Subjunctive What??

As you’ve probably noticed…Spanish has a million verb tenses.  Okay, not really a million, more like 14.  Perhaps one of the most common (0r confusing) is the Subjunctive tense.  It’s a little difficult to explain because we don’t have a subjunctive tense in English, only a Subjunctive Mood.  The Subjunctive, tense or mood is used to express doubts, wishes, and conjecture….when we think something might happen, but it may not.

Subjunctive Mood (English):

I hope that we can go the the beach this weekend. (We may or may not)

See how were not using a different tense in English to express doubt?  Just the good old present tense.

Subjunctive Tense (Spanish):

-We use this tense to express:

Wishes

Emotions

Needs

Doubts/desires

Impersonal Expressions (weird name, but IEs are expressions where there is no particular subject, but a general statement, i.e. “It is best that we leave now so we’re not late.”)

To form the Subjunctive Tense in Spanish we use the opposite verb endings:

AR Verbs

yo- e
tú- es
él- enosotros- emos
uds.- en

IR/ER Verbs

yo- a
tú- as
él- a
nosotros- amos
uds.- an

We also (generally) have two verb phrases joined by “que”:

(Yo) Espero que ellos lleguen temprano.
I hope that they arrive early.

Formula: Subject 1 Verb 1 (present tense) + que Subject 2 Verb 2 (subjunctive tense).

The reason for this formula is:

There is NO doubt that I want them to arrive early (that’s why Verb 1 is in the present tense)

BUT I don’t know if they will be early or not (that’s why Verb 2 is in the subjunctive tense)

 

Hopefully that’s not too much of a brain-scrambler! More to come soon!

 

Preterite vs. Imperfect

Spanish has two past tenses.  I know that sounds weird…how can that be?  Well, I’ll tell you.  In Spanish, the Preterite tense is used when we have a completed action in the past, with a specific time frame.

Example:

Last night we ate spaghetti. (Last night is my time frame and we know it’s a completed action because I can’t ‘un-eat’ my spaghetti).

Español:

Anoche comimos los fideos (noodles).

The other past tense, the Imperfect is used for an ongoing action in the past, where there is no specific time frame.

Example:

We ate noodles every Friday last winter.

Here I know I’m using the Imperfect because this was an ongoing action in the past….every single Friday last winter.

Español:

Nosotros comíamos los fideos cada viernes el invierno pasado.

For more examples and practice visit my store at:

https://meganmoody.selz.com

la nieve

Here in the South we have witnessed the effects for Winter Storm Pax and I’ll say this, it’s not too bad.  We have a lot of snow and I even ventured out in it today for a little while.  For me, that’s a big feat, I hate being cold.  And I’ll tell you one thing, my cats certainly don’t like it at all!  In honor of our weather I thought I’d share some winter vocabulary.

la nieve- snow
el frío- cold
el hielo- ice
blanco- white
el copo de nieve- snowflake
el invierno- winter
la tormenta- storm

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la mano pintada

La mano pintada
“The painted hand”

This phrase is a peculiar one.  I suppose your hand could be painted, but when I think about this phrase I don’t think of a painted hand, but painted nails, ‘uñas pintadas.’  When I was in Córdoba, Argentina (6 years ago now), there was a small shop called, “La mano pintada” that sold women’s clothing, bathing suits and accessories.  It was a cute store, but I remember it for quite an embarrassing reason that for some reason I feel compelled to share with all of you.

When I packed for my 6-month trip, I confess I did a very poor job and didn’t pack a lot of things I really needed, one of those things being a bathing suit.  I guess I didn’t really think I’d need one, which was such a big mistake. I don’t know if it was this store in particular, or the whole of Argentina, but there wasn’t a single one-piece.  Not that I don’t like two-piece bathing suits, but theirs consisted of two triangles for the top and a thong for the bottom.  To make matters worse, the sizes are very very different.  They only had 0, 1, 2, and 3 on the floor and 4s available in the back.  Now, I don’t know what these equate to in the US, but I know here I’m a size 6-8. And the saleswoman proclaimed (after examining my rear) that she hoped I would fit in a 4. Awkward.

Anyway…after getting the least revealing bikini, in a size 4, I wore it twice over there, under clothes and haven’t touched it since.

But..I’d still like to say a bit more about the phrase, “la mano pintada”.  If you didn’t know, ‘la mano’ is one of those words that is an exception to the rule as far as gender agreement (ends in ‘o’ but is feminine). Also, just because I never do it! I’ll show you my pretty pink ‘uñas pintadas’ (painted nails).

Happy Thursday!

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happiness is….

For me, I’ve realized that happiness is helping others. I truly love what I do: tutoring. And it’s what makes me the most happy, no matter what is going on in my life. If someone would have told me (almost) 3 years ago now, that I would start a business where I’d be teaching everyday, I don’t think I would have believed it. But now, I can’t imagine doing anything else. And I’m so thankful to be able to use my gifts and talents in a way to help others learn and grow.

Holes in Education

I have tutored for over six years now.  In that time I have worked with students from 12 months old to adults in their seventies. In this time and with this experience I have learned many things. Now, mind you, some of these things may be a matter of opinion, but I believe they are important.

- No two students are the same

- Textbooks are generally for the birds, and best used as references

- When it comes to grammar explanations, textbooks generally leave students dumbfounded and confused

- The average student needs an English grammar lesson to be able to identify parts of speech in a foreign language

- Immersion is extremely important, as is an excellent foundation

Why are there these ‘holes’ ? Honestly, I don’t know for sure, but here’s my good guess:  the general education system. I understand there are certain subjects that every student needs to learn, i.e. math, reading, etc. But the concept of a general education is beyond ridiculous. No one person is exactly like another. And what does a general education do? Take all the pressure off the parent and put that pressure on the teacher.

Oh don’t worry about teaching Timmy the alphabet, or phonetics, or even basic manners…..Mrs. Smith will do that for you. And for the parents of her other 29+ students. And we wonder why we have a problem.

Now, this wasn’t meant to be a rant. Truly, I wanted to mention some ‘holes’ I have noticed only to say, perhaps as a parent you can ask your student, ‘how are things going?, are you struggling with something, can I help?’