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Lesson Transcript

Beatriz: Buenos días, me llamo Beatriz.
Joseph: Joseph here. The Essential Tools. Part 2. Beatriz, great to be here with you.
Beatriz: De igual manera.
Joseph: I’m really looking forward to the second Verb Conjugation Lesson.
Beatriz: Me too.
Joseph: You know last time we covered a lot of ground.
Beatriz: Maybe too much.
Joseph: Yeah I was thinking the same thing but it’s okay because we can start off today’s lesson by reviewing what we learn last time.
Beatriz: That sounds like a great idea. With the verbs in Spanish it’s really important to learn them step by step.
Joseph: I couldn’t agree with you more. You know in Spanish there’s such a well defined system for the verbs. I mean they are really organized. Maybe I’m wrong but they seem a lot more organized then the system for English verbs.
Beatriz: I think you are right. And as you begin to learn the system there is a kind of pleasure you can get from understanding how it works.
Joseph: There is isn’t there?
Beatriz: Yeah. At first you just start off with a few verbs and then after you learn them, you move on to another group.
Joseph: Right and before you know it you are conjugating verbs and understanding them without even thinking about it.
Beatriz: Yeah, it’s great.

Lesson focus

Joseph: So, today we will start off by reviewing what we covered in Lesson 1 of the Series and then we will move on and talk about a couple of other essential tools that you will need to understand how verbs work in the Spanish language.
Beatriz: ¡Y no se olviden de bajar el pdf para esta lección! Para reforzar lo que estamos por estudiar.
Joseph: You are really on point today, Beatriz. Don’t forget to pick up the PDF in this Lesson to reinforce what we are about to study.
Beatriz: And join us for this Lesson for SpanishPod101.
Joseph: So, Bea, last time we agreed that when we are talking about action in a sentence we are going to associate this action with a what?
Beatriz: With a verb.
Joseph: A verb. Right, I like the way you put it the last time. I think you said a verb expresses an act, an occurrence or a way of being.
Beatriz: Exactly. And we also said that a verb is made up of a number of parts. Do you remember how many?
Joseph: Well, we said two parts.
Beatriz: That’s right, two parts. And what were the names of these parts?
Joseph: Well, there is the stem, which in Spanish is “el radical” and then the ending, “la terminación”.
Beatriz: Can you give us some examples?
Joseph: Of course. Let’s look at the verb “hablar”, “to speak.” The stem is just “habl”, spelt “h-a-b-l” and the ending is “-ar”, spelt “a-r”.
Beatriz: So far, so good.
Joseph: Yeah, I think this is probably ringing some bells out there. So we also talked about a certain distinction. For example, if I say “María me llama”, “María calls for me”, does the verb “llama”, “calls”, seem real, possible or more like a command?
Beatriz: Oh. It’s seems real.
Joseph: Oh and if we say, “Dudo que María me llame”, “I doubt that María will call me”. Now does it seem real, possible or like a command? Y no digas “probable”.
Beatriz: This time it sounds possible but not very real.
Joseph: And if I say “María llámame”, “Maria call me”, now what does it sound like?
Beatriz: This time it’s a command.
Joseph: Great job, Beatriz. So what do we call this distinction?
Beatriz: Estos son lo modos. These are the moods.
Joseph: Yes, they are. And when an action is said as if it were real, what do we call this?
Beatriz: Decimos el modo indicativo. The indicative mode.
Joseph: Right. And when the action is unreal?
Beatriz: Sería el modo subjuntivo, the subjunctive mode.
Joseph: Excellent. And when the action is expressed as the command?
Beatriz: El modo imperativo, the imperative mode. Don’t forget it.
Joseph: Okay, so we remember what a verb is, what it does and what the three modes are, this is great. Beatriz, another question.
Beatriz: A ver, a ver.
Joseph: What’s the difference between these two expressions? “Eres de Madrid”, “You are from Madrid”, and “Sois de Madrid”, “You all are from Madrid.”
Beatriz: Well, in the first one the verb is singular, “eres”, and in the second is plural, “sois”.
Joseph: So a verb can be either singular or plural. Okay? So if the subject is plural the verb is plural, and if the subject is singular the verb is singular.
Beatriz: And we can call these “el número”. The number of the verb when we want to refer to either of these two possibilities.
Joseph: That’s right. Now there is one more point we want to introduce which I think we should go over briefly but before we get into new material today. And I think I have a good example to help us recall it.
Beatriz: Let’s hear it.
Joseph: In the expression, “llamo a Claudia”, “I call Claudia.” Is the person who’s doing the calling the same as the person who’s speaking or is it different?
Beatriz: It’s the same.
Joseph: And whenever the speaker does the action of the verb alone or with others, what can we say about this verb?
Beatriz: That it’s in the first person.
Joseph: Very nice, Beatriz. And in the expression “miras a Claudia”, “you look at Claudia”, is the person who’s doing the looking the same as the one who’s speaking or is it the one who’s being spoken to?
Beatriz: Okay, this time the person who’s looking is the person being spoken to.
Joseph: Right, right. And when the person being spoken to alone or with others is the participant in the action of the verb, what can we say about this verb?
Beatriz: That it’s in the second person.
Joseph: Very good. Now, just one more here.
Beatriz: Let’s do it!
Joseph: In the expression “ella trabaja en el banco”, “she works in the bank”, is the person who’s doing the working the same as the speaker as the person being spoken to or is it some other person?
Beatriz: Ah. It’s some other person.
Joseph: That’s right. And when the participant of the action of a verb is someone or something else other than the speaker or the person being spoken to, what can we say about this verb?
Beatriz: We can say it’s in the third person.
Joseph: You’ve got it. So Beatriz, when we are talking about verbs, we can also break them down into the category called person and this person can be either the first, the second or the third. Alright, now I’ve got another question for you, Bea.
Beatriz: And I’ve got an answer for you.
Joseph: Great. It pertains to the verb “viajar”, “to travel.”
Beatriz: Okay.
Joseph: What’s the stem of this verb “viajar”?
Beatriz: The stem is “viaj”.
Joseph: Okay. And this is spelt ‘v-i-a-j’. Now, what’s the ending of it, “viajar”?
Beatriz: The ending is -ar.
Joseph: Great. And this ending is spelt ‘a-r’. With that in mind what’s the difference between these two expressions? “Viajaré a Costa Rica”, “I will travel to Costa Rica” or “viajé a Costa Rica”, “I travelled to Costa Rica.”
Beatriz: Well, in the first one you are describing a trip that you’ll take in the future and in the second one you are talking about a trip that you already took in the past.
Joseph: Right. So even though these two verbs “viajaré” and “viajé” are in the same mode, the indicative mode and in the same person, the first person and have the same number, they both singular, there’s a difference in the time when these actions occur.
Beatriz: Claro, es una diferencia de tiempo.
Joseph: And when we are talking about “tiempo” in relation to verbs, how do we usually translate this word?
Beatriz: This is what we call “tense.”
Joseph: Exactly. Tense. So when we are talking about verbs we use the word “tense” to refer to the instant or period in which the meaning of a verb occurs. Now going back to the first distinction we made in this section, is it the stem of the verb or the ending which tells us that a verb is in one tense or another?
Beatriz: It’s the ending.
Joseph: So with the verb “viajé”, “I travelled”, what’s the stem?
Beatriz: “Viaj”.
Joseph: Right. So the stem doesn’t change, does it?
Beatriz: Nope.
Joseph: And if that’s the stem, then what’s the ending that tells us that it’s in the past?
Beatriz: It’s just “-é”.
Joseph: Right. And that’s just an “e” with an accent over it, “viajé”, “viajé”. And what about the other verb, “viajaré”? We now know that the stem stays the same, so what’s the ending that tells that this verb is in the future?
Beatriz: “-aré”.
Joseph: Great. And this is spelt “a-r-e” with an accent over the “e”, “viajaré”, “viajaré”. So Bea, I’ve got another distinction that I want to make.
Beatriz: ¿Otra? Another one?
Joseph: Yup. What’s the difference between these two expressions: “Gabriela escribió la carta”, “Gabriela wrote the letter”, and “la carta fue escrita por Gabriela”, “the letter was written by Gabriella”?
Beatriz: Well, in the first example Gabriella is the subject of the verb “escribió” and she’s also the one who’s doing the action.
Joseph: Right. She’s the one who wrote the letter. Now, in the second example, is this the same?
Beatriz: No, it’s not.
Joseph: How is it different?
Beatriz: Well, in the second expression the subject is “la carta”, “the letter”, but this letter is receiving the action of the verb.
Joseph: Exactly. So when the subject of the verb carries out the action, we can say that this verb is in the active voice and when the subject of the verb receive the voice then we can say it’s in the passive voice.
Beatriz: So Joseph, here is a question for you.
Joseph: Alright, let’s have it.
Beatriz: How many types of verbs are there in Spanish?
Joseph: Wow, there are so many different types.
Beatriz: Claro, pero si pudiéramos clasificar los verbos regulares en clases o categorías...
Joseph: Well, if we were to classify the so call regular verbs in groups or categories, I would have to say there would be three.
Beatriz: How can we identify these three?
Joseph: Well, there are those that end in “ar”, those that end in “er” and others that end in “ir”.
Beatriz: Así es. Entonces los que terminan en “ar” se llaman la primera conjugación, los que terminan en “er” se llaman la segunda conjugación y los que terminan en “ir” se llaman la tercera conjugación.
Joseph: That’s a great point, Beatriz. So the verbs that end in “ar” or “-ar” are called the first conjugation and the others that end in “-er”, “er” are called the second conjugation and the others which ends in “-ir”, “ir” are called the third conjugation.
Beatriz: That’s right.
Joseph: Bea, this word conjugation, “conjugación”, is one that’s always coming up . A mean we even use it in the title of the Series
Beatriz: Well, it’s a key term.
Joseph: Does it only refer to these three groups of regular verbs?
Beatriz: Oh, no.
Joseph: That’s right. There is another meaning too, isn’t there?
Beatriz: Yep.
Joseph: Can you tell us what it is?
Beatriz: Es una serie ordenada de las distintas formas de un mismo verbo con las cuales se denotan sus diferentes modos, tiempos, números y personas.
Joseph: That’s a great way to put it. So it’s an organized Series of the different forms of the same verbs which is express its different modes, tenses, numbers and persons.
Beatriz: Así es, Joseph.
Joseph: So when we talk about a conjugation in this sense we are really talking about a scheme that we use to look in the different forms in an organized way.
Beatriz: So the conjugation of a verb in this case shows all of its forms.
Joseph: Nice. Now Bea, each verb in Spanish has a lot of forms and it can really take a while before you can look at them all together and make sense of what you are seeing. So, is there a way that we can look at just a part of the complete conjugation of a verb?
Beatriz: Of course, we can look at the forms of a verb side by side and focus on their formation.
Joseph: And when we put them side by side like this, what do we called it?
Beatriz: We call it “un paradigma”.
Joseph: A paradigm. Right and there are lots of different ways to make paradigms for verbs in Spanish and if you pick up the PDF for this Lesson, you’ll see a few of the most common paradigms that we used to study Spanish verbs.
Beatriz: Así es.


Joseph: Thanks for joining us today, for the second part of this introduction to verbs. Be sure to check us out next time when we begin our study of how to conjugate verbs in Spanish. Alright, don’t be a stranger.
Beatriz: ¡No se pierdan!