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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Dylan: Bienvenidos a SpanishPod101.com.
Dylan: Buen día, soy Dylan.
Carlos: What’s going on? I’m Carlos. Verb Conjugation Series #21 – “The Imperfect of Courtesy”.
Dylan: Hey, Carlos! Hey, everybody! How you doing today?
Carlos: Not bad, Dylan, not bad, you know! How about yourself?
Dylan: How’re you feeling about the Imperfect now, Carlos?
Carlos: I would say almost perfect.
Dylan: No!
Carlos: No, seriously! I think I got the Imperfect Tense past orations.
Dylan: Good! So, we’re moving on?
LESSON FOCUS
Carlos: Yes! Today we’re sticking with the same tense as the last time, the Imperfect Tense. But the usage is different.
Dylan: That’s right, Carlitos! Hoy vamos a aprender cómo usar el tiempo imperfecto para expresar la cortesía.
Carlos: Let’s see, let’s see! We’re going to learn how to use the Imperfect Tense to express, what’s that word?
Dylan: La cortesía. Courtesy! It must be because you’re from New York!
Carlos: Listen, we’re courtish, just in a offensive way!
Dylan: I’m just kidding! All right! So, for the formation today, we’re going to focus on three more verbs that are regular in this tense: “caminar”, “creer” and “venir”.
Carlos: Ok! “Caminar” – “to walk”, “creer” – “to believe” and “venir” – “to come.”
Dylan: As always, valuable verbs to know.
Carlos: You know, here at Spanishpod101 for the people.
Dylan: What’s that mean, Carlos?
Carlos: Well, I mean look at that. We have this Verb Conjugation Series, and within the Learning Center we have the Grammar Bank and then a Verb Section, I mean has all the tenses explained. It’s a beautiful thing, really!
Dylan: For the people, you’re right!
Carlos: Like the fingertips, and once you go once, it’s like any chip, you can’t just do it once, you can’t just want. They keep going back, and back, and back.
Dylan: Good, good! Because they can learn a lot with this. Ok! So, other than your competitive side, I think we should get into the usage section.
Carlos: I’m here to learn!
Dylan: Well, answers are one thing. But one must ask the right questions.
Carlos: Right! So, Dylan, since you tend to think that I lack of courtesy…
Dylan: No!
Carlos: Would you be so kind as to explain how the Imperfect Tense on the Indicative Mood can be used to express politeness?
Dylan: It would be my pleasure, sir!
Carlos: Madame!
Dylan: So, last time, we said that the Imperfect Tense expresses an unfinished aspect of the verbal action, right?
Carlos: Yes, Madame!
Dylan: Good! All right! So, this aspect of unfinished verbal action also explains why this tense is used instead of the Present. It is so called Imperfect of Courtesy, in which the sense of politeness seems greater in the Imperfect than it does in the Present.
Carlos: For example?
Dylan: Well, if you’re in a restaurant, a waiter may ask you “¿qué deseaba usted?”.
Carlos: “What are you wishing for?”, seriously? Because I got a list.
Dylan: Yes! Well, that’s not a very good translation.
Carlos: Why do I do have a list? But, you know what, Dylan? That doesn’t sound like a very courteous way to say that.
Dylan: Well, that’s just the way they do it, “¿qué deseaba usted?”
Carlos: Well, then, if my translation was kind off, how would you translate that?
Dylan: Well, I guess it would be something like “What would you care for, Sir?”.
Carlos: Naty, if you’re listening, you could probably learn something here too. I’m sorry, I shot to get that one in.
Dylan: So, while in the Present, we would say “¿qué desea usted?”. The Imperfect is more polite, “¿qué deseaba usted?”
Carlos: Now, tell me if I’m wrong here, but I thought we used the Conditional Tense for cases like these.
Dylan: Well, that’s also possible, but here we’re focusing on the Imperfect and this is one of the ways that it can be used.
Carlos: All right, all right! I’ll buy it! But, you know what? I’ll buy it better with an example.
Dylan: All right! Well, I could ask you “¿qué querías hacer esta noche?”.
Carlos: You know what? That one sounds familiar. This is similar in English like “What did you want to do tonight?”
Dylan: Así es, all right! Now, notice that the verb is in the Past, “did want” - “querías”. But we’re talking about the future – “tonight.”
Carlos: Yes! You know what? I can see how that might be more polite.
Dylan: We modestly ask our question or our desire in the Imperfect, as something that begin, the end of which we make depend on the will of the person whom we address.
Carlos: So, really, like politeness is the key.
Dylan: I would think so!
Carlos: You know I’m definitely going to study this! I tend to come out so brute sometimes.
Dylan: You? No!
Carlos: Yes, seriously! It’s pretty bad! But I admit it! There’s no reason like taking it out, you know what I mean.
Dylan: Just kidding, Carlos!
Carlos: Like I said! I have a ruffed stereo, but I have feelings too. You know?
Dylan: Yes, yes! Right, right, right!
Carlos: [unintelligible 00:04:39]. All right! So, you know what? I think I need a recap.
Dylan: All right! Yes?
Carlos: Or a nightcap.
Dylan: Recap, Carlos, recap!
Carlos: Now, not for the irregular verbs, but in general, I remember it being kind of easy.
Dylan: It is! All right! First remember! Ok, first remember! We can divide the verbs into two groups: “ar” verbs and “er”, “ir” verbs.
Carlos: Ok, remembering!
Dylan: Ok! So, last time we started with the verb “estar”.
Carlos: And today?
Dylan: Well, first remember, all we’re going to do is remove the infinitive ending and add the personal endings for the Imperfect.
Carlos: Which are again?
Dylan: “-aba”, “-abas”, “-aba”, “-ábamos”, “-abais” and “-aban”.
Carlos: Right, right, right! I remember now! Like the first and second person singular, identical.
Dylan: Right! So, let’s start today with the verb “caminar”.
Carlos: Shoot!
Dylan: “Caminar”.
Carlos: “To walk.”
Dylan: “Yo caminaba”.
Carlos: “I was walking.”
Dylan: “Tú caminabas”.
Carlos: “You were walking.”
Dylan: “Él caminaba”.
Carlos: “He was walking.”
Dylan: “Nosotros caminábamos”.
Carlos: “We were walking.”
Dylan: “Vosotros caminabais”.
Carlos: “You were all walking.”
Dylan: “Ellos caminaban”.
Carlos: “They were walking.” Dylan, you know, examples always do really help, but I know I keep saying it, but you know, sometimes. So, what’s up with some examples with “caminar” in the Imperfect Tense?
Dylan: All right! “Caminaba a la tienda cuando te vi” – “I was walking to the store when I saw you.”
Carlos: What were you trying to buy, because I am thirsty and kind of hungry. You could pick something up, it’s kind of rude.
Dylan: Ok! I got some food in my purse. All right! “Caminábamos mucho cuando vivíamos en la playa” – “We used to walk a lot when we lived on the beach.”
Carlos: Where you doing sunsets, and like holding hands and all that stuff?
Dylan: No, not you and me, Carlos!
Carlos: All right! No, I’m just saying, I would’ve remembered, but you know we used to walk and us lived in the beach, it’s a nice...
Dylan: It’s not about you, Carlos, it’s not about you, it’s just an example!
Carlos: Who have you been talking to? But, I couldn’t have lived on the beach, man. Too hot!
Dylan: No way! The beach is the best!
Carlos: No, I’m serious! When I went to Panama, I was dying. It was sick!
Dylan: Why?
Carlos: Well, the reason I like San José is because of the elevation and it’s like cooler weather.
Dylan: Yes? That’s true! Well, the beach here is paradise.
Carlos: No, because I was writing in my journal and I was in a nice place and my arm was dripping with sweat, I mean you can cut the air with a knife.
Dylan: Nice image…
Carlos: I try to be creative.
Dylan: Keep trying! It wasn’t that nice. Ok! The next verb up is “creer”.
Carlos: All right! Let me take a crack at it. “Creer” – “to believe”?
Dylan: Yes! “Yo creía”.
Carlos: “I was believing”.
Dylan: “Tú creías”.
Carlos: “You were believing.”
Dylan: “Él creía”.
Carlos: “He was believing.”
Dylan: “Nosotros creíamos”.
Carlos: “We were believing.”
Dylan: “Vosotros creíais”.
Carlos: “You all were believing.”
Dylan: “Ellos creían”.
Carlos: “They were believing.” All right, Dylan! Now the conjugation’s down, how about some examples with “creer” in the Imperfect Tense?
Dylan: All right! “No te creía hasta que lo vi con mis propios ojos” – “I didn’t believe you until I saw it with my own eyes.”
Carlos: And even sometimes when I see it with my own eyes, I don’t believe it. It’s just one of those things.
Dylan: Carlos… Here’s another one! “Cuando era niña creía todo lo que le dijeron” – “When she was a child, she used to believe everything they told her.”
Carlos: You know what? When I was a kid, my sister used to tell me things that I completely accepted and it was kind of messed up.
Dylan: Like what?
Carlos: Well, like she told me she used to have another little brother and she got hungry, ate him.
Dylan: That’s so wrong!
Carlos: Well, wait, how much older is Tico than Samba?
Dylan: That’s like three years.
Carlos: See? Are you ready for the older brother torture?
Dylan: Oh, God, help her!
Carlos: It will come! Speaking of which, our next verb is “venir”.
Dylan: That was a slick move. So, you want me to do it?
Carlos: Sure!
Dylan: All right! “Venir”.
Carlos: “To come.”
Dylan: “Yo venía”.
Carlos: “I was coming.”
Dylan: “Tú venías”.
Carlos: “You were coming.”
Dylan: “Él venía”.
Carlos: “He was coming.”
Dylan: “Nosotros veníamos”.
Carlos: “We were coming.”
Dylan: “Vosotros veníais”.
Carlos: “You all were coming.”
Dylan: “Ellos venían”.
Carlos: “They were coming.” Wait, you know what? And to finish this off, let’s put “venir” in context with some examples of it in the Imperfect Tense.
Dylan: All right! “Venían a la casa cuando el auto se malogró” – “They were coming over to the house when the car broke down.”
Carlos: That’s happening all the time.
Dylan: Here’s another one! “¿De dónde venías?” – “Where were you coming from?”
Carlos: San Pedro, where I live, over there, you know, it’s very close to studio.
Dylan: Cool! Nice one again, Carlitos!
OUTRO
Carlos: You know, Dylan, if I just say it to myself. We’re getting better and better.
Dylan: If you have any tips or cutis out there, audience, let us know, please!
Carlos: That’s right! We’re happy to respond. You know, you pose the question to us and we will get on it and we’ll answer it. You have questions on anything, verbs, grammar, even Costa Rica, we have recommendations!

Paradigms

Quiz

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Thanks to Kevin Macleod for the music in today's lesson. Here, we see how the imperfect tense is used to express courtesy. Does anyone out there remember how we use the conditional tense to express courtesy?