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Lesson Transcript

Natalia: Buenos días, me llamo Natalia.
Carlos: What’s going on? My name is Carlos. “In the Dressing Room.” Naty, I now think that Jorge does have some skills of a salesman.
Natalia: Why is that?
Carlos: Well, because he is still trying to give advice to Marta even though she responds back not so nicely.
Natalia: Umm so what happened?
Carlos: Well, it paid off to be patient and formal because at the end, she bought the blouse.
Natalia: I told you, it was all a selling point. He was picky, pushy but it worked.
Carlos: I guess it did. So what about grammar for today, Naty?
Natalia: Something you and I haven’t covered in a long, long time, the gerund.
Carlos: Let’s listen to the conversation.
MARTA: Listo, ya me la probé, ¿cómo se ve?
JORGE: ¡Se ve diez kilos más delgada!
MARTA: ¿Me está diciendo gorda?
JORGE: No, jamás, digo que esa blusa se le ve muy bien.
MARTA: ¿Sabe qué, muchacho? No está tan perdido... Me la llevo.
And now, slowly.
Una vez más, esta vez lentamente.
MARTA: Listo, ya me la probé, ¿cómo se ve?
JORGE: ¡Se ve diez kilos más delgada!
MARTA: ¿Me está diciendo gorda?
JORGE: No, jamás, digo que esa blusa se le ve muy bien.
MARTA: ¿Sabe qué, muchacho? No está tan perdido... Me la llevo.
And now, with the translation.
Ahora, incluimos la traducción.
MARTA: Listo, ya me la probé, ¿cómo se ve?
MARTA: All right, I've tried it on. How does it look?
JORGE: ¡Se ve diez kilos más delgada!
JORGE: You look ten kilos thinner!
MARTA: ¿Me está diciendo gorda?
MARTA: Are you calling me fat?
JORGE: No, jamás, digo que esa blusa se le ve muy bien.
JORGE: No, I would never! I'm saying that that blouse looks very good on you.
MARTA: ¿Sabe qué, muchacho? No está tan perdido... Me la llevo.
MARTA: Do you know what, young man? You're not all that lost...I'll take it.
Natalia: Carlos, I say what I mean. The guy is just being nice. He is like he goes with your eyes and makes it look thinner. You look great, blah, blah, blah it won’t work.
Carlos: See with me, whenever I am in a store, they like to give me tips. I just don’t believe them because I think they just want me to buy it. You know, like I don’t think my interest is at heart.
Natalia: Well, that’s the thing you know but in this case, it worked.
Carlos: My guess it did. I mean she is buying it right and that’s what I love. I mean he responded to her jab so easily.
Natalia: See what I mean, I mean he is just trying to be polite. Pushy but polite.
Carlos: Pushy but polite. I will keep that in mind. Okay, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. First up, we have an adverb.
Natalia: “Jamás”.
Carlos: “Never.”
Natalia: “Ja-más”, “jamás”. Por ejemplo: “Yo jamás pensé que ganaría la lotería”.
Carlos: “I never thought I would win the lottery.” Next up, we have an adjective.
Natalia: “Listo, lista”.
Carlos: “Ready”, “intelligent.”
Natalia: “Lis-to, lis-ta”, “listo, lista”. Por ejemplo: “La semana que viene comes yogur y listo”.
Carlos: “Next week, you can eat some yogurt and you are all set.” Next up we have another adjective.
Natalia: “Delgado, delgada”.
Carlos: “Thin”, “slim”, “slender.”
Natalia: “Del-ga-do, del-ga-da”, “delgado, delgada”. Por ejemplo: “Carla está mucho más delgada ahora”.
Carlos: “Carla is so much thinner now.” Then we have another adjective...
Natalia: “Gordo, gorda”.
Carlos: “Fat”, “thick.”
Natalia: “Gor-do, gor-da”, “gordo, gorda”. “Ella está bastante gorda”.
Carlos: “She is very fat.” Next up, we have an adverb.
Natalia: “Tan”.
Carlos: “So”, “such”, “as.”
Natalia: “Tan”, “tan”. Por ejemplo: “No voy a ser tan persistente para volver a llamar”.
Carlos: “I am not going to be so persistent to call again.” And then we have a verb.
Natalia: “Decir”.
Carlos: “To say”, “to tell.”
Natalia: “De-cir”, “decir”. Por ejemplo: “El profesor dirá la respuesta”.
Carlos: “The professor will say the answer.” Okay, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word we will look at is...
Natalia: “Jamás”.
Carlos: “Jamás”. You know this is one of those words that I used to hear all the time and I could never figure out what it meant.
Natalia: Well, do you know it now?
Carlos: Yes, it means “never”. It took me a minute to realize it was a synonym for “nunca”.
Natalia: Yes, both are adverbs and both, “nunca” and “jamás”, mean “never.”
Carlos: Got that in my mental notes.
Natalia: Make it go deeper. How was it used in the conversation?
Carlos: “No, jamás, digo que esa blusa se le ve muy bien”.
Natalia: “No, I would never. I am saying that blouse looks very good on you.”
Carlos: And how about another example, Naty?
Natalia: “Jamás te des por vencido”. “Never give up.”
Carlos: Very motivational, Naty.
Natalia: Sure, hah! When you are a teacher, you need to be encouraging Carlos, encouraging.
Carlos: Okay, what’s next on our list?
Natalia: “Listo, lista”.
Carlos: “Ready” and “intelligent.”
Natalia: Right, but it does mean more than just that.
Carlos: What do you mean?
Natalia: Well, “listo, lista” is an adjective noun and interjection. Do you think that with all of those word classes, it would only have one meaning?
Carlos: No, I guess you are right. So then what does it mean?
Natalia: “Ready” is one of the translations. The one we are using here “listo” mean “intelligent.”
Carlos: Let me think.
Natalia: Tick tock, Carlos.
Carlos: Okay.
Natalia: Look back at the conversation, “Listo, ya me la probé”.
Carlos: “All right. I have tried it on.” All right, ready. I see the link.
Natalia: Well, here is an example where we mean it’s intelligent, “el bebé de mi amigo es muy listo”, “my friend’s baby is very smart.”
Carlos: And what word can we associate with “listo”?
Natalia: Well, you can link the adjective “preparado, preparada”.
Carlos: “Prepare”.
Natalia: You got to love the cognates.
Carlos: As long as they aren’t false friends.
Natalia: So here is the word that isn’t a cognate, “delgado, delgada”.
Carlos: Do you know why I know that adjective?
Natalia: Why?
Carlos: Delgado is my cousin’s last name.
Natalia: Okay, so do you know that what it means?
Carlos: Well, it means “slim”, “thin” or “slender.”
Natalia: And it’s the right thing to say if you are trying to sell a blouse.
Carlos: That’s right. Jorge says very enthusiastically “¡Se ve diez kilos más delgada!”
Natalia: “You look 10 kilos thinner”, and I love her response, classic.
Carlos: Well, the response comes from our next words. Let’s save it.
Natalia: Okay, so what do you want to know?
Carlos: Well, actually I can handle the related word.
Natalia: Okay, which one?
Carlos: “Flaco, flaca”.
Natalia: Do you know the difference? There are different ways to use those words.
Carlos: Well, from my understanding, “delgado” or “delgada” means “slim”, like attractive, while “flaco” or “flaca” can mean like “skinny”, like “really skinny.”
Natalia: Uhoo, so let’s see an example, “las dietas ayudan a las personas a ser más delgadas”.
Carlos: “Diets help people to be thinner.” Well, that they do.
Natalia: Especially if they don’t have somebody cooking “mofongo” for them, you know.
Carlos: That’s right. It’s always the “mofongo”, the “mofongo”.
Natalia: Carlos, I mean it gets you fat, okay. That’s a perfect leading to our next word.
Carlos: Which is...
Natalia: The adjective “gordo” y “gorda”.
Carlos: “Fat.” Now you can share Marta’s response.
Natalia: “¿Me está diciendo gorda?”
Carlos: “Are you calling me fat?” You know, he was given a compliment and she completely took it the wrong way.
Natalia: That’s what happens sometimes. So here is a sample sentence that an English speaker might misunderstand.
Carlos: And what’s that?
Natalia: “Hola gordo, ¿cómo estás?”
Carlos: “Hey chubby, how are you?” Yeah, you know, we’ve gone through that before.
Natalia: Well Carlos, again, you can refer to people as fat or thin and still they won’t get offended. You can just say “hey flaca” or “hola flaco”.
Carlos: I don’t think I would ever get used to that.
Natalia: Carlos, when in Rome.
Carlos: Yeah, yeah I just saying hey chubby.
Natalia: Let’s move on to 10. I am going to call you gordito from now on. “Tan”, Carlos.
Carlos: That rocks.
Natalia: I wasn’t trying but what kind of word is that?
Carlos: It’s an adverb.
Natalia: Okay, say it with confidence.
Carlos: Adverb.
Natalia: “No seas tan negativo”. “Don’t be so negative.”
Carlos: You know, I am going to remember that one to say to you one day.
Natalia: Carlos, don’t be dumb. Tell me the translation.
Carlos: When Marta says “No está tan perdido…”, “you are not all that lost.” So we take it to mean “so”, “such as.” So that line in the convo could also mean that you are not so lost.
Natalia: The related word that will make things a little more sense is “muy”.
Carlos: Right, “muy”, “very.” Okay, you know what, that does make the meaning a little clear.
Natalia: Last but not least, we have a verb.
Carlos: Is this the first verb of the lesson?
Natalia: Yeah, “decir”.
Carlos: “Decir”, “to say”, “to talk.”
Natalia: That is actually the word that leads into our grammar point.
Carlos: Ah perfect. So when Marta says “¿Me está diciendo gorda?”, “are you calling me fat?” I assume we are going to study the gerund.
Natalia: That’s right but I said we save it.
Carlos: Okay, so then what about our related words?
Natalia: Well, I have a verb, “contar”.
Carlos: “Contar”. Doesn’t that mean “to count”?
Natalia: Yes, but it can also mean “to tell.”
Carlos: I don’t…umm..
Natalia: You don’t believe me? Mira, “me contó cuento”. “She told me a story.”
Carlos: And an example with this is...
Natalia: “Jeffrey me dijo que tú no vas a ir a la fiesta”. “Jeffrey told me you are not going to the party.”
Carlos: Well, I got the link. We got – all that done, are we going to grammar now?

Lesson focus

Natalia: Grammar. Carlos, we haven’t gone over this grammar point since the Costa Rican series.
Carlos: What – the diminutive?
Natalia: Diminutive. No, the gerund.
Carlos: Ah, the gerund. You know I’ve always felt an affinity with the gerund. It’s one of those things that I always understood very quickly.
Natalia: Good because I am going to need your help then.
Carlos: I am always willing to lend a helping hand, Naty.
Natalia: Entonces, gerundio con el presente.
Carlos: Gerund with the present. Now where was this used in our conversation?
Natalia: When Martha says “¿Me está diciendo gorda?”
Carlos: “Are you calling me fat?” So here we have the verb “decir”, “to say”, formed in the gerund.
Natalia: Exactamente, Carlos. We know that “el gerundio”, “the gerund”, functions as an adverb and is used to express simultaneous or continuous action.
Carlos: In the case of our conversation, “diciendo”, “calling.”
Natalia: Okay we’ve also seen how this construction takes the “ando” ending after the stem of regular “ar” verbs.
Carlos: Wait! I know you are going with this. The gerund is formed with “endo” ending after the stem of regular “er” and “ir” verbs. So once again “decir” becomes “diciendo”.
Natalia: Good. So how do we find the stem of the verb?
Carlos: Well, we find the stem of the verb by simply removing the infinitive ending.
Natalia: What do you mean?
Carlos: Well, for example, we have the verb “hablar” which means “to speak.”
Natalia: So then remove the infinitive ending.
Carlos: The “ar”. So “hablar” minus the “ar” becomes...
Natalia: “Habl”. So how do we form the gerund?
Carlos: Well, since we know that “hablar” is an “ar” verb, we are going to add “ando”.
Natalia: So “hablar” becomes “hablando”.
Carlos: “Hablando”. See we know that the gerund is the equivalent of saying “ing” in English. So “hablando” can be roughly translated as “talking.”
Natalia: True but we have to make sure of something.
Carlos: What’s that?
Natalia: We can’t confuse the use of present plus the gerund with the present absolute.
Carlos: Well I hadn’t thought of that.
Natalia: So we know that the present absolute is used to express permanence origin and most importantly here generalization and habitual actions.
Carlos: But I think some comparing will be in order.
Natalia: Okay, so you already picked the verb “hablar” but let’s look at another one.
Carlos: Which?
Natalia: “Buscar”.
Carlos: Okay, “buscar”, “to look.”
Natalia: So you can tackle the conjugations and I am not one who has to practice.
Carlos: Point taken, Naty. Okay let’s be orderly. First we will look at the singular versions of both the present absolute and the present plus the gerund.
Natalia: Go for it.
Carlos: “Yo busco”, “I look for”, versus “estoy buscando”, “I am looking for.”
Natalia: And two.
Carlos: Getting there “tú buscas”, “you look for”, versus “estás buscando”, “you are looking for.”
Natalia: And now?
Carlos: And now the triple threat of “él/ella/usted”, check them out. “Él busca”, “he looks for”, versus “él está buscando”, “he is looking for”. “Ella busca”, “she looks for”, versus “ella está buscando”, “she is looking for”, and “usted busca”, “you look for”, versus “usted está buscando”, “you are looking for.”
Natalia: That’s a good job with the singular. I say you try the plural.
Carlos: Okay, plural. “Nosotros buscamos”, “we look for”, versus “estamos buscando”, “we are looking for”. “Vosotros buscáis”, “you all look for”, versus “estáis buscando”, “you all are looking for.” “Ellos buscan”, “They look for”, masculine, versus “están buscando”, “they are looking for”, masculine, “ellas buscan”, “they look for”, feminine, versus “están buscando”, “they are looking for”, feminine, and then finally, “ustedes buscan”, “you all look for”, versus “están buscando”, “you are all looking for.” Huh, that’s a lot to get in.
Natalia: Well, if you have any questions audience, comment on this lesson or check out the grammar bank.
Carlos: You know that sample sentences always help, Naty. I mean now that I have given you conjugations of not one but just two forms.
Natalia: Okay, I mean it’s only fair. Now I will give you the same sentence using two different forms.
Carlos: Thank you in advance.
Natalia: Con mucho gusto. “La señora busca el periódico”.
Carlos: “The lady looks for the newspaper.”
Natalia: Versus “La señora está buscando el periódico”.
Carlos: “The lady is looking for the newspaper.”
Natalia: “Busco un apartamento”.
Carlos: “I look for an apartment”, versus...
Natalia: “Estoy buscando un apartamento”.
Carlos: “I am looking for an apartment.”
Natalia: So what do you notice here?
Carlos: Well, by comparing and contrasting the absolute present with the present plus the gerund form constructions is that the latter is impersonal and expresses the duration of the real action.
Natalia: Well, that’s a good point. That’s what I was looking for. Do you have anything else?
Carlos: Well, now that you mentioned it, the present in general describes the action of the verb as simultaneous to the moment of speech.
Natalia: So then what is the present plus gerund construction doing?
Carlos: That’s a good question, Naty. What the present plus the gerund construction does is stretch out the action of the verb so that this same action lasts for the duration of whatever is said about it.
Natalia: Well, so I think you got it.
Carlos: Well, that all depends if I can use it later and if I can also apply it to other verbs.
Natalia: Well, I say we will leave those for another lesson.


Carlos: I think that’s a good idea, Naty. I think I’ve done all the conjugations that I could today. ¡Nos vemos!
Natalia: ¡Chao!


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