Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekly Lesson 003, 12.15.2008 "la Hora"

la Hora [O rah] - literally "the hour," is used to refer to "current time" in Spanish more than in English.

el Tiempo [tee em PO] - can mean "time," in the general sense, but also refers to "current weather", or the "tense" of a verb.

Tiempos del dia - "Times of the day"

la mañana [ma NYA na]- "the morning"
medio dia [ME dee o DI ah]- "noon" (literally "middle of the the night")
la tarde [TAHR de]- "afternoon" (literally "[when its] late")
la noche [NO che]- "night"
medianoche [ME dee ah NO che]- "midnight"

Tiempos Specificos - "Specific Times," Spanish expresses times of the day with an article las (las ocho "eight [o'clock]").


Que horas son?
What time is it?
(literally "What hour is it?/What hours are they?")

Son las tres.
It is three [o'clock].

No tengo tiempo para eso!
I don't have time for that!

Asking "When?"/Preguntando "Cuándo?"
Some question words and phrases referring to time.

Cuándo . . . ? [KWAHN do] - "When . .. ?"
Hasta cuándo . . . ? [ahs TAH KWAHN do] - "Until when . . . ?"
A que hora . . . ? - "At what time . . . ?"
[Por] cuanto tiempo . . . ? - "How long?" (literally "[For] how much time . . . ?")

Answering "When"/Respondiendo "Cuando"
As in English, questions of time can be answered with a similar phrase as used in the question.

Cuando . . . - "When . . ."
Hasta . . . - "Until . . ."
A (tiempo specifico) - "At (specific time)"
Por (duración de tiempo) - "For (duration of time)"


Cuándo vas a casa?
When do you go (to) home?

Cuando (yo) termino mi trabajo.
When I finish my work.

Hasta cuando vas estar alla?
Until when will you be over there?

Hasta las tres.
Until three.

A que hora regressas?
At what time do you return?

Cuanto tiempo estuviste en el resturante?
How long were you in the restaurant?

Por cinco horas!
For five hours!

Tu deber ("Your Assignment"), Responde completamente ("Answer completely")
At what time did you eat lunch? Write down when you did other things today. Say in general and specifically. Tell how long it took you to do something. Finally, what time is it RIGHT, RIGHT NOW?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekly Lesson 002, 12.08.2008 "Bebidas"

Bebidas [be BEE dahs] "drinks," includes all types of consumable liquids; bebido/a is the past participle of beber (v. "to drink"), and literally means "drunken" in the sense of "that which is drunken."

Beber [be BEAR] is used to describe a more qualitative essence than the mere fact of drinking, and rare as a verb except when used emphatically. It can be used to describe social situations and functions involving alcohol, usually connoting something positive.

On the other hand, tomar [to MAR] (v. "to take, consume [a liquid]"), is more factual/administrative, and thus more common when referring to drinking, even though it has other uses. It can also refer to social drinking and the like, though it has a more neutral sense.

Finally, tragar [trah GAR] (v. "to swallow") does not directly refer to drinking; however, trago ("alcoholic drinks, licquor" literally "swallowed") can be used with verbs to talk about drinking, but sometimes has a negative connotation.


El termino su bebida.
He finished his drink.

Que estas tomando/bebiendo?
What are you drinking?

Debes tomar tu medicina.
You ought to take your medicine

Le encanta el trago!
He loves [to drink] alcohol!
(literally "Drinking is pleasing to him")

Ella trago el veneno.
She swallowed the poison.

Jugo (de ______) [hu GO] - "_____ juice"
Leche [LE CHE] - "milk"
Café [ka FE] - "coffee"
[TE] - "tea"
Agua [ah GWAH] - "water"
Cola [CO la] - "soda" (not just caffeinated ones)
Vino [VEE no] - "wine"
Limonada [lee mo NAH dah] - "lemonade" (in Spanish, limon refers to both "limes" and "lemons")

Note on Pronunciation:
The "o" is always pronounced like the long "o" in English, only it is much shorter, lacking the roundness or "w" effect used in English (listen to what your mouth does at the end of "low"). Remember the difference between the Spanish and English "e;" actually, the "e" sound in "bear" is pretty close to that in Spanish.

Assignments (Deberes):
Say what you drank today. Say where and when you did so. Say what other people drank. Write all these down, and then read them aloud.

Cuida te! Take Care!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Daily Vocabulary 001-2, 12.05.2008 "Cosas Importantes"

In parallel with this week's lesson on debes, and things you might suggest someone to do, today's vocabulary is about Cosas Importantes, or "important things" which you might suggest someone to do.

ir [EER] - v. "to go"
venir [ben EER] - v. "to go"

empezar [em pess AR] v. "to begin"
terminar [tair mee NAR] - v. "to finish"

levantar (se) [LE van tar (SE)] - v. "to get up, get out of bed" (literally "to lift oneself")
despertar [des per TAR] - v. "to awake"
dormir [ben EER] - v. "to sleep"

tratar (algo) [ben EER] - v. "try (something)"
tratar de (hacer algo) [ben EER] - v. "to try to (do something)"

comer [co MAIR] - v. "to eat"
ayudar [AH yu DAR] - v. "to help"


Debes ir al mercado
You should go to the grocery store.

Debes venir a visitar me.
You should come to visit me.

Marco empiesa su deberes.
Marco began his homework.

Julia trata de ayudar su amiga.
Julia tries to help her friend.

Vamos a comer.
[We] are going to eat.

Review this week's lesson.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Daily Vocabulary 001-1, 12.03.2008 "Deberes"

Today's vocubulary is about deberes "homework," in somewhat of a academic sense.

deberes [deh BEH res] - "homework"
tarea [ta REH ah] - "task, homework"

problema [pro BLEM ah] - "problem"
pregunta [preh GOON tah] - "question"
repuesta [reh PWEHSS tah] - "response, answer"
solución [SO loo see ON] - "solution, answer"

calcular [pro BLEM ah] - v. "calculate"
responder [pro BLEM ah] - v. "respond, answer"
estudiar [pro BLEM ah] - v. "study"

proyecto [pro YEC toh] - "project"
reporte [re POR teh] - "report"
repaso [re PAHSS o] - "review"
examen [ex AH men] - "test, exam"


Christina calcula la problema y responde su repuesta.
Christiana calulates the problem and gives her answer.

Debes estudiar para tu examen.
You should study for your test.

La tarea tiene diez preguntas.
The assignment has ten questions.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Weekly Lesson 001, 12.01.2008 "Debes"

debes - [DE bess] basically means "you should," and is the second person, present of the verb deber "to ought (to), to owe" and sometimes "must." Its a decent word to use if you want to express to someone that they should do something


Debes terminir tu trabajo.
You should finish your work.

Debes ir a casa.
You should go home.

Debes limpiar el piso.
You ought to clean the floor.

Debes seis dollares.
You owe six dollars.

Note on Grammar: Unlike some languages, a pronoun subject "I, you, he, she, we, they" does not always need to expressed verbally, as it is usually implied in the inflected verb. So the examples above could also take the form:

(Tu) debes ir a casa.
(You) should go home.

but does not normally. Verb inflection, or conjugation, is very important in Spanish, and for the most part follows simple rules, but it does take some getting used to and practice outside this study.

Note on Pronunciation: the "e" in Spanish is pronounced somewhere in between the [eh] you think of in words like "bed" or "dead," and the [ay] you hear in "bay" or "day." Neither of those two sounds really approximates it best, its very much in between them. Just to be a tad more phonetic, this vocalic is produced with the tongue slightly farther to the front of the mouth when compared with [eh] and with the tongue slightly higher in the mouth when compared with [ay]. This [e] sound is in both syllables in the above word. I will transcribe the Spanish "e" that way to avoid confusion with slightly rare [ay], but will make sure to remind you about it until your use to it.

Also, the "s" in English sometimes sounds like a [z] ("days," "is," "to use") almost always at the end of the word. In Spanish, the "s" sound is more regular, but within some dialects, can act similar to the English "s" at the end of words . It can be more fricative (more like [z] than [s]), but that would be more based on your dialect. So you can pronounce all s's the same, with a more hissing than buzzing sound. Just don't be surprised if hear words like [DE besz], its just a special pronunciation of the letter and not the word.

Further Notes on the Word: Aside from its use for suggestions, deber has come to mean "assignment," and the plural deberes can be generalized as "homework, assignments."

Suggested Assignments: Use the word debes five times. Make sure to SAY it out loud when you practice. Write them down, and practice! Also, when you make a suggestion to someone in English, see if you can say it in Spanish.

Debes usar la palabra "debes" cinco veces.

Introduction / Introdución

Welcome / Bien Venidos!

Canela Ahoritita! is an online blog, dedicated to teaching the Spanish Language. Though the blog is obviously in a static, written format, the posts are meant to be as interactive as possible, including Pronunciations, Dialogue, and Translations. Though memorization of grammatical constructions often aides and is emphasized when learning a new language, this blog does not intend to focus too much on detailed grammar, though when it is important, any grammatical rules will be explained. Instead, Canela Ahoritita! attempts to cater to a more casual approach, emphasizing practicing speaking and writing, and learning from mistakes as you go along.

The posts on this blogs have one of two formats: (1) Weekly Lesson and (2) Daily Vocabulary. All Spanish text is presented in bold; new vocabulary is accompanied by pronunciations in [BRAK ets] and translations in "quotations; examples are translated into English using italics.

Weekly Lesson
These lessons are posted on Monday afternoons EST. They are usually focussed around different commucative or special topics such as "Saying Hello" or "Going to the Beach." These posts include and suggest hefty, written and oral assignments (details below). The lessons introduce and go over different aspects of the topic, which include Pronunciations, Dialogue, Translations, Notes on Usage, and some Grammar. They are meant to read out loud, and prefferably gone over more than once.

Daily Vocabulary
These are posted throughout the week, Tuesday through Friday (not every day, but at least twice a week). For the most part, they are meant to supplement the Lesson of the Week. They may also, include Useful Phrases or Idiomatic Expressions. Sometimes smaller assignments are suggested along with these postings.

The assignment's are meant for the Spanish student to practice what she/he has learned, in order to further instill the lesson. It is the belief of this blogger, that the only way to learn is to PRACTICE!

The assignments are best when reviewedr and corrected by someone with decent experience with the language. Though it is not the focus of this blog to do so, you can email canel.ahoritita AT gmail DOT com. I'll be glad to work out an simple monetary arrangement with you, preferably per week or assignment.

More Format, Blog Navigation and Usage Info
For the most part, the topics are not presented in any hierarchal order, i.e. the lessons are not meant to build on each other. This is so anyone who starts reading the blog can start where ever they like. However, the blog is updated, obviously, linearly with time. An advantage of that is if I want to refer to something already covered, I can link back to it, so as to be efficient. Though it is also possible for the site to update older posts by linking to relevant newer posts, that is most likely going to be reserved for the most obvious of links. As all blogs hosted by Blogger, the posts are completely searchable, by Lesson or Vocabulary, and by topics included in the keywords.

For the time being I do allow comments, and though I don't suspect anyone will abuse that, they do see it as a possibility. Feel free to ask questions about the topic presented there, to which I'll respond with comment as well.

Though there is an official Spanish Language, there are several ways to express oneself in Spanish, as it is the third most popular language in the world by speakers. Though a credible source for instruction in Spanish, Canela Ahoritita, through the lessons presented in this blog, is not responsible for any misuse or misunderstanding of the Spanish language.