan: Again exclamations in Spanish are always opened and closed with exclamation marks.
Carlos: Don’t make that mistake. It’s actually very easy to avoid. How about another example Dylan?
Dylan: “¡Qué gustosa la comida!”
Carlos: “What tasty food!” You are making me hungry.
Dylan: “¡Qué carnosos están los mariscos!”
Carlos: “How meaty the shellfish are!” Well, I am allergic to those. So I can’t really eat it. Not that bad.
Dylan: Okay, “¡Qué rica la fruta!”
Carlos: “What delicious fruit!”
Dylan: “¡Qué sabrosa está la carne!”
Carlos: “How flavorful the meat is!”
Dylan: Notice how in pattern #1, the verb comes before the noun in the Spanish and after the noun in the English.
Carlos: I was just about to mention that.
Dylan: There is no flexibility here. It has to be in this order.
Carlos: Ah okay, because usually we know, we do have a little bit of room to move.
Dylan: Notice how in pattern #2 an article comes before the noun.
Carlos: Yes, I did notice that.
Dylan: Well, this is not always the case. It happens very often.
Carlos: And how do we construct this?
Dylan: The less common but possible way of constructing this is “¡qué niño más bien educado!”, “what a well behaved boy!” As opposed to the more common “¡qué bien educado el niño!”, “what a well behaved boy!”
Carlos: Ah okay, I see the difference.
Dylan: Of course. There are many other kinds of exclamations and interjections too. And it’s also important to know that they all do not begin with “qué”.
Carlos: Ah most definitely but “qué” is a very good starting point.
Dylan: Those that do are usually translated as “what” or “how.”
Carlos: An example of one that doesn’t is “¡Cuántas personas hay!”, which we can literally translate as “how many people are there!” or “how many people there are!” or figuratively “there are so many people!”
Dylan: Well, using the inverted exclamation mark to introduce an exclamation or interjection may seem like a bother in the beginning, you may well find it to be useful as it lets us know that what is about to be said expresses emotion and there, it lets us know how it should be pronounced.


Carlos: This must be difficult for native Spanish speakers. When they start reading English, when an exclamation point can only be identified at the end. Kind of crazy! All right guys, that just about does it for today and you know, testing yourself is one of the most effective ways to learn.
Dylan: That’s why we have three types of quizzes.
Carlos: Vocabulary, grammar and content specific.
Dylan: Each quiz targets specific skills.
Carlos: And together these quizzes will help you master several fundamental skills.
Dylan: You can find them in the learning center at...
Carlos: Spanishpod101.com
Dylan: Goodbye everybody!
Carlos: Nos vemos, ¡chao!


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Monday at 6:30 pm
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Thanks to Herman Pearl for the music in today's lesson! Looks like the effort has paid off!

Saturday at 12:42 pm
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Hi Calvin,

Hello Jim Macdonald,

Thank you for posting!

About your question regarding the sentence:

- A mi mamá le dan ganas de comer pizza.

The word "le" is an indirect object pronoun [answers to the questions “to whom” or “for whom” something is done].

*le, literally means, to/for you formal, him, her, it.

Since in this sentence, we have this indirect object pronoun plus the phrasal verb - dar ganas - we cannot translate it literally to English. We have -

Subject - mi mamá - "my mom"

Indirect Object pronoun -A ... le - "to her"

Phrasal verb - dan ganas - "feel like to"

Complement - de comer pizza. - "of eating pizza"

The phrasal verb - dan ganas, is commonly used as we find it in our sample sentence [in plural form], forming the phrase - le dan ganas. Since "ganas" is a plural abstract word/noun. Las ganas [as it is used in this phrasal verb]- literally means "the urge".

Let's see here some other examples, to make it clear:

- A ella le da miedo la obscuridad. [She is afraid of the dark.]

- A ella le dan miedo los coches. [She is afraid of the cars.]

*Here we have the phrase "dar miedo + something" the verb "dar" will change depending on the noun that is causing the fear (in the 1st example, we have darkness - singular noun, so "da" would be used, in the 2nd we have cars - plural, so "dan" would be correct).

- A ella le da risa la película. [literally - To her movies give her laughter.]

- A ella le dan risa los chistes. [literally - To her jokes give her laughter.]

*Here is a similar case, we have - le da risa - "to give laughter". The verb would be conjugated in the singular or plural form depending on the object - in the 1st case movie - singular, 2nd case jokes - plural.

- A ella le dan ganas de salir

- A ella le dan ganas de comer pizza

Here is a different case, since the phrase "dar ganas" is followed by - "de" meaning "of" + something.

In this case, it will always be plural, since "ganas" itself is a plural noun.

I hope this explanation made it clear now.

If not please feel free to post again.

Thank you for your patience.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Saturday at 9:41 am
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Hola Jim,

That's right, this is why your comment was pass to the team in charge of the lesson's structure to review it and correct it.



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Jim Macdonald
Thursday at 5:40 am
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Right, I understand. However, what I am saying is that it is written incorrectly in the lesson notes. It says, incorrectly, "A mi mama le dan ganas de comer pizza." That is what the original person on this thread was commenting about.



Wednesday at 4:13 pm
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Hola Jim,

We actually use both for the same in this case "dan ganas de"

but if your talking about he/she/it the correct way is to use "da ganas de"

A mi mama le da ganas de comer pizza.

A Julio y Maria les dan ganas de comer pizza.



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Tuesday at 1:39 am
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I think he wrote that because the practice notes as well as the transcript uses a plural - he was just quoting the notes. So, I think both - at least the practice example in the expansion of the vocabulary, needs to be corrected.


Tuesday at 12:05 pm
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Hola Calvin,

The correct use of "dar" in this sentence is "da", because your Mama is singular.

¡Buen trabajo!



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Sunday at 8:46 am
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A mi mamá le dan ganas de comer pizza.

In this example I am not sure why "dar" is conjugated to the plural vs the singular