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Dylan: Hola, hola todos, habla Dylan, ¿cómo están?
Carlos: What’s going on, pod101world? My name is Carlos. “You can do it in Spanish.”
In this lesson, you will learn about the verb “poder”.
Dylan: This conversation takes place in a coffee shop.
Carlos: The conversation is between Daniel and Andrés.
Dylan: The speakers are friends and are speaking informally.
Carlos: Let’s listen to the conversation.
ANDRÉS: Daniel, ve a hablar con ella, pídele su número de teléfono, ¡tú puedes!
DANIEL: ¿Tú crees?
ANDRÉS: ¡Claro que puedes!, ¡sólo inténtalo!
DANIEL: Sí, tienes razón, lo voy a hacer.
ANDRÉS: ¡Bien!, amigo, ¡así me gusta!
Andrés: Daniel, go talk to her. Ask her for her phone number… you can do it!
Daniel: You think so?
Andrés: Of course you can! Just try it!
Daniel: You’re right. I’m gonna do it.
Andrés: Great! My friend, that’s how I like it!
Dylan: So Carlos, how has it been for you in Costa Rica with like you know flirting, picking up girls, the whole dating thing?
Carlos: Well, the men here are moving like a pack. And it’s like that in the United States too but it’s weird because the girls move in a pack too. It’s like a wild discovery thing when you go to a bar, it’s like you know a group over here and a group over there and all your friends are going to push you, like Andrés is pushing Daniel, but they want you to fail to laugh at you.
Dylan: Well, that’s a good laugh.
Carlos: It is a good laugh but what can I say but yes, you get more male bravado when you actually go up to as many women as possible. One thing that’s very different here is that you can just walk up on the street and say “¡hey guapa!”
Dylan: Yes and get slapped.
Carlos: It doesn’t happen.
Dylan: Well, if it were me I’d slap you.
Carlos: Oh. Well, okay.
Dylan: Be careful, Carlos.
Carlos: I will be careful.
Dylan: Now the girl with the short skirt, she might not slap you. Really, really, really short skirt.
Carlos: Oh yes, then I’m going to scream “guapa”, no I’m going to go “guapísima”. Okay guys, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Dylan: “Claro que”.
Carlos: “Of course.”
Dylan: “Cla-ro que”, “claro que”.
Dylan: “Intentar”.
Carlos: “To try.”
Dylan: “In-ten-tar”, “intentar”.
Dylan: “Razón”.
Carlos: “Reason.”
Dylan: “Ra-zón”, “razón”.
Dylan: “Así”.
Carlos: “Like this”, “like that”, “so.”
Dylan: “A-sí”, “así”.
Dylan: “Gustar”.
Carlos: “To like”, “to be pleasing.”
Dylan: “Gus-tar”, “gustar”.
Dylan: “Pedir”.
Carlos: “To ask for”, “to request.”
Dylan: “Pe-dir”, “pedir”.
Carlos: Okay guys, 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 “pedir”.
Carlos: “To ask for”, “to request.”
Dylan: You know what they say, Carlos?
Carlos: What do they say?
Dylan: Ask and you shall receive.
Carlos: Not always true but that would be the advice that I would give to Daniel.
Dylan: Yes?
Carlos: Yes, I mean Andrés is a good friend.
Dylan: He’s definitely being supportive.
Carlos: “Daniel, ve a hablar con ella, pídele su número de teléfono, ¡tú puedes!”
Dylan: “Daniel go talk to her, ask her for her phone number, you can do it!”
Carlos: You know guys need that kind of encouragement sometimes. You know women can be hard to approach.
Dylan: Not all of us.
Carlos: But we also have a very interesting construction here.
Dylan: Definitely, you may have not known immediately that the verb “pedir” is in this example.
Carlos: I know I wouldn’t have.
Dylan: When we say “pídele”, what we have here is the verb “pedir” conjugated in...
Carlos: The imperative.
Dylan: And what else do you see there?
Carlos: Well, looking also we see the third person indirect object pronoun being used.
Dylan: So instead of just hearing “pide”...
Carlos: It becomes “pídele”, “ask her.”
Dylan:Let’s switch it around.
Carlos: Okay.
Dylan: “Javier me pidió un lapicero ayer”.
Carlos: “Javier asked me for a pen yesterday.” Man, once I understood the placement, it opened up my Spanish world.
Dylan: Can we think of another verb that might help us out?
Carlos: Definitely, the verb “solicitar”.
Dylan: Which means...
Carlos: Pretty obvious, “to request” or “to solicit.”
Dylan: Or?
Carlos: “To ask for.”
Dylan: Claro que...
Carlos: “Of course”, “claro que sí”.
Dylan: Would you say that this phrase is used every day?
Carlos: More or less, to be honest with you.
Dylan: Like someone asks you a question...
Carlos: And my immediate response is usually “claro”.
Dylan: So when you say it, your response is almost like a given.
Carlos: Pretty much.
Dylan: So Andrés really is trying to help out his friend.
Carlos: Definitely. “¡Claro que puedes!”, “of course you can!”
Dylan: I’m sure he could go and ask a woman for a phone number but that doesn’t mean that the answer will be affirmative.
Carlos: Oh, definitely not, but in this situations you have to think positive.
Dylan: “¿Vas a ir a la fiesta?”
Carlos: “Am I going to the party?” “Claro que sí”.
Dylan: “Of course.”
Carlos: See, usually automatic guys.
Dylan: Why can’t you just shorten it to “claro”?
Carlos: Oh, that happens even more.
Dylan: “Intentar”.
Carlos: Oh, I like this verb. “Intentar”. “To try.”
Dylan: There’s more to it.
Carlos: “To try”, “to do something”?
Dylan: There you go.
Carlos: “¡Sólo inténtalo!”
Dylan: “Just try it!”
Carlos: I see another interesting formation here.
Dylan: That’s right, we once again have the informal imperative and it’s coupled with “lo”, a third person indirect object pronoun.
Carlos: “Inténtalo”.
Dylan: Carlos, what is something you’ve always tried to do?
Carlos: “Intenté arreglar mi carro, pero no pude”. “I tried to fix my car but I couldn’t.”
Dylan: Not surprised, those cars aren’t easy.
Carlos: No, they aren’t.
Dylan: We have another formation that has the same meaning.
Carlos: And what’s that?
Dylan: “Tratar de”.
Carlos: “To try to”? But that’s another grammar lesson, isn’t it?
Dylan: Yes.
Carlos: Tienes razón. I love that word.
Dylan: Why?
Carlos: “Razón”, “sazón”. I like the “-ons”.
Dylan: Okay, that’s a good use of the tilde, good execution.
Carlos: I thought so.
Dylan: Now, “razón” is a cognate.
Carlos: I would agree, yes in a sense.
Dylan: “Razón”, “reason.”
Carlos: Right and Daniel uses it in its most common use in my mind. I mean that the way I hear the noun being used.
Dylan: “Sí, tienes razón”.
Carlos: “You are right”, but really what he is saying is...
Dylan: “You have reason.”
Carlos: So when you are having a conversation with someone in Spanish and they have a point. You say?
Dylan: “Sí, tienes razón”.
Carlos: ¿Sabes qué?
Dylan: ¿Qué?
Carlos: A mi novia le gusta tener la razón siempre.
Dylan: That’s normal, most women are always right, always, anyways.
Carlos: You know I’m not going to argue with that point.
Dylan: And the verb form?
Carlos: “Razonar”, “to reason” or “to reason out.”
Dylan: Así es.
Carlos: That’s right.
Dylan: The adverb “así”.
Carlos: So many meanings “like this”, “like that”, “so”...
Dylan: “Así me gusta”.
Carlos: “That’s how I like it.” Good, I’m glad when my boy gets enough courage to speak to girls he likes.
Dylan: But are you really watching and hoping for him to crash and burn?
Carlos: I wouldn’t say crash and burn but that is always an entertaining turn of elements.
Dylan: We already heard an example sentence.
Carlos: “Así es.”
Dylan: “That’s it!”
Carlos: Wow this is an encouraging tone to take.
Dylan: Last but not least, “gustar”.
Carlos: “Gustar”, so common and so misunderstood.
Dylan: “To like” or “to be pleased by.”
Carlos: Now, why don’t I say “yo gusto”?
Dylan: Because “gustar” only uses the third person singular and plural forms along with the direct object pronouns which are...
Carlos: “Me”, “te”, “le”, “nos”, “os”, “les”.
Dylan: So are we going to hear something like “me gusta” or let’s say that we are talking about cats .
Carlos: Okay.
Dylan: And I wanted to ask you , “Carlos, do you like cats?” How do you ask that question?
Carlos: “¿Te gustan los gatos?”
Dylan: “Do you like cats?” Since we have cat’s plural we use...
Carlos: “Gustan”.
Dylan: If we are talking about one cat?
Carlos: “¿Te gusta el gato?”
Dylan: “Do you like the cat?”
Carlos: See “gustar” may be one of the first verbs that you learn but it’s in no way easy.
Dylan: No, you have to get used to it.
Carlos: So Andrés says “¡así me gusta!”
Dylan: “That’s how I like it.”
Carlos: Singular.
Dylan: If he was talking about many women he might say...
Carlos: “¡A mi me gustan!”
Dylan: Perfect! Now let’s move on to the grammar section.

Lesson focus

Carlos: Let’s!
Dylan: The focus of this grammar lesson is the verb “poder”.
Carlos: Which means “to be able.”
Dylan: Where was it used in the conversation today?
Carlos: “¡Claro que puedes!, ¡sólo inténtalo!”
Dylan: “Of course you can, just try it!”
Carlos: So what’s so special about the verb “poder”?
Dylan: Well, we usually use the verb “poder” as an auxiliary verb.
Carlos: Which means...
Dylan: Which means that it requires another main verb to complete its meaning.
Carlos: Right. So what does “poder” express?
Dylan: “Poder” expresses possibility and ability. When we use it the main verb that follows is in the infinitive form.
Carlos: Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s go through the conjugations.
Dylan: Sure, the present indicative singular, “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.” Okay and “-o” to “-u” stem changing verb. Nothing too difficult.
Dylan: Let’s check out some sample sentences.
Carlos: Sounds good.
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”.
Carlos: “He is able to go.”
Dylan: What do you notice?
Carlos: Well, I notice that in the first second and third person of the singular, the verb “poder” has a stem change as I already mentioned.
Dylan: Well, let’s make it clearer.
Carlos: It’s the stem “pod-”
Dylan: And?
Carlos: When you conjugate it, it’s stems changes to “pued-”.
Dylan: Audience, this is a pattern that you should remember.
Carlos: That’s right, because this pattern also applies to other verbs. Such as “mover” where the stem “mov-” and “moví” changes to “muev-”.
Dylan: Learning these subtleties early on will ultimately save you time in the future.


Carlos: Take it from Dylan guys, she speaks the truth. But you know what, that little tip makes it just about that time and that just about does it for today.
Dylan: ¡Hasta luego!
Carlos: Nos vemos, ¡chao!


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