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Lesson Transcript

How Much? in Mexico
Now it’s time for some useful Survival Phrases for when you decide to go shopping in Mexico.
The first thing you say to a shop clerk is disculpe, which means “excuse me” and is the apology phrase that we learned in our earlier lessons. After that, you will want to ask “How much is it?”
In Spanish, we say
¿Cuánto cuesta?
Let’s break that down:
(slow) ¿Cu-án-to cu-es-ta?
Once more:
¿Cuánto cuesta?
In this question, cuánto means “how much”.
(slow) cu-án-to
Cuesta is translated literally as "cost”, and in this case means “does it cost”.
Let’s hear this phrase again.
¿Cuánto cuesta?
This means “How much does it cost?”
If you want to know the total of what you are buying, not the cost of a single article, you would say ¿Cuánto es?, which means “how much is it?”
Let’s break the first question down:
(slow) ¿Cu-án-to es?
Once more:
¿Cuánto es?
Cuanto means “how much.”
Es is a present form of the verb that means “to be”
(slow) Es
Let’s hear it one more time:
¿Cuánto es?
Imagine that you find a clothing stand in a local market and want to buy a shirt. To attract the attention of the clerk, say disculpe, then ask how much the shirt costs. The question will sound like this - Disculpe, ¿Cuánto cuesta esta camisa?
Let’s break it down:
(slow) Dis-cul-pe, ¿Cu-án-to cu-es-ta es-ta ca-mi-sa?
And again at natural speed:
Disculpe, ¿Cuánto cuesta esta camisa?
After disculpe we have cuánto, which means “how much”.
Next comes the word cuesta, a present form of the verb “to cost”.
After that we have esta, the word for “this” in the feminine form.
(slow) Es-ta.
The last word is camisa, which is “shirt” in English.
(slow) Ca-mi-sa.
The whole question is
Disculpe, ¿Cuánto cuesta esta camisa?
“Camisa” is a feminine noun, and that’s why we need to use the feminine form of the word “this” - esta. If the thing you want to buy is masculine, replace the word esta with este.
(slow) Es-te.
There’s another sentence that’s useful when asking for prices. Let’s imagine you want to know the price of a pair of shoes. You’ll ask ¿Cuál es el precio de estos zapatos? meaning “What is the price of these shoes?”
(slow) ¿Cuál es el precio de estos zapatos?
Cuál means “what”
(slow) Cu-ál.
The next word, es, as we learned before, means “is”
El precio is translated as “the price”
(slow) El pre-ci-o.
El precio.
De estos means “of these”
(slow) De es-tos.
De estos.
And zapatos means “shoes”.
(slow) Za-pa-tos.
Notice that zapatos is a masculine and plural noun, that’s why we used estos, instead of esta.
Once again, it’s:
¿Cuál es el precio de estos zapatos?
To close out today's lessons, we’d like you to practice what you have just learned. I’ll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you’re responsible for shouting it out loud. You’ll have a few seconds before I give you the answer, so !buena suerte! which means “Good luck!” in Spanish.
“How much does it cost?”
(3 sec) ¿Cuánto cuesta?
(slow) ¿Cu-án-to cu-es-ta?
¿Cuánto cuesta?
“How much is it?”
(3 sec) ¿Cuánto es?
(slow) ¿Cu-án-to es?
¿Cuánto es?
“Excuse me, how much is this shirt?”
(3 sec) Disculpe, ¿Cuánto cuesta esta camisa?
(slow) Dis-cul-pe, ¿Cu-án-to cu-es-ta es-ta ca-mi-sa?
Disculpe, ¿Cuánto cuesta esta camisa?
“What is the price of these shoes?”
(3 sec) ¿Cuál es el precio de estos zapatos?
(slow) ¿Cu-ál es el pre-ci-o de es-tos za-pa-tos?
¿Cuál es el precio de estos zapatos?
Alright! That's going to do it for this lesson. Hasta luego.