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Lesson Transcript

Dylan: Hola, hola a todos. Habla Dylan, ¿cómo están?
Carlos: What’s going on, pod101 world? My name is Carlos.
Dylan: In this lesson, you will learn about the preposition “a”.
Carlos: This conversation takes place on a street.
Dylan: The conversation is between Jorge and a woman.
Carlos: Now the speakers are strangers so they’ll speak informally. Let’s listen to the conversation.
JORGE: Hola, ¿dónde está la parada del autobús?
MUJER: La parada queda en la próxima esquina.
JORGE: ¿Quiere decir que está en la próxima esquina?
MUJER: Sí señor, queda en la próxima esquina.
JORGE: Queda… quedar…., ¡¡¡ahh!!! ¡Es igual a estar!
Jorge: Hello, where is the bus stop?
Mujer: The bus stop is at the next corner.
Jorge: What you're saying is that it's at the next corner?
Mujer: Yes sir, it's at the next corner.
Jorge: It's at…it's at…ahhhh! The same as "to be."
Carlos: And now, with the translation. “Hola, ¿dónde está la parada del autobús?” “Hello, where is the bus stop?”
Dylan: “La parada queda en la próxima esquina”.
Carlos: “The bus stop is at the next corner.”
Carlos: “¿Quiere decir que está en la próxima esquina?
Carlos: “What? You are saying that it’s at the next corner?”
Dylan: “Sí señor, queda en la próxima esquina”.
Carlos: “Yes sir, it’s at the next corner.”
Carlos: “Queda… quedar…., ¡¡¡ahh!!! ¡Es igual a estar!” “Aaah the same as to be.”
Dylan: Wow, he got confused.
Carlos: Well no, no, because in Spanish we are using “quedar” with “estar” kind of like the same thing. So the example, “la parada quedo”.
Dylan: “Queda”.
Carlos: “Queda en la próxima esquina”.
Dylan: Right, “the bus stop is at the next corner.”
Carlos: I would have gotten confused too, ehe? Wait, what? See little things happen like that all the time.
Dylan: Yeah, it’s cute.
Carlos: I know, I was told the other day that I speak Spanish like a three year old. Because they aren’t very good at verbs, conjugated or irregular verbs like...
Dylan: You know what, at least you are trying to conjugate. That’s important.
Carlos: I’m trying to conjugate
Dylan: That’s good. Good for you, Carlos.
Carlos: Okay, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for the lesson.
Dylan: “Parada”.
Carlos: “Stop.”
Dylan: “Pa-ra-da”, “parada”.
Dylan: “Próxima”.
Carlos: “Next.”
Dylan: “Pró-xi-ma”, “próxima”.
Dylan: “Esquina”.
Carlos: “Corner.”
Dylan: “Es-qui-na”, “esquina”.
Dylan: “Decir”.
Carlos: “To say”, “to tell.”
Dylan: “De-cir”, “decir”.
Dylan: “Igual”.
Carlos: “Equal”, “likewise.”
Dylan: “I-gual”, “igual”.
Dylan: “Quedar”.
Carlos: “To stay put”, “to remain”, “to be located.”
Dylan: “Que-dar”, “quedar”.
Carlos: Okay, let’s have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Dylan: The first word we’ll look at is “parada”.
Carlos: “Parade”?
Dylan: You would think that wouldn’t you?
Carlos: That’s why I said it.
Dylan: It actually means “stop.”
Carlos: Now that sign makes sense.
Dylan: What did you think the line of busses meant?
Carlos: A parade of busses.
Dylan: Hey, that makes sense. Well, anyways. Jorge has a question, a common question for someone taking an unfamiliar bus.
Carlos: And what’s that?
Dylan: “Hola, ¿dónde está la parada del autobús?”
Carlos: “Hello, where is the bus stop?”
Dylan: Yes, as opposed to “where is the parade of busses?”
Carlos: It might still make sense.
Dylan: Well, what you also might find very common at least in Costa Rica is “una parada de taxis”.
Carlos: Yes, I think those are common all over the place. And also a parade of taxis is a line.
Dylan: I guess so. “La parada de bus está en San José centro”.
Carlos: “The bus stop is in downtown San José.” That’s good, that’s where all the bus stops are.
Dylan: It is the capital and thus the center point.
Carlos: I will always say, there are many things that I feel are mismanaged in Costa Rica. But one of them I will never say is mismanaged is public transportation.
Dylan: Oh yeah?
Carlos: Yes. I swear. Sometimes it’s better than New York.
Dylan: Have you heard the verb “parar”?
Carlos: No, can’t say that I have.
Dylan: Well, think about it. If “parada” means “stop”, “parar” means...
Carlos: “To stop”!
Dylan: Good one.
Carlos: Elementary my dear Dylan, elementary.
Dylan: Alrighty, next up coincidentally is “próxima”.
Carlos: “Próxima”, “next”, huh! I got the joke.
Dylan: And this example from the conversation is very practical.
Carlos: “La parada queda en la próxima esquina”.
Dylan: “The bus stop is at the next corner.”
Carlos: ¿Sabes qué Dylan?
Dylan: Dime.
Carlos: El próximo año voy a ir a Eurropa
Dylan: Europa.
Carlos: Eaurrropa.
Dylan: Europa.
Carlos: Eurropa.
Dylan: Europa.
Carlos: Eaurropa. [*]
Dylan: Well kind of, Europa.
Carlos: Eauropa
Dylan: No.
Carlos: Europa
Dylan: There’s no “a” in there.
Carlos: Europa
Dylan: Europa
Carlos: Europa
Dylan: Aiaiaiaia!!!
Carlos: I’ll keep practicing.
Dylan: Europa
Carlos: It’s hard. Try it out audience, let us know how it goes.
Dylan: Europa
Carlos: Europa
Dylan: That’s better.
Carlos: I was trying to mock it. That’s funny.
Dylan: That is a hard word to get at first, Carlos.
Carlos: That is true.
Dylan: Now there is another word that we use to say “next”.
Carlos: Yes?
Dylan: Yes, “siguiente”.
Carlos: Right, I would have used that instead of “próxima”.
Dylan: You could have, those are interchangeable.
Carlos: Always good to know.
Dylan: Now our next word was just in our example.
Carlos: Must be “esquina”.
Dylan: Why would you say that?
Carlos: Just a guess, was I right?
Dylan: Yes, you were.
Carlos: “Esquina”, “corner”, a very important word to know when you are in a taxi.
Dylan: Right, like when you are going to school and have to direct the driver you could say...
Carlos: “La escuela está en la escuela”.
Dylan: “The school is on the corner.”
Carlos: Now I know that “la calle”, “the street”, could easily be a related word.
Dylan: But what about “la acera”?
Carlos: “La acera”, I can’t even say that, I don’t know what that means.
Dylan: One of the things not very common in places in Costa Rica, “a sidewalk.”
Carlos: Oh, those. I forgot about those.
Dylan: Next up, an oldie but goodie, “decir”.
Carlos: “Decir”, “to say” or “to tell.” I used it a lot in the preterit tense to not know it.
Dylan: Well, first let’s look at the conversation before we get into your personal usage. Okay?
Carlos: Okay.
Dylan: “Quiere decir que…”
Carlos: “What you are saying is that…”
Dylan: Now what were you saying?
Carlos: What I was saying is that I have noticed that the more I speak Spanish on a daily basis, the more I find myself saying “te dije” or “me dijo”.
Dylan: “I told you” and “you told me.” Yes, those are common phrases in everyday conversations. And that’s good. Plus you have provided us with an irregular usage in the past tense.
Carlos: These newbies are ready for that.
Dylan: So then they are ready for the related word “el dicho”.
Carlos: “The saying”?
Dylan: Yes. Next up, an important verb, “quedar”.
Carlos: “Quedar”, “to stay”, “to be left”, “to remain.”
Dylan: But it also has another use.
Carlos: And if I remember correctly, that confusing with another use is the base of the conversation.
Dylan: Right you are.
Carlos: So then.
Dylan: Well, the woman first tells Jorge, “La parada queda en la próxima esquina”.
Carlos: Right, an example that we heard already which means “the bus stop is at the next corner.”
Dylan: And Jorge’s confused and answers to that, “¿Que quiere decir que está en la próxima esquina?”
Carlos: “What you are saying is that it’s at the next corner?”
Dylan: And he comes to realize that in fact “quedar” in this sense is equal to “estar”, “to be.”
Carlos: Which might as well be a lead into our final word.
Dylan: True, “igual”.
Carlos: “Equal”, “similar.”
Dylan: Here is when Jorge expresses his happy realization when he says “¡Es igual a estar!”
Carlos: “The same as to be!”
Dylan: So we have an adjective that expresses equality.
Carlos: “Mi libro es igual al tuyo”.
Dylan: “My book is the same as yours.”
Carlos: Now the opposite of this would be “diferente”.
Dylan: “Different”, a little easier to decipher.
Carlos: Or the noun “la igualdad”.
Dylan: “The equality”, a very important idea in this country.

Lesson focus

Dylan: Prepositions.
Carlos: Oh oh, prepositions. Tiny but deli.
Dylan: We can use the preposition “a” to express movement and finalization.
Carlos: So we have the preposition “a”. Now we use the preposition fundamentally to express the idea of material or figurative movement and final destination or purpose. We also use it with infinitives that compliment a conjugated verb of movement. It is the same when the infinitive of the verb complements a conjugated verb with a sense of finalization.
Dylan: But on the other hand, certain compound sentences with verbs of volition do not signify a sense of finalization and therefore do not carry the preposition “a”. 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: But 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 movement from one point of space to another. These finalized transitions from point to point are the reason why we use the preposition here.
Dylan: Observe the following examples with the preposition “a”.
Carlos: Physical movement from a destination.
Dylan: “Voy a Granada”.
Carlos: “I am going to Granada.” Now is that Nicaragua or Spain?
Dylan: Uuuh, good question. “Es una carta dirigida a ella”.
Carlos: “It’s a card addressed to her.” Now final purpose.
Dylan: “Vengo a preguntar algo”.
Carlos: “I came to ask something.”
Dylan: “Van a buscar ayuda”.
Carlos: “They are going to search for help.” Now finalized action, ultimate intent.
Dylan: “Aprendo a nadar”.
Carlos: “I learned to swim.”
Dylan: “Ella enseña a leer a sus alumnos”.
Carlos: “She teaches the students to read.” And finally, movement or distance.
Dylan: “Él va de un lado al otro”.
Carlos: “He goes from one side to the other.”
Dylan: Now in this example, note the contraction of “a” and “el” into “al”. We do this when the movement we’ve expressed with “a” is being directed towards a masculine noun such as “el otro”, “the other”, or the example from our conversation.
Carlos: “¡Es igual a estar!”
Dylan: “It’s the same as to be!”
Carlos: Now, points in time?
Dylan: “Estudia de diez a doce”.
Carlos: “He studies from ten till 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 object complements. For example we used the preposition “a” with a direct object compliment in this sentence, “en la calle vimos a tu hermana”. We cannot say, “vimos tu hermana”. But rather we must say “vimos a tu hermana”.
Carlos: This always occurs when the direct object complement is a person or a thing that we have personified. This means that the direct object complement is determined rather than undetermined in the mind of the speaker.
Dylan: For example, “vimos a tu hijo en el jardín” refers to a determined person, "your son”, “tu hijo”, while “vimos un niño en el jardín” refers to an undetermined person, we don’t know the child’s identity.
Carlos: 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 the verb. For example, in the sentence “yo envié un regalo a Pedro”, the direct complement is “un regalo” and the indirect complement is “Pedro”.
Dylan: This preposition also has motor significance in terms of average instrument and price. For example, “a mano”, “by hand”, “al cinco por ciento”, “at five percent” and “a tres pesetas el litro”, “at three pesetas per liter.”


Carlos: It also has a casual significance as in “a petición del público”, “at the request of the public.” Okay guys, that just about does it for today.
Dylan: ¡Hasta luego amigos!
Carlos: Nos vemos, ¡chao!


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