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Dylan: Hola, hola Spanishpod101.com ¿Cómo están? Soy Dylan.
Carlos: What’s going on pod101 world? My name is Carlos. “Spanish imperfect indicative. I Was Calling To Request Assistance.” In this lesson, you will learn about the imperfect indicative.
Dylan: This conversation takes place on the phone.
Carlos: This conversation is between María and the operator.
Dylan: The speakers are strangers. Therefore the speakers will be speaking formally.
Carlos: Okay guys, let’s listen to the conversation.
MARIA: Alo, llamaba para solicitar una niñera.
OPERADORA: ¡Claro! Tenemos las mejores del país.
MARIA: Necesito una que cuide mis gemelas de seis años.
OPERADORA: ¡Tengo a la persona perfecta!
MARIA: Ojalá tenga mucha paciencia porque son tremendas.
OPERADORA: ¡No se preocupe, somos profesionales!
And now, slowly.
Una vez más, esta vez lentamente.
MARIA: Alo, llamaba para solicitar una niñera.
OPERADORA: ¡Claro! Tenemos las mejores del país.
MARIA: Necesito una que cuide mis gemelas de seis años.
OPERADORA: ¡Tengo a la persona perfecta!
MARIA: Ojalá tenga mucha paciencia porque son tremendas.
OPERADORA: ¡No se preocupe, somos profesionales!
And now, with the translation.
Ahora, incluimos la traducción.
MARIA: Alo, llamaba para solicitar una niñera.
MARIA: Hello, I was calling to request a nanny.
OPERADORA: ¡Claro! Tenemos las mejores del país.
OPERADORA: Sure. We have the best in the country.
MARIA: Necesito una que cuide mis gemelas de seis años.
MARIA: I need one to take care of my six-year-old twins.
OPERADORA: ¡Tengo a la persona perfecta!
OPERADORA: I have the perfect person!
MARIA: Ojalá tenga mucha paciencia porque son tremendas.
MARIA: I hope that she has a lot of patience, because they are a handful.
OPERADORA: ¡No se preocupe, somos profesionales!
OPERADORA: Don't worry; we're professionals!
Dylan: Wow! I wonder where I could find one of those.
Carlos: What? Our nannies comment on Latin America, Dylan?
Dylan: No…
Carlos: No?
Dylan: No, nannies are usually like the mom of either you know, the wife or the husband, the grandmas…
Carlos: That’s right, that’s right like the traditional extended family. It’s not like the United States where, like, you know, grandmas in Houston or Phoenix….
Dylan: No, no…
Carlos: Or Florida.
Dylan: They live right next door.
Carlos: Or in your case, with you…
Dylan: Uh for now…
Carlos: For now.
Dylan: One more week, Carlos.
Carlos: One more week. Okay well, you know what, it’s good to have a living nanny but that is definitely a difference that you see in Latin America and the United States.
Dylan: Absolutely.
Carlos: That the grandmothers are around and they are all taking care of the kids. You don’t have to pay somebody.
Dylan: They are involved.
Carlos: Yeah.
Dylan: Very…
Carlos: That’s cool.
Dylan: Yeah, it could be.
Carlos: Okay guys, let’s have a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Dylan: “Solicitar”.
Carlos: “To request”, “to solicit”, “to apply for.”
Dylan: “So-li-ci-tar”, “solicitar”.
Dylan: “Niñera”.
Carlos: “Nanny.”
Dylan: “Ni-ñe-ra”, “niñera”.
Dylan: “Cuidar”.
Carlos: “To look after”, “to care for”, “to take care of.”
Dylan: “Cui-dar”, “cuidar”.
Dylan: “Gemelos”.
Carlos: “Twins.”
Dylan: “Ge-me-los”, “gemelos”.
Dylan: “Ojalá”.
Carlos: “I hope so.”
Dylan: “O-ja-lá”, “ojalá”.
Dylan: “Tremendo”.
Carlos: “Terrible”, “dreadful”, “frightful”, “tremendous.”
Dylan: “Tre-men-do”, “tremendo”.
Carlos: Okay guys, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Dylan: The first word we will look at is “solicitar”.
Carlos: “Solicitar”. “To request”, “to apply for”, “to ask for.”
Dylan: But what English word do you recognize from that verb?
Carlos: “To solicit” and the same meaning actually.
Dylan: Just thought that was a good point.
Carlos: Definitely.
Dylan: So how is this verb used in our conversation?
Carlos: Well, it looks like María needs a nanny.
Dylan: So who is she calling?
Carlos: She seems to be calling an agency.
Dylan: “Alo, llamaba para solicitar una niñera”.
Carlos: “Hello, I was calling to request a nanny.”
Dylan: That’s always a risk.
Carlos: Yeah, she may need to get one of those nanny cams.
Dylan: That’s a little much don’t you think?
Carlos: Maybe, maybe.
Dylan: Now we could also use the verb “solicitar” in terms of a job.
Carlos: How so?
Dylan: Por ejemplo, “Yo solicité un trabajo en el hospital”.
Carlos: “I applied for a job at the hospital.”
Dylan: What would you do if you applied?
Carlos: Filled out a “solicitud”, a feminine noun that means “request” or “petition.”
Dylan: I am happy I don’t need to solicit a nanny.
Carlos: What a “niñera”? Our next word.
Dylan: Yes, luckily my mother as you all know lives with us.
Carlos: For one more week only.
Dylan: Yes.
Carlos: Extended family. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
Dylan: Don’t get me wrong. There are lot of good nannies out there and sometimes you need help. María obviously does because she is saying “llamaba para solicitar una niñera”, “I was calling to request the nanny.”
Carlos: But you know there are a lot of bad nannies out there.
Dylan: I know a family that has a great situation with their nanny.
Carlos: Oh, yeah?
Dylan: “La niñera de la familia Rojas es muy buena”.
Carlos: I am sure that Rojas family has a great nanny. I just don’t think I will be able to leave my children in the hands of a stranger.
Dylan: A lot of people feel the way you do.
Carlos: And all of our related words have to do with children, “el niño”, “little boy”, “la niña”, “little girl.”
Dylan: Don’t forget “los niños”, “the children.”
Carlos: And we all know it’s all about the children.
Dylan: And we have to take care of the children.
Carlos: Expressing that notion with the verb “cuidar”.
Dylan: “Cuidar”. Our next verb and also one that we have gone over in other lessons.
Carlos: Just shows how important it is.
Dylan: “Cuidar”. “To care for”, “to be careful”, “to look after.”
Carlos: Which is why María uses it when she says “Necesito una que cuide mis gemelas de seis años”.
Dylan: “I need one to take care of my 6-year old twins.” Twins! I don’t even want to talk about this.
Carlos: I know. Two for the price of one, isn’t always good.
Dylan: Hey, who takes care of your cat when you go to the States?
Carlos: It depends, “a veces un amigo cuida a mi gato”, “sometimes a friend just care my cat.”
Dylan: Do you remember a related word?
Carlos: Do I ever, the adjective “cuidadoso”, “careful”, which I’ve learned to be.
Dylan: How about a noun?
Carlos: “El cuidado”. “Care”, “carefulness”, “attention.”
Dylan: All about the details.
Carlos: Life is about the details.
Dylan: The next word is one that has been known in another context since 2001.
Carlos: All right, “las Torres Gemelas”, “the Twin Towers.”
Dylan: But in our conversation, today we are hearing it in the more common sense applied to humans.
Carlos: Right, “Necesito una que cuide mis gemelas de seis años”.
Dylan: “I need one to take care of my 6-year old twins.”
Carlos: Twins are always interesting to me.
Dylan: Yeah, you know that they can be so different.
Carlos: Or very alike. You know I am always interested in those stories where like two twins get separated at birth and then years later reunite and find they have like the same lives.
Dylan: So weird.
Carlos: Do you know any twins, Dylan?
Dylan: Sí, claro, mis primos son gemelos idénticos.
Carlos: I didn’t know your cousins were identical twins.
Dylan: Yep. Have you heard a synonym for “gemelos”?
Carlos: No, is it another word for twin?
Dylan: Sí, “mellizo”, “melliza”.
Carlos: So “mellizo”, “melliza”, means “twins” as well.
Dylan: Yep. Now a very happy interjection.
Carlos: Happy you say, why?
Dylan: “Ojalá”.
Carlos: “Ojalá”, “ojalá”, “ojalá”.
Dylan: No, no, no Carlos, “ojalá”.
Carlos: “Ojalá”. Like I hope Carlos stops. Now I hear that all the time. What does “ojalá” mean?
Dylan: “Ojalá” means “I hope so.”
Carlos: All right, like “Ojalá tenga mucha paciencia porque son tremendas”.
Dylan: “I hope that she has a lot of patience because they are a handful.”
Carlos: That’s never good to hear.
Dylan: Why?
Carlos: Because a handful is probably only a fraction of what these twins really are.
Dylan: You are probably right.
Carlos: “Ojalá que todo salga bien”.
Dylan: “I hope everything turns out all right.”
Carlos: Now we could relate the expressions “quiero que”, “I want that”, or “espero que”, “I hope that.”
Dylan: Definitely.
Carlos: Now what do we have last but not least?
Dylan: Last but not least, we have an adjective, “tremendo”.
Carlos: “Tremendo”, I don’t even like the sound of that.
Dylan: It sounds like a very strong word.
Carlos: It is. I bet these kids are a little more than a handful especially if the mother is hoping if nanny has patience.
Dylan: “Ojalá tenga mucha paciencia porque son tremendas”.
Carlos: “I hope that she has a lot of patience because they are a handful.”
Dylan: You know? Cuando yo era niña, era tremenda.
Carlos: I don’t believe that.
Dylan: No, it’s true. I was terrible but you know I grew up on a wide open farm near jungle that was plenty of trouble to get into.
Carlos: I could only imagine. We are like monkeys.
Dylan: Yes, absolutely. Now think of a related word that is also a cognate.
Carlos: “Terrible”, “terrible.”
Dylan: “Terrible”.
Carlos: “Terrible”. No “terrible”, “terrible”.
Dylan: Hah that would be a fitting adjective. Okay, let’s take another look at verb formation.
Carlos: Verbs, the dread of all Spanish students.
Dylan: All the more reason to study them repeatedly.
Carlos: No, no, Dylan, you are right. Remind me what kind of verb formation we are studying today?
Dylan: The imperfect tense.
Carlos: Ah, the imperfect tense, a name that used to confuse me but more I learned it, the more the name made sense.
Dylan: So Carlos, why don’t you tell us what the imperfect tense expresses.
Carlos: Well, the imperfect tense expresses an incomplete action.
Dylan: Another point we should bring up is that we really have no direct equivalent in English. So that makes it a little bit more difficult.
Carlos: So generally translations will vary based on the context of a given verb.
Dylan: Do you remember the three main usages for the imperfect tense?
Carlos: Do I? Sure it’s used to indicate an action or state as being in progress in the past. This means that we don’t know when it started or stopped but we know that it happened before the speech. It’s also used to indicate a customary or habitual action or state in the past. When employed this way, we often translate it as I used to like I used to walk and it’s used to give descriptions in the past in relation to another past event and very often, the preterit tense.
Dylan: I think we forgot to mention that the imperfect is a past tense.
Carlos: True. Knowing that makes all the difference.
Dylan: Let’s tackle the endings.
Carlos: Be happy to know audience that the endings for all “er” and “ir” verbs are exactly the same.
Dylan: So here we are only learning two endings.
Carlos: Right for regular “ar” verbs, the imperfect endings are “-aba”, “-abas”, “-aba”, “-ábamos”, “-abais”, and “-aban”.
Dylan: And for regular “er” and “ir” verbs.
Carlos: For regular “er” and “ir” verbs, the endings are “-ía”, “-ías”, “-ía”, “-íamos”, “-íais”, and “-ían”.
Dylan: Well, let’s pick some verbs.
Carlos: Okay, one verb that should definitely be covered in the imperfect tense is “estar”, “to be.”
Dylan: Good one. Okay, let’s go through the conjugations of “estar”, “to be.”
Carlos: In the imperfect tense, we would hear “yo estaba”, “tú estabas”, “you were”, informal, “él/ella/usted estaba”, “he/she/you formal were.”
Dylan: Notice that the first person singular and third person singular are the same.
Carlos: Right. It makes it a little easier, “nosotros estábamos”, “we were”, “vosotros estabais”,
Dylan: “Estabais”.
Carlos: “Estabais”, “you all were”, informal, and “ellos/ellas/ustedes estaban”, “they masculine”, “they feminine” and “you all formal were.”
Dylan: Now an “er” verb and not “comer”, Carlos.
Carlos: I wasn’t going to pick “comer”. How about “hacer”, “to do”?
Dylan: Go at it.
Carlos: “Yo hacía”, “I was doing”, “tú hacías”, “you were doing”, “él/ella/usted hacía”, “he/she/you were doing”, formal, “nosotros hacíamos”, “we were doing”, “vosotros hacíais”, “you all were doing”, “ellos/ellas/ustedes hacían”, “they masculine”, “they feminine”, “you all formal were doing.”
Dylan: Last but not least, I am going to pick “seguir”, “to follow”, “to pursue”, “to continue.”
Carlos: Pick one, pick one definition.
Dylan: Okay, pursue.
Carlos: Fine. “Yo seguía”, “I was pursuing”, “tú seguías”, “you were pursuing”, informal, “el/ella/usted seguía”, “he/she/you formal were pursuing”, “nosotros seguíamos”, “we were pursuing”, “vosotros seguíais”, “you all were pursuing”, informal, “ellos/ellas/ustedes seguían” “they masculine”, “they feminine”, “you all formal”, “were pursuing.” Okay, let’s get some sample sentences up on this piece. So we had the verb “estar” in the imperfect “to be.” So let me think of one and Dylan, tell me if I am correct or not. “Estaba llamándote”.
Dylan: Perfect.
Carlos: “I was calling you.” “¿Estabas manejando?”
Dylan: “Were you driving?”
Carlos: Okay, okay. “¿Estaban bailando anoche?”
Dylan: “Were you dancing last night.” 3…
Carlos: Yes, okay, so our next verb was what “hacer” no that was a third one, I am sorry. It was yeah “hacer”, “to do.” So, “hacía mi tarea ayer”.
Dylan: “I was doing my homework yesterday.”
Carlos: I need a little help with “hacer”, Dylan.
Dylan: All right. “Ellos hacían carreras de carros”.
Carlos: “They were doing something with cars.”
Dylan: “They were doing car races.”
Carlos: “They were doing car races”, not illegal here by the way.
Dylan: Yes, illegal.
Carlos: I am sorry, one more.
Dylan: “Nosotros hacíamos galletas para la fiesta de Navidad”.
Carlos: “We made cookies for Christmas.”
Dylan: For the Christmas party.
Carlos: “We made cookies for the Christmas party.”
Dylan: Yes.
Carlos: I like cookies.
Dylan: Another verb.
Carlos: Okay, “seguir”, “to pursue.” And, okay...
Dylan: “Tú seguías molestando a esa chica”.
Carlos: I keep...
Dylan: “You kept bothering that girl.”
Carlos: She kept bothering me.
Dylan: No, no, no.
Carlos: I did. “You kept bothering that girl”, okay a good sentence. “Seguía el mapa del tesoro”, “I was following the treasure map.”
Dylan: “Nosotros seguíamos tratando de pensar en oraciones”. “We keep trying to think of sample sentences.” “Yo seguía tus pasos”.
Carlos: “I was following your steps.”
Dylan: For regular “ar” verbs, only the first person plural receives an accent. For example, “-ábamos”.
Carlos: Good point. Also all and I mean all “er” and “ir” verbs receive accents.
Dylan: Basically the imperfect tense can be translated to English in three manners.
Carlos: So we could take “yo vivía”, we can say “I used to live.” If we are talking about habitual period, we can say “I was living.” If we are talking about a past period of time that’s interrupted by another past action, we can say “I lived” if we are simply talking about a past time without knowing when we started or stopped.
Dylan: So this really is a multipurpose past tense.
Carlos: Oh, completely.


Carlos: Well, you know what guys, that just about does it for today. ¡Nos vemos!
Dylan: Hasta luego. ¡Chao!


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