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Dylan: Hola, hola a todos. Habla Dylan, ¿cómo están?
Carlos: What’s going on, Pod101 world? This is Carlos. In this lesson, you will learn about impersonal obligations.
Dylan: The conversation takes place at a dance school.
Carlos: This conversation is between Esteban, Ana and Pedro.
Dylan: The speakers are friends so they are speaking informally.
Carlos: Let’s listen to the conversation.
ESTEBAN: Mira Pedro, es más fácil con una pareja. Ana, baila con Pedro, por favor.
ANA: Pero yo no sé tampoco.
ESTABAN: Eso no es importante, para aprender hay que practicar.
PEDRO: Te prometo que no te voy a pisar, bueno, por lo menos lo voy a intentar.
ANA: Y yo espero no pisarte a ti.
PEDRO: Bueno, entonces intentémoslo.
Esteban: Look, Pedro, it's easier with a partner. Ana, dance with Pedro please.
Ana: But I don't know either.
Esteban: That is not important. To learn, you must practice.
Pedro: I promise I won't step on you; well, at least I'm going to try.
Ana: And I hope I won't step on you.
Pedro: Okay then; let's try it.
Carlos: I don’t know about you Dylan but I have a lot of problems with stepping on people’s feet. My feet are quite hobbit like in their width.
Dylan: I wouldn’t know, I’ve never danced with you, we should kind of go out and do that, Carlos.
Carlos: You dance salsa, right? I’ve seen you dance salsa once or twice.
Dylan: But not with you.
Carlos: Not with me, that’s right. This is the Costa Rican salsa way of dancing. Not really, you know because in New York you dance kind of in a line with salsa, it’s a lot easier to like stomp on their foot. But here you know you are throwing your foot behind you and back so it’s kind of difficult to step on their feet.
Dylan: Yes.
Carlos: Boleros is really easy to step on the feet.
Dylan: Oh, I can imagine.
Carlos: Yes, I’ve hurt my girlfriend a couple of times. Didn’t mean to. But you know guys, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Dylan: “Fácil”.
Carlos: “Easy.”
Dylan: “Fá-cil”, “fácil”.
Dylan: “Pareja”.
Carlos: “Partner”, “couple.”
Dylan: “Pa-re-ja”, “pareja”.
Dylan: “Tampoco”.
Carlos: “Neither.”
Dylan: “Tam-po-co”, “tampoco”.
Dylan: “Practicar”.
Carlos: “To practice.”
Dylan: “Prac-ti-car”, “practicar”.
Dylan: “Intentar”.
Carlos: “To try”, “to do something.”
Dylan: “In-ten-tar”, “intentar”.
Dylan: “Pisar”.
Carlos: “To tread on”, “to trample on.”
Dylan: “Pi-sar”, “pisar”.
Carlos: Okay guys, let’s have a closer look at the uses of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Dylan: The first word we’ll look at is “fácil”.
Carlos: “Fácil”. Now nothing that’s valuable comes “easy”, Dylan.
Dylan: Do you always have to start a new lesson vocabulary usage section with a little wisdom?
Carlos: Sometimes I think it’s a nice little thing to add.
Dylan: Okay well, thanks for the tidbit but let’s get to it.
Carlos: So what was our example from the conversation today?
Dylan: We have Esteban trying to calm down Pedro because he apparently has two left feet and doesn’t understand what’s going on.
Carlos: “Mira Pedro, es más fácil con una pareja. Ana, baila con Pedro, por favor”.
Dylan: “Look Pedro, it’s easier with a partner. Ana, dance with Pedro please.”
Carlos: You know as I said it, dancing salsa is easier with a partner but I’ll never forget the first school I went to. It was like a martial arts dojo. You had to learn a bunch of moves individually before you could really improve your partner again.
Dylan: That was in New York?
Carlos: Yes. Now that I think about it, I know why.
Dylan: Why?
Carlos: Because New York was like a show off and if you could do the dance moves on your own, in addition to working with a partner, it makes them look better.
Dylan: Well, I see what you are saying.
Carlos: Dylan, give me one thing that you don’t think is easy.
Dylan: “No es fácil cocinar”.
Carlos: No it’s definitely “not easy to cook.” But cooking, like dancing, is one of those things that you just had to get into.
Dylan: Yes, you’ve got to have patience.
Carlos: Well, the patience helps, “facilitar”.
Dylan: Nice use of a related verb, “facilitar”, “to facilitate”, “to provide.”
Carlos: Related words are “como parejas”.
Dylan: Which happens to be our next word.
Carlos: “Pareja”. “Couple”, “partners.”
Dylan: And the use is pretty straight forward because you usually dance with a partner.
Carlos: And that’s the beauty of it.
Dylan: “Mira Pedro, es más fácil con una pareja. Ana, baila con Pedro, por favor”.
Carlos: “Look Pedro, it’s easier with a partner. Ana, dance with Pedro please.”
Dylan: Now Ana says that she doesn’t know either but do you think that she’s just reluctant?
Carlos: Could be many things, Dylan. Getting paired up with somebody to dance is definitely a tricky situation.
Dylan: Would you say that that’s the most common use you hear of the noun “pareja”?
Carlos: No. Definitely not. I mean I usually hear it when it’s concerning a relationship pair.
Dylan: Something like “ellos hacen una bonita pareja”.
Carlos: Exactly, they make a pretty couple.
Dylan: Have you ever heard the verb, “emparejar”?
Carlos: You mean like “match socks”?
Dylan: Exactly, but it’s also meant in the romantic matching way.
Carlos: I’ve never heard it used in such a way, but now I guess I can.
Dylan: Hay que practicar.
Carlos: One does need to practice. It always amazes me.
Dylan: What?
Carlos: That if you make something that you want to learn part of your everyday life, little by little, you learn more and more.
Dylan: And before you know it, you know it!
Carlos: Huh?
Dylan: Think about it and soon it will make sense.
Carlos: Okay, but Esteban is speaking the mantra of any teacher worth their salt.
Dylan: And what’s that?
Carlos: “Para aprender hay que practicar”.
Dylan: “To learn you must practice.” “Practicar”, our next word which means…
Carlos: “To practice.” Now we have a construction here that we should point out.
Dylan: Save it for the grammar section, Carlos.
Carlos: Okay, sorry.
Dylan: Well, what is something that you practice?
Carlos: “Yo practico español”.
Dylan: We know that you practice Spanish, what is something else that you practice?
Carlos: “Yo practico escribir”.
Dylan: Right, you practice writing. How is that going?
Carlos: I’d rather not talk about it. You know I have a belief that if you talk about a project you waste energy that you could put into it.
Dylan: So do you know what you are called other than a writer?
Carlos: No, what?
Dylan: “El practicante”, “the practitioner.”
Carlos: Nice, I like that. It’s a cool little title. But it reminds me of a doctor too much.
Dylan: I can see how you can associate that.
Carlos: What’s next?
Dylan: “Prometer”, “to promise.”
Carlos: “Te prometo”.
Dylan: “I promise you”. That was our example from the conversation. Why didn’t you wait?
Carlos: Oh I actually forgot that it was ______ (0:05:45) from the combo. I just know that’s the most common way that I use the verb.
Dylan: Either way, let’s continue that line of the conversation. It has more than one of our vocab words.
Carlos: “Te prometo que no te voy a pisar, bueno, por lo menos lo voy a intentar”.
Dylan: “I promise I won’t step on you. Well, at least I’m going to try.”
Carlos: Huh!
Dylan: What?
Carlos: You know that must be a common line of people learning how to dance. Actually I have a problem stepping on people’s feet as I said when I’m just walking.
Dylan: Thanks for sharing, Carlos.
Carlos: Well you found out, but they always say “lo prometo que es facilísimo”.
Dylan: “I promise it’s very easy.” Now, do you know what you get when you make it “prometer”? A pronominal verb?
Carlos: No, what?
Dylan: It becomes “prometerse”. And now it’s a whole other level.
Carlos: Really?
Dylan: When you get to that point you are engaged.
Carlos: I’m just going to move on from that one.
Dylan: Fine. “Intentar”.
Carlos: “Intentar”, my new favorite verb.
Dylan: Why?
Carlos: Because at times I find verbs that I like. And usually, I used to say “tratar” whenever I wanted to say “to try”. Then I heard “intentar”.
Dylan: Which also means “to try.”
Carlos: “Por lo menos lo voy a intentar”.
Dylan: “At least I’m going to try.”
Carlos: You know, I just realized why I like “intentar”.
Dylan: Why?
Carlos: Because it reminds me of intention. Which is the essence of trying.
Dylan: What is the one thing you intend?
Carlos: “Yo intento mejorar mi español todos los días”.
Dylan: “I try to improve my Spanish every day.”
Carlos: At least that’s my intention.
Dylan: Or “el intento”.
Carlos: I could use “tratar de” plus the infinitive, right?
Dylan: You definitely could use that.
Carlos: Like “tratar de mejorar mi español”.
Dylan: Exactly, now tread carefully.
Carlos: I’ll try.
Dylan: Last but not least, a verb I doubt you’ve heard.
Carlos: Try me.
Dylan: “Pisar”.
Carlos: Okay, you are right, I’ve never heard that verb before. What does it mean?
Dylan: “Pisar”, “to step on”, “to tread on.”
Carlos: You know I just got an image of an environmentalist t-shirt, “don’t tread on me.”
Dylan: Well, in Spanish this verb could have been used.
Carlos: Now how do we hear it in a conversation?
Dylan: We hear it twice, but let’s hear Ana’s response.
Carlos: “Y yo espero no pisarte a ti”.
Dylan: “And I hope I won’t step on you.”
Carlos: You know that’s a good hope to have when you are dancing.
Dylan: “No es permitido pisar el césped”.
Carlos: “It’s not allowed to step on the lawn.” You know, I know that I have never seen a sun like that in the Costa Rica now that I think about it.
Dylan: Well, we don’t need those, all the lawns are gated in.
Carlos: You know what I just realized?
Dylan: What?
Carlos: I could have recognized the masculine noun, piece of floor.
Dylan: You just got that?
Carlos: Sorry, sometimes things don’t click with me quickly.
Dylan: Well, let’s get some grammar to click right away.

Lesson focus

Carlos: Now what are we studying again?
Dylan: We’ve looked at periphrasis before, especially obligations both personal and impersonal.
Carlos: Right, yes, personal. “Tener” plus “que” plus infinitive. For example, “tengo que estudiar”.
Dylan: “I have to study”, good memory!
Carlos: Thanks, because I studied.
Dylan: Well, here we are going to look at more examples using impersonal obligation.
Carlos: Right, but the formation there is different.
Dylan: Remind us how.
Carlos: Well, we expressed impersonal obligations with the verb “haber” using it as a verb of existence in a periphrastic construction.
Dylan: “Haber” should be studied closely. It has a lot of purposes.
Carlos: Now when we say something such as “hay que pagar” one must think we are expressing an impersonal obligation because really we are not specifying a particular person who must pay. And that’s what I use when I’m writing papers you know like just to make the statement impersonal.
Dylan: So what’s the formation again?
Carlos: “Hay” plus “que” plus “infinitivo del verbo”.
Dylan: “One must” plus “infinitive of verb.” Let’s hear some sample sentences with this construction. “Para aprender a bailar hay que escuchar la música”.
Carlos: “To learn to dance one must listen to music.”
Dylan: “Hay que comer frutas y vegetales para tener una buena salud”.
Carlos: “One must eat fruit and vegetables to have good health.”
Dylan: “Hay que lavarse las manos después de ir al baño y antes de ir a comer”.
Carlos: “One needs to wash their hands after using the bathroom and before eating.” At least I should hope. Nasty!
Dylan: “Para aprender una lengua hay que practicar todos los días”.
Carlos: “One must practice every day to learn a new language.” Or the example from our conversation today, “hay que practicar”, “one must practice.”
Dylan: When talking about past obligations, we conjugate the verb “haber” as a helping verb.
Carlos: Also, there is no direct way to translate the impersonal expressions of obligations, since the verb “haber” usually means “there is” and “there are.”
Dylan: Often when we translate impersonal expressions of obligations from Spanish to English, they become personal.


Carlos: But not too personal. Okay guys, you know what? That just about does it for today.
Dylan: ¡Chao!
Carlos: ¡Nos vemos!


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