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Lesson Transcript

In today's lesson, we'll cover another extremely important phrase, "Can you speak English?" Using this phrase, as opposed to speaking English at someone, it’s important for many reasons. For one, if the person you're speaking to doesn't understand English, at least they'll be able to understand what you're asking. Furthermore, it shows a lot of respect to show you that you took the time and effort to learn even a little bit of the language. And for these reasons and many more, we're going to cover this phrase.
In Spanish, "Can you speak English?" is ¿Hablas inglés?
¿Hablas inglés?
Let's break it down by syllable: ¿Hab-las in-glés?
And now, let's hear it once again, ¿Hablas inglés?
The first word, hablas, means "you speak."
Let's break down this word and hear it one more time: ha-blas.
This is followed by inglés, which in Spanish is "English."
So all together we have, ¿Hablas inglés?
Literally, this means “You speak English?” which we translate as “Can you speak English?”
Now, let’s try a different language. How about Italian?
“Can you speak Italian?” ¿Hablas italiano?
¿Hablas italiano?
The word for Italian is italiano.
Let’s break down this word and hear it one more time: i-ta-lia-no.
And italiano.
You can find out whether someone can speak a language by following hablas with the language you want to ask about. Nowadays in Spain, English is studied at schools, so the number of speakers is increasing. However, there are still many people who don’t speak English, mainly older people. Some decades ago, French was a language children learn at schools, so it’s more likely that an old Spanish person speaks French rather than English.
As was previously introduced, Spanish verbs have a a polite conjugated form, the form usted, and it’s probably better to use this form when you’re speaking with someone for the first time. So, when you ask a stranger whether he or she speaks English, it’s probably better to use the polite form usted.
The phrase we’ve learned (¿Hablas Inglés?) is the more informal conjugated form of “you.” The polite form usted is ¿Habla inglés?
Let’s break it down by syllable: ¿Ha-bla in-glés?
And once again, ¿Habla inglés?


Okay, to close out today’s lesson, we'd like for you to practice what you've just learned. I'll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you're responsible for saying it aloud. You’ll have a few seconds before I give you the answer, so buena suerte, that means “good luck” in Spanish.
Okay, here we go.
"Can you speak English?" - ¿Hablas inglés?
¿Hablas inglés?
¿Hablas inglés?
[Polite] "Can you speak English?" - ¿Habla inglés?
¿Habla inglés?
¿Habla inglés?