Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Dylan: Hola, hola everybody. Habla Dylan, ¿cómo están hoy?
Carlos: What’s going on, pod101 world? My name is Carlos. In this lesson, you will learn about the preposition “a”.
Dylan: This conversation takes place in a dance studio.
Carlos: This conversation is between Pedro and a dance instructor.
Dylan: The speakers are strangers, so they are speaking formally.
Carlos: Let’s listen to the conversation.
PEDRO: Hola, vengo a tomar mi primera clase.
PROFESOR DE BAILE: Muy bien, pero necesita ropa especial, por lo menos los zapatos.
PEDRO: No me dijeron nada, ¿qué tipo de zapatos necesito?
PROFESOR: Zapatos de ballet.
PEDRO: ¿Ballet? Yo no quiero aprender ballet, yo quiero aprender salsa.
PROFESOR: Señor, usted está en el edificio equivocado.
Pedro: Hi, I’m here for my first class.
Professor of Dance: Very well, but you need special clothes, at least the shoes.
Pedro: I wasn’t told. What kind of shoes do I need?
Professor: Ballet shoes.
Pedro: Ballet? I don’t want to learn ballet; I want to learn salsa.
Professor: Sir, you are in the wrong building.
Dylan: That is so funny!
Carlos: Now you know why it’s so cheap.
Dylan: No, he is in the wrong building. He is going to have Salsa lessons. He just went to the wrong place. I think he is just confused Carlos.
Carlos: I hope so. but that’s funny though. Ballet class.
Dylan: That is a shocker.
Carlos: I wonder if there is a bunch of thirteen, no, like eleven year old girls sitting there doing the pirouettes like….[sings]
Dylan: [Laughter] I can just see it.
Carlos: You didn’t take ballet when you were younger, is ballet bigger?
Dylan: It is for high class girls who live in the city.
Carlos: Aaah, that’s right. You lived in the…
Dylan: I lived in the country and wasn’t high class so, no.
Carlos: Okay. Okay well, let’s move away from that.
Dylan: Yes [laughter]
Carlos: Okay guys. Let’s have a closer look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Dylan: “Tomar”.
Carlos: “To take.”
Dylan: “To-mar”, “tomar”.
Dylan: “Primera”.
Carlos: “First.”
Dylan: “Pri-me-ra”, “primera”.
Dylan: “Ropa”.
Carlos: “Clothes.”
Dylan: “Ro-pa”, “ropa”.
Dylan: “Zapatos”.
Carlos: “Shoes.”
Dylan: “Za-pa-tos”, “zapatos”.
Dylan: “Aprender”.
Carlos: “To learn.”
Dylan: “A-pren-der”, “aprender”.
Dylan: “Equivocado, equivocada”.
Carlos: “Mistake”, “mistaken”, “wrong.”
Dylan: “E-qui-vo-ca-do, e-qui-vo-ca-da”, “equivocado, equivocada”.
Carlos: Okay guys, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases for this lesson.
Dylan: The first word we’ll look at is “tomar”.
Carlos: “Tomar”, “to take.” And in which form did we hear the word “tomar” in our conversation today?
Dylan: Well, actually we lucked out because today the verb is an infinitive.
Carlos: Do tell.
Dylan: Well, today is Pedro’s first day and he arrives and says “Hola, vengo a tomar mi primera clase”.
Carlos: “Hi, I’m here for my first class.” Now wait, couldn’t we say “I’m here to take my first class?”
Dylan: Well, that would be a viable alternative, sure, but we get the point.
Carlos: Now we have studied “tomar” before.
Dylan: That we have.
Carlos: And now I say “tomar” more than “beber” when I talk about drinking.
Dylan: Yes. “Beber” is rarely used as you know. When talking about a drink, you are taking something.
Carlos: “A Silvia no le gusta tomar cerveza”. “Silvia doesn’t like to take beer.”
Dylan: But if you think about how we say this in English, it does make sense. “Tomar”, “to take”, “to take a class.” We just took some translation license.
Carlos: So “beber” is a related word?
Dylan: That’s correct. I think that when referring to beverages, “tomar” is the most common used.
Carlos: I would have to agree.
Dylan: Next up, “primera”.
Carlos: And actually that means “first.” Loved my first day of classes.
Dylan: Me too, I’m always so motivated.
Carlos: And you get new supplies.
Dylan: You are such a nerd!
Carlos: Guilty as charged.
Dylan: “Hola, vengo a tomar mi primera clase”.
Carlos: “Hi, I’m here for my first class.”
Dylan: Boy is he in for a surprise!
Carlos: I know.
Dylan: You know I’m so proud.
Carlos: Why?
Dylan: Because “Ticos siempre es el primero de la clase”.
Carlos: Really, that is the reason you are proud of him.
Dylan: We try not to put too much pressure on him and that seems to work. That boy is smart as a whip.
Carlos: “El primero”, “the first.” I like it.
Dylan: Well next up, “ropa”.
Carlos: “Clothes.”
Dylan: This is where Pedro’s situation begins to unravel.
Carlos: Why?
Dylan: Well, the dance instructor says “Muy bien, pero necesita ropa especial, por lo menos los zapatos”.
Carlos: “Very well, but you need special clothes at the least the shoes.” That’s strange, no necesitas ropa especial para bailar Salsa.
Dylan: Like I said, this is where his situation begins to unravel.
Carlos: Hhhm, interesting. Hey Dylan, how do I say “attire”?
Dylan: You read my mind. I was just thinking that for a related word.
Carlos: Perfect.
Dylan: “El atuendo”. “The attire.”
Carlos: Nice.
Dylan: Next up. More clothes.
Carlos: I like clothes.
Dylan: “Zapatos”.
Carlos: “Shoes.”
Dylan: And with Carlos, “shoes” means Converse.
Carlos: What can I say, I live a casual lifestyle.
Dylan: I don’t think I ever see you in anything different.
Carlos: You aren’t lying. They are simple and go with anything.
Dylan: Well, you can use them in this class.
Carlos: Still trying to figure out what class you mean.
Dylan: “Por lo menos los zapatos”.
Carlos: “At least shoes”, is it tap?
Dylan: No, but you are getting close.
Carlos: Man, it’s not what I think it is.
Dylan: Wait and let’s see.
Carlos: Well for a sample sentence I’ll just defend myself again. “A mi me gustan los Converse, son zapatos cómodos”.
Dylan: Comfort is an important thing.
Carlos: What about a related word?
Dylan: Do you know the noun “calzado”?
Carlos: No.
Dylan: “Footwear.”
Carlos: I would never guess that.
Dylan: And now we come to the real type of class.
Carlos: I got it just thinking about it.
Dylan: Well, first the word, the verb, a very important verb, “aprender”.
Carlos: “Aprender”, “to learn.”
Dylan: And now “¿Ballet?, yo no quiero aprender ballet, yo quiero aprender Salsa”.
Carlos: Ballet, oh no! He walked into it now.
Dylan: Why not? Learning ballet could be fun.
Carlos: Could be but that is not enough for what you do in the clubs.
Dylan: You got a point. And why do men learn Salsa?
Carlos: Easy to dance with women.
Dylan: That is the bottom line, always.
Carlos: But I know I wouldn’t be, I know I wouldn’t be presently surprised if I was in his position.
Dylan: Well, I guess he knows why the classes were so cheap.
Carlos: True.
Dylan: Quería aprender ballet cuando era joven.
Carlos: I think most girls want to learn ballet when they were young which explains why a grown man might not be so keen to enter a class now.
Dylan: It’s all about the “el aprendizaje”.
Carlos: “The learning.”
Dylan: And that’s what we are all here for.
Carlos: Okay, last but not least.
Dylan: An interesting sounding adjective.
Carlos: Which?
Dylan: “Equivocado, equivocada”.
Carlos: You know, I don’t even know where to begin to figure that one out.
Dylan: “Equivocado, equivocada”. “Mistaken”, “wrong.”
Carlos: Okay. “Señor, usted está en el edificio equivocado”.
Dylan: “Sir you are in the wrong building.”
Carlos: You can say that again.
Dylan: So maybe he got lost. Maybe he has another class that is in another building.
Carlos: Could be, I hope so I mean. I hope he didn’t prepay.
Dylan: I’m sure he could get a refund.
Carlos: Hope so. Oh wait, now I know how to use the adjective. I’m always but on the spot when someone calls me on a wrong number, I don’t know what to say.
Dylan: Easy, all you have to say is “creo que usted tiene el número de teléfono equivocado”.
Carlos: “I think you have the wrong telephone number.” Nice. That one is going directly into my everyday phrase book.
Dylan: Happy to help.
Carlos: Some related words would also help.
Dylan: How about a verb?
Carlos: I’m never against learning a verb.
Dylan: “Equivocarse”. “To be wrong”, “to make a mistake.”
Carlos: Good one to learn. Everyone makes mistakes.
Dylan: But with the simple letter “a”, a lot of people make mistakes.
Carlos: That’s true.

Lesson focus

Dylan: Offhand Carlos, what do we use the preposition “a” for?
Carlos: We can use the preposition “a” to express movement and finalization. We use this preposition fundamentally to express the idea of serial of figurative movement and final destination or purpose.
Dylan: Right, but we also use it with infinitives that complement it with conjugative verb of movement. It is the same when the infinitive of a verb complements the conjugative verb with a sense of finalization. On the other hand, certain compound sentences with verbs of which that do not signalize a sense of finalization and therefore do not carry the preposition “a”.
Carlos: Why?
Dylan: This is because the action is not finalized nor is the end of the action being implied. Rather, we are expressing a desire to complete an action in the future.
Carlos: Well, thank you for clarifying.
Dylan: Wait, there’s more!
Carlos: Always is.
Dylan: One last issue concerning the preposition “a”, is the aspect of distance or time period. The sense of time combines with the idea of movement from one moment to another. And with distance, we are addressing the movement from one point of space to another. These finalized transitions from point to point are the reason why we use a preposition here.
Carlos: I’m going to need some examples.
Dylan: Physical movement, final destination. “Voy a Granada”.
Carlos: “I am going to Granada.”
Dylan: “Es una carta dirigida a ella”.
Carlos: “It’s a card addressed to her.”
Dylan: Okay, now for final purpose. “Vengo a preguntar algo”.
Carlos: “I come to ask something.”
Dylan: “Van a buscar ayuda”.
Carlos: “They are going to search for help.”
Dylan: And for finalized action, ultimate intent. “Aprendo a nadar”.
Carlos: “I learn to swim.”
Dylan: “Ella enseña a leer a sus alumnos”.
Carlos: “She teaches her students to read.”
Dylan: Movement and distance. “Él va de un lado al otro”.
Carlos: “He goes from one side to the other.”
Dylan: On this example, note the contraction of “a” and “el” into “al”. We do this from the movement we express with “a” is being directed towards a masculine noun such as “el otro”, “the other.” And in points of time, “estudia de diez a doce”.
Carlos: “He studies from ten to twelve.”
Dylan: “Trabajo de nueve a cinco”.
Carlos: “I work from nine to five.”
Dylan: We also use the preposition “a” with direct and indirect complements. For example, we use the preposition “a” with the direct object complement in the sentence “En la calle vimos a tu hermana”. We cannot say “vimos tu hermana”, but rather we must say “vimos a tu hermana”.
Carlos: Wait, when does this happen?
Dylan: This always occurs when the direct object complement is a person or a thing that we have personified.
Carlos: Huh?
Dylan: Well, this means that the direct object complement is determined rather than undetermined in the mind of the speaker. For example, “vimos a tu hijo en el jardín”. Be first to a determined person, “your son”, “tu hijo”, while “vimos un niño en el jardín” refers to an undetermined person, we don’t know who the child is or his identity. In the case of indirect object complements, we use “a” to express the person or thing that receives harm or benefit from the action of a verb.
Carlos: Like...?
Dylan: For example in the sentence, “yo envié un regalo a Pedro”, the direct complement is “un regalo” and the indirect complement is “Pedro”.
Carlos: Got it.
Dylan: This preposition also has a lot of significance in terms of average, instrument and price.
Carlos: Now are more examples coming?
Dylan: Of course. For example, “a mano”, “by hand.” “Al cinco por ciento”, “at five percent” and “a tres pesetas el litro”, “at three pesetas per liter.” It also has causal significance as in “a petición del público”, “at the request of the public.”


Carlos: That was a great explanation, Dylan. Let her breathe. Okay guys. You know what? That just about does it for today.
Dylan: ¡Hasta luego!
Carlos: Nos vemos, ¡chao!


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