www.whyville.net Nov 23, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Spanish for the Clueless

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Last week we got the hang of the AR verbs (If you missed it, take a look at article 9717). The ER verbs are pretty similar - they're verbs that end with ER, and the ending changes depending on the person doing the action. The main difference is the endings - take a a look.

Yo - o
Tu (accent over u) - es
El (accent over e), Ella, Usted - e
Nosotros - emos
Vosotros - eis (accent over e - pronounced EH-ees)
Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes - en

Remember that in Spanish, the "e" sounds like "eh."

The first ER verb we're going to use is "comer" (Coh-mehr), which means "to eat." To say "you (plural) eat" we follow the same steps as the ones for AR verbs:

1.) Find the verb. Here, it's "comer," meaning "to eat"
2.) Drop the ER. This leaves me with "com"
3.) Add the proper ending. It says on the chart that the ending for "ustedes" (meaning "you (plural)") is "en." Com + en = Comen
4.) Combine the pronoun and the conjugated verb. Here, it's "Ustedes comen."

Let's take the verb "aprender" (Ah-prehn-deh), meaning "to learn." How do we say "We learn Spanish"?

1.) The verb is "aprender," which means "to learn"
2.) "aprender" without the "er" is "aprend"
3.) The ending for nosotros (meaning "we") is "emos." Aprend + emos = aprendemos
4.) The pronoun (nosotros) and the conjugated verb (aprendemos) together is "Nosotros aprendemos."

Espanol (tilde over n) is "Spanish." Put it all together and you get "Nosotros aprendemos espanol (tilde over n)"

Here's a quick challenge - using the verb "comprender" (cohm-prehn-dehr), meaning "to understand," say "You (singular informal) understand"

These are some other ER verbs:

Deber (Deh-behr) - to owe
Responder (reh-spohn-dehr) - to respond
Vender (vehn-dehr) - to sell

"Dolares" (accent over "o." Pronounced: DOH-lah-res) is Spanish for "dollars." How would we say "They (masucline) owe ten dollars"?

1.) The verb is "deber," "to owe."
2.) "deber" without the "er" is "deb"
3.) The ending for "ellos" (meaning "they (masculine)") is "en." Deb + en = deben
4.) The pronoun (ellos) combined with the conjugated verb (deben) is "Ellos deben"

We know that "diez" is Spanish for "ten" and that "dolares" (accent over o) means dollars. Ten dollars = diez dolares (accent over o)

They owe (Ellos deben) + ten dollars (diez dolares (accent over o)) = Ellos deben diez dolares

Now, stop and give yourself a huge pat on the back. You're speaking Spanish!

Time for me to go and "comer un taco"!



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