Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Miscellaneous

  • To suggest activities to a friend: ¿Qué tal si nosotros verb form?
  • Descriptive adjectives are frequently used by Spanish speakers with ¡Qué ___!, to express English how + adjective.
  • ¿El bebé? ¡Que mono!
    ¿Michael Jordan? ¡Qué alto! ¡Y qué bárbaro!

  • Beginning with 31, Spanish numbers are not written in a combined form: treinta y uno, cuarenta y dos, sesenta y tres, and so on must be three Separate words, Remember that when uno is part of a compound number (treinta y uno, and so on), it becomes un before a masculine noun and una before a feminine noun: cincuenta y una mesas; setenta y un coches.
  • Adjectives that end in –dor, -ón, and –ín have four forms: trabajador, trabajadora, trabajadores, trabajadoras.
  • Describa a su familia, a sus amigos, etc. Note the use of a here. In this context, it has no equivalent in English. It is used in Spanish before a direct object that is a specific person.
  • Deber + infinitive – should, must, ought to (do something)
  • Su(s) can have several different equivalents in English: your (sing. or pl.), his, her, and their Usually its meaning will be clear in context. For example, if you are admiring the new car of someone you address as Ud. and ask ¿Es nuevo su coche?, it is clear from the context that you mean Is your car new? But when context is not enough, de and a noun or pronoun are used instead of su(s) to indicate the possessor.
    el coche de él / ella / Ud. / ellos / ellas / Uds.
    los parentes de Raúl / los niños / Marcos y Patricia
  • Shopping: Prices and Sizes:
    ¡Es/Fue…una ganga | regalado/a! – It is/was…a baragain | a gift (so cheap that it was given away)!
    ¡Cuesta/Costó…un dineral | un ojo de la cara! – It costs/cost…a fortune | an arm and a leg (lit., an eye from my face)!

    In Hispanic countries, shoes and clothing sizes are different from those in the U.S. It’s a good idea to ask a clerk to help you with sizes. La talla means clothing size; el número is shoe size. If you are unsure of the equivalent of your size, simply ask the clerk: ¿Qué talla/número uso?

    Although it is often possible to bargain over the price of an item in some shops or open-air markets, merchandise is generally sold at a fixed price in Hispanic stores, just as in this country.

    ¿Me lo (la/los/las) puedo probar? – May I try it (them) on?
    ¿Donde están los probadores? – Where are the fitting rooms?
    ¿Cuánto es/son? | ¿Cuánto cuesta(n)? | ¿Qué precio tiene(n)? – Ho much is it / are they?
    Necesito algo más barato. – I need something cheaper.
    ¿Se aceptan tarjetas de crédito? – Do you take credit cards?
    Me lo/la llevo. – I’ll take it.

  • Jugar is the only u ⇒ ue stem-changing verb in Spanish. Jugar is often followed by al when used with name of a sport: Juego al tenis. Some Spanish speakers, however, omit the al.
  • Note that the word se before a verb changes the verb’s meaning slightly. ¿Cuaudo se celebran? = When are they celebrated? Learn to recognize it, for it is frequently used in Spanish.
  • The noun agua is feminine, but the masculine articles are used with it in the singular: el agua. This phenomenon occurs with all feminine nouns that begin with a stressed a sound: el ama de casa (the homemaker).
  • Here are some phrases to use at mealtimes.
    • Talk about what you feel like eating with the verb apetecer (to be hungry for).
      ¿Qué te apetece cenar esta noche?
      ¿Me apetece comida china. (Me apetecen camarones.)?
    • When used with food, the verb picar means to nibble or snack on something light.
      ¿Por qué no picamos algo antes de cenar?
    • You already know how to express to be hungry. To say that you’re starving, use these expressions.
      Me muero de hambre – (lit.) I’m dying of hunger
      Tengo un hambre de lobos. – (lit.) I’m as hungry as a wolf
    • To wish someone a pleasant dining experience, say ¡Buen apetito! or ¡Buen provecho!
  • Use acabar de + [inf.] to express what you have just done.
    Acabo de cenar con mis padres. – I just had dinner with my parents.
    Acabo de conocerlos. – I just met them.

    Note that the infinitive must follow the preposition de.

  • English uses listen! Or hey! to attract someone’s attention. In Spanish the command forms of oír are used: oye (tú), oiga (Ud.), oigan (Uds.)
  • Oye, Juan, ¿vas a las fiesta así? – Hey Juan, are you going to the party (dressed) like that?
    ¡Oiga Ud., por favor! – Listen (Pay attention), please!

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