Lesson 5

Your homework last month was to translate these two sentences into Spanish, so here are the answers:

I like talking, but I need to work.
Me gusta hablar pero necesito trabajar.
Can I eat and drink as well?
¿Puedo comer y beber también?

If you are a fairly elementary student of Spanish and managed to do that correctly – well you’ve achieved a lot! Also it means you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve told you, which is always nice for me. For those of you who might not have got it quite right, the most typical mistake is to mistranslate “talking” – remember that “talking” is treated like “to talk” after “me gusta”. “Me gusta hablar” (I like to talk – I like talking).

Also last lesson I promised you some more of those lovely verbs to give you more scope in what you can say. Remember that at the moment we are not making any changes to the verbs we are learning – we are keeping them in their basic or infinitive form and learning ways we can fit them into sentences just as they are. Here is a quick reminder that these infinitive forms in Spanish always end in –ar, -er or –ir. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Here are some more:

Andar – to walk
Cerrar – to close
Comprar – to buy
Escuchar – to listen
Estar – to be (how or where)
Firmar – to sign
Visitar – to visit

Correr – to run
Hacer – to make/to do
Leer – to read
Tener – to have
Ver – to watch/to see

Conducir – to drive
Escribir – to write
Ir – to go
Salir – to go out

If you want to commit these to memory, the best way to do it is in a relaxed and repetitive way. Here’s a suggestion to help you. Write them down in a list, the Spanish words on the left and their English translations on the right. Sit down for 10-15 minutes in a quiet, comfortable place where you’re not going to be disturbed, turn off your mobile phone, put the cat in another room and ignore your other half for a while! Maybe put some favourite music on in the background, then read the Spanish words slowly out loud, one after the other, whilst silently noticing their translations as you go down the list. Do this once or maybe twice a day, but without putting yourself under any pressure to memorise. After a few times you will find that the words start to stick in your mind, mainly because you are relaxed as you are learning them.

Unfortunately in these articles you can’t hear our new verbs pronounced, but you should be careful about them all the same. For example leer – ‘to read’ in an English pronunciation would turn those two letter Es into a longer sound. However, each vowel in Spanish is pronounced separately, le – er, with both Es making the same pure sound. Always remember that with these infinitive verbs the beat or emphasis goes on the last syllable – andar, correr, conducir etc.

We should now start seeing what new sentences we can make. I’ll do some examples with their translations with some in English and Spanish for you to have a think about before the next lesson. You might need to do a small amount of research for some of the extra words. As usual, I’ll tell you all the answers next month.

Voy a andar a la playa.
I’m going to walk to the beach.
¿Puedo cerrar la puerta?
Can I close the door?
No necesito comprar más.
I don’t need to buy (any) more.
Me gusta escuchar música.
I like listening to music.
¿Vas a estar aquí mucho tiempo?
Are you going to be here for long?

Translate into English

No puedo firmar hoy
¿Quieres visitar a tu amigo?
No necesito correr.
Me gusta hacer los deberes.
No voy a leer todo el libro.

Translate into Spanish

Do you want to have a lot of money?
I like watching the news.
I can’t drink and drive.
Are you going to write a letter?
I need to go to the chemist.

Jane Cronin’s “Step by Step Spanish” articles are now available as e-books at www.janecronin.eu where you can also obtain Jane’s brand new “Step by Step Internet Spanish” course.