Lesson 2

 

SER y PRESENTE: USOS

 

SER:

  • Description:
    • Physical: Mi coche es rojo y pequeño (My car is red and little) / Laura es rubia (Laura is blonde)
    • Psychological: Soy feliz (I am happy) / Marco es un ignorante (Marco is an ignorant)
  • Introduction: Yo soy Lluís, soy profesor de español (I am Lluís, I am Spanish teacher) / Ella es Cristina, es mi mujer (She is Cristina, she is my wife)
  • Inherent quality: El água es líquida (water is liquid)

 

PRESENTE:

  • Present actions: Nosotros ahora estudiamos español (We now study Spanish)
  • Regular actions: Tú trabajas todos los días (you work every day)
  • Unchangeable characteristics: Los chilenos hablan español (Chileans speak Spanish)

 

 

PRONUNCIATION:

The Difficult consonants

 

  • C, at least in most of Latin America, is pronounced like the “c” in “cereal” when it comes before an e or an i, and like the “c” in “car” when it is other positions. Examples: complacer, hacer, ácido, carro, acabar, crimen. Note: Although you will be understood if you use the Latin American pronunciation, in parts of Spain the c sounds like the “th” in “thin” when it comes before an e or i.
  • B and V are pronounced exactly the same. In fact, one of the few spelling problems that many Spanish speakers have is with these two letters, because they don’t distinguish them at all from their sound. Generally, the b and v are pronounced like the “b” in “beach.” When either of the letters is between two vowels, the sound is formed kind of like the English “v,” except that the sound is made by touching the lips together instead of the upper teeth and lower lip.
  • D generally is pronounced somewhat like the “d” in “diet,” although often the tongue touches the bottom of the teeth instead of the top. But when d comes between vowels, it has a much softer sound, kind of like the “th” in “that.” Examples: derecho, helado, diablo.
  • G is pronounced much like the English “g” in “go,” although softer, except when it precedes an i or e. In those cases, it is pronounced like the Spanish j. Examples: gordo, gritar, gigante, mágico.
  • H is always silent. Examples: hermano, hacer, deshacer.
  • J (and the g when before an e or i) can be difficult, as its sound, that of the German ch, is absent in English except for a few foreign words where it is sometimes retained, as in the final sound of loch or the initial sound of Channukah. The sound is sometimes described as a heavily aspirated “h,” made by expelling air between the back of the tongue and the soft palate. If you can’t pronounce it well, you’ll be understood by using the “h” sound of “house,” but it’s worthwhile to work on the correct pronunciation. Examples: garaje, juego, jardín.
  • L is always pronounced like the first “l” in “little,” never like the second one. Examples: los, helado, pastel.
  • LL is usually pronounced like the “y” in “yellow.” There are some regional variations, however. In parts of Spain it has the sound of the “ll” in “million,” and in parts of Argentina it has the “zh” sound of “azure.” Examples: llama, calle, Hermosillo.
  • Ñ is pronounced like the “ny” in “canyon.” Examples: ñoño, cañón, campaña.
  • R and RR are formed by a flap of the tongue against the roof of the mouth, or a trill.
  • Z generally sounds like the “s” in “simple.” In Spain it is often pronounced like the “th” in “thin.” Examples: zeta, zorro, vez.

 

 

Homework:

 

– Invent a phrase with each one of the uses of verb SER.

 

– Invent a phrase with each one of the uses of the PRESENT TENSE using three different verbs from the following list:

  • Comprar
  • Cantar
  • Beber
  • Comer
  • Tocar
  • Vivir
  • Salir

Questions