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Dylan: Hola, hola a todos. Habla Dylan, ¿cómo están?
Carlos: What’s going on, pod101 world? My name is Carlos. In this lesson, you will learn about the verb “poder”.
Dylan: This conversation takes place in a dance school.
Carlos: The conversation is between Pedro and the owner of the school.
Dylan: The speakers are strangers, so they are speaking formally.
Carlos: Let’s listen to the conversation.
PEDRO: Hola, necesito información sobre su escuela de baile.
DUEÑO DE LA ESCUELA: ¡Claro!, cobramos cinco dólares por clase privada, y quince dólares por un mes.
PEDRO: ¡Que buen precio! ¿Cuándo puedo empezar?
DUEÑO DE LA ESCUELA: Inmediatamente, estamos en el centro, en calle 10, en el edificio 25.
PEDRO: ¡Gracias! ¡Qué bueno! Voy para allá.
Pedro: Hello, I need information on your dance school.
Owner of the School: Of course! We charge five dollars per private class and fifteen dollars per month.
Pedro: What a great price! When can I start?
Owner of the School: Immediately, we’re downtown, tenth street, building twenty-five.
Pedro: Thank you! How great! I’m on my way.
Dylan: That guy is going to get lost!
Carlos: Why? It’s….
Dylan: If it’s in Costa Rica, it’s on Tenth Street, nobody knows where that is.
Carlos: I don’t think it’s Costa Rica. There’s no North, there’s no South, as a matter of fact we are going to talk about that later but you know, five dollars for a private class is probably something like old “viejita” on the back of a room.
Dylan: Ahhh.
Carlos: I teach you how to dance. And she comes….
Dylan: Oooooh, that’s so sweet.
Carlos: Well, it’s true. What do you get for five dollars? That’s my wonder.
Dylan: Well, maybe it’s a five minute class. It doesn’t say it’s an hour class.
Carlos: That’s true but... Yes, well you get what you are paying for.
Dylan: There you go.
Carlos: Okay guys, let’s have a closer look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Dylan: “Sobre”.
Carlos: “About.”
Dylan: “So-bre”, “sobre”.
Dylan: “Escuela”.
Carlos: “School.”
Dylan: “Es-cue-la”, “escuela”.
Dylan: “Baile”.
Carlos: “Dance.”
Dylan: “Bai-le”, “baile”.
Dylan: “Cobrar”.
Carlos: “To charge.”
Dylan: “Co-brar”, “cobrar”.
Dylan: “Empezar”.
Carlos: “To begin”, “to start.”
Dylan: “Em-pe-zar”, “empezar”.
Dylan: “Edificio”.
Carlos: “Building.”
Dylan: “E-di-fi-cio”, “edificio”.
Carlos: Okay guys, let’s have a closer look at the use of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Dylan: The first word we’ll look at is “sobre”.
Carlos: “Sobre”. “On” or “about.” Always reminds me of sobby.
Dylan: I can see how that could happen.
Carlos: You know what though? In all honesty, “sobre” is a preposition that I have trouble using correctly, you know?
Dylan: It can be difficult but that’s what we are here for. So listen, let’s look at this rationally. Where was “sobre” used in today’s conversation?
Carlos: “Hola, necesito información sobre su escuela de baile”.
Dylan: “Hello, I need information on your dance school.”
Carlos: So could I say, “I need information about your dance school”?
Dylan: To be honest, it is expressing the same meaning. So I don’t see why not. The point here is being understood.
Carlos: That is true.
Dylan: But let’s look at a couple of sample sentences that use different meanings.
Carlos: Sounds good.
Dylan: “La plata está sobre la mesa”. You can figure that out. Here we are using the meaning of “on”.
Carlos: “The money is on the table.”
Dylan: Right, if we are using “sobre” when talking about something, we could say, “la película es sobre un escritor loco”.
Carlos: “The movie is about a crazy writer.”
Dylan: Got the use?
Carlos: Yes.
Dylan: Good.
Carlos: Now if “sobre” also means “on”, then would “en” be a related word?
Dylan: You took the words right out of my mouth.
Carlos: What’s next?
Dylan: One of your favorite places, at least I hope so.
Carlos: That could mean a lot of things Dylan.
Dylan: “Escuela”.
Carlos: Ahh, “school.” You are right, that is one of my favorite places. Although I will say right now, I still prefer being a student than a teacher.
Dylan: You are a teacher right now! On...here!
Carlos: Yes, but this is different than being a teacher in a real time class room.
Dylan: True, but I know I’m putting it on my resume like this.
Carlos: Bueno. So the example from the conversation “Hola, necesito información sobre su escuela de baile”.
Dylan: “Hello, I need information on your dance school.”
Carlos: Hey Dylan, have you ever been to a dance school?
Dylan: No, but I did take dance classes for my brother’s wedding where we did like this choreography to surprise everyone.
Carlos: That’s right! You did “Thriller”, right?
Dylan: Yes, “Thriller” and “Baby got back.”
Carlos: Yes, that’s funny.
Dylan: And there was a real teacher. A real dance teacher.
Carlos: You should have You Tubed it. It would have gone viral video.
Dylan: Right!!
Carlos: You know, I went to one in New York and when I was back there in the clubs, you could tell who went to the classes and who was just like a home student. They were so stylized.
Dylan: Is that like good or bad?
Carlos: I don’t know. I mean, I don’t like it a lot but hey I’m Latin and I guess if I wanted to learn Salsa and it wasn’t part of my upbringing, I’d want to go to a school also. Kind of like me wanting to learn Irish jig.
Dylan: Oh well, it makes sense. ¿En cuál escuela estabas trabajando?
Carlos: ¿En el Bronx o aquí?
Dylan: Aquí.
Carlos: Se llama “Intercultura”.
Dylan: ¿En Heredia?
Carlos: Sí, mi escuela era en Heredia.
Dylan: ¡Perfecto!
Carlos: Well, that was a nice little side conversation for the lesson.
Dylan: I would like to think about it as a little boldness.
Carlos: Hey Dylan, what could I call high school again?
Dylan: “El colegio”.
Carlos: You know I knew it was something like that but I always associated that with “college.” I can’t help it.
Dylan: That’s understandable. Now it’s going to be easier to jump into our next word because we have heard it twice.
Carlos: So what, you are telling me that all of our examples are in the same line?
Dylan: The first three at least.
Carlos: So what is it?
Dylan: “Baile”.
Carlos: “Baile”, “dance.”
Dylan: It’s a noun, an activity that I know you like to do.
Carlos: What about you?
Dylan: Me? No comment.
Carlos: So we know that Pedro is interested in taking dance classes.
Dylan: Probably a girl.
Carlos: It’s always about a girl.
Dylan: Now we heard the example twice already and if someone was asking you for information about the dance class, how would you answer?
Carlos: Well, I would tell them what time the class started.
Dylan: And what time does the class start?
Carlos: “La clase de baile es a las dos de la tarde”.
Dylan: “The dance class is at two in the afternoon.”
Carlos: Now, there is a verb form for this noun.
Dylan: That’s right the verb “bailar”, “to dance.”
Carlos: And I believe everyone can dance.
Dylan: It’s not true.
Carlos: Oh, it’s so true. If you have a heartbeat, you can dance. If you’ve got a heartbeat and you can walk, you can dance. The secret really is not caring if people look at you.
Dylan: Good tip!
Carlos: You know I try to give people what they deserve.
Dylan: Well, then give them one more related word.
Carlos: “Bailarín”.
Dylan: “Bailarín”.
Carlos: “Bailarín”.
Dylan: “Dancer”! You were going to say “ballerina”, weren’t you?
Carlos: Yes. Yes, I was.
Dylan: Well, next up, “cobrar”.
Carlos: “To charge.” A very important verb in any kind of business.
Dylan: You have got to charge!
Carlos: “Cobramos cinco dólares por clase privada”.
Dylan: “We charge five dollars per private class.”
Carlos: You know that is really cheap. I would really be suspicious.
Dylan: Why is that?
Carlos: Because you get what you pay for most of the time and this seems a little bit cheap.
Dylan: So what? You think it’s just some woman who knows how to dance a little bit but not professionally?
Carlos: If she was independently wealthy and was like doing this out of the goodness of her heart, I would think that a professional dance teacher would charge a lot a little.
Dylan: I would think that they would say like, “cobramos veinte dólares” for a private lesson.
Carlos: See that would be believable, especially if you are speaking Spanglish.
Dylan: Yes or like, if we were going to a bar which happens on occasion and they were not charging a cover.
Carlos: “Vamos a este bar, no cobran la entrada”.
Dylan: “Let’s go to this party, they don’t charge cover.”
Carlos: Now I can’t think of a related word now, I’m sorry.
Dylan: Well, a nice related word is “el cobro”.
Carlos: “El cobro”.
Dylan: It’s “the charge.”
Carlos: Aaah, “the charge.” I was thinking Cobra. Okay that was a great and completely new one for me. You know we are doing other verbs.
Dylan: Good, because we have one. “Empezar”.
Carlos: “Empezar”, I know this one. “To start” or “to begin.”
Dylan: As in “¿cuándo puedo empezar?”
Carlos: “When can I start?” You know, there is a word that “empezar” reminds me of in English but for the life of me I can never remember it.
Dylan: Mmmm, I think I know.
Carlos: You know I would love to find out for myself.
Dylan: “Embark.”
Carlos: Aaah, “to embark”. Right. You know what? That does make sense. There was always an “EM” word but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
Dylan: Entonces, ahora estás aprendiendo sinónimos en inglés para empezar.
Carlos: That I am. Well, that we are. I should have just looked up the source.
Dylan: Well, you have one handy right now.
Carlos: Well, I could look at my computer but that would interrupt the lesson. And this fine audience is paying for our time.
Dylan: True enough.
Carlos: What’s next?
Dylan: “Edificio”.
Carlos: “Edificio”, “building.” Do you know how I remember that word?
Dylan: How?
Carlos: “Edifice.”
Dylan: And what does that mean?
Carlos: “Structure” or “a building.”
Dylan: Okay, that would make sense. Now, how is it used in the conversation?
Carlos: “Estamos en el centro, en calle 10, en el edificio 25”.
Dylan: “We are in downtown, Tenth Street Building 25.”
Carlos: Really Dylan, I don’t think they are in Costa Rica.
Dylan: I know, the address is way too perfect.
Carlos: No, North or South or old trees and dead dogs.
Dylan: Well, when you come from the land of buildings, the original homes of the skyscraper.
Carlos: NewYork, NewYork, that’s right.
Dylan: The twin towers were like really, really, really tall, right?
Carlos: Are you kidding me? Las Torres gemelas eran edificios muy altos.
Dylan: I bet they were really tall. They were the tallest in New York but I’ve got a question for you.
Carlos: What’s that?
Dylan: What verb would you use if you were talking about a building?
Carlos: “Construir”. “To build” or “to construct.”
Dylan: I figured that. I have a verb here that is even more easily associated and at the same time it means the same as “construir”.
Carlos: I’m all ears.
Dylan: “Edificar”.
Carlos: And that means “to construct” or “to build”?
Dylan: Yes.
Carlos: Man I should have learned that verb. It’s a lot easier. “Edificar”, “edificio”, come on.
Dylan: Yes. Well, let’s check out a very special verb for today’s grammar.

Lesson focus

Carlos: Sounds good to me. Which?
Dylan: The verb “poder”.
Carlos: Aaah, “poder”. “To be able.” Always reminds me of a little engine that could.
Dylan: So…
Carlos: I think I can, I think I can.
Dylan: So where was “poder” used in today’s conversation?
Carlos: “¿Cuándo puedo empezar?” “When can I start?”
Dylan: This is a perfect example to highlight the fact that “poder” is usually used as an auxiliary verb. Which means it requires another main verb to complete its meaning.
Carlos: In this case, “empezar”.
Dylan: Exactly.
Carlos: So what does the verb “poder” express?
Dylan: “Poder” express possibility and ability. When it’s used, the main verb that follows it is in the infinitive form.
Carlos: Nice. You know what? Let’s go through the conjugations.
Dylan: “Yo puedo”.
Carlos: “I am able”, “I can.”
Dylan: “Tú puedes”.
Carlos: “You are able”, “you can”, informal.
Dylan: “Él puede”.
Carlos: “He is able”, “he can.”
Dylan: “Ella puede”.
Carlos: “She is able”, “she can.”
Dylan: “Usted puede”.
Carlos: “You are able”, “you can”, formal.
Dylan: “Nosotros podemos”.
Carlos: “We are able”, “we can.”
Dylan: “Vosotros podéis”.
Carlos: “You are all able”, “you all can”, informal.
Dylan: “Ellos pueden”.
Carlos: “They are able”, “they can.” Masculine.
Dylan: “Ellas pueden”.
Carlos: “They are able”, “they can.” Feminine.
Dylan: “Ustedes pueden”.
Carlos: “You are all able”, “you all can”, formal.
Dylan: What did you notice?
Carlos: Well, I notice that in the first, second and third persons, the verb “poder” has a stem change. It’s stem is “pod-”. And when it’s conjugated, the stem changes to “pued-”.
Dylan: “Pued-”. Right, this is a pattern that should be remembered.
Carlos: Why? I can’t think of any other verbs that follow this pattern.
Dylan: Well, verbs like “mover”, where the stem “mov-” and “moví” changes to “muev-”.
Carlos: So learning these subtleties early on will ultimately save me time in the future I guess.
Dylan: Well, that being said, the verb “poder” is often paired with other verbs and when it’s done with great frequency, these almost become like set phrases. One of these happen when “poder” is paired with “ser”. For example, “puede ser” which literally means, “it can be.” Which can often be translated to “maybe”, “possible” or “perhaps.”
Carlos: Didn’t I just hear you and Paco say that because is messed up? “No puede ser”.
Dylan: Yes, it can’t be. It’s my computer.
Carlos: Okay. Let’s use some sample sentences.
Dylan: “Nosotros podemos entender”.
Carlos: “We can understand.” “We are all able to understand.”
Dylan: “Vosotros podéis ir también”.
Carlos: “You all can go too.” “You all are able to go too.”
Dylan: “Alicia y María pueden hablar el alemán”.
Carlos: “Alicia and Maria can speak German.” “Alicia and Maria are able to speak German.”
Dylan: “Puedo hablar el español”.
Carlos: “I can speak Spanish.”
Dylan: “Puedes trabajar bien”.
Carlos: “You can work well.”
Dylan: “Ella puede comer mariscos”.
Carlos: “She can eat shellfish.”
Dylan: “Él puede ir”. “He is able to go.”


Carlos: Alright, those were good sample sentences guys but you know what? That’s just about it for today.
Dylan: ¡Chao!
Carlos: ¡Nos vemos!


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