“Te veo” o “Te veré”… That is the question!

¡Necesito ayuda, Lupita!  I’m having grammar issues.  (Sí, otra vez.)

Back to my studies…

It occurred to me (actually, has occurred to me over and over) that I need to get back to my interactive audio lessons from Rocket Spanish.  As helpful (and enjoyable) as listening to Latina Pop is and soaking in the pronunciation of Spanish words set to song, I definitely do need the lessons to help me understand the rules and add to my vocabulary.

Speaking of rules…  I was listening to Lesson 5.2, a continuation of a role-playing between Amy and Mauricio started in 5.1, when I learned a new way of bidding someone farewell.  Most of us are familiar with phrases like hasta mañanahasta luego, and vaya con dios from watching movies and TV, perhaps listening to radio and recorded music.  Near the end, though, of Lesson 5.2, I was introduced to the phrase te veo mañana, which is translated by Rocket Spanish (Amy) as “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

The word veo acts as both subject and verb, since it’s the 1st-person singular, present-tense, indicative-mood conjugation of the verb ver (to see), and since the yo (I) is left out in Spanish except to add emphasis.  The word te (familiar for “you”) is the direct object.  Please pardon all the Nerdspeak.  I was an anomaly in high school English.  Almost failed the literature semester for lack of interest (back then) in reading, but lead the class, and by a wide margin, in grammar.

But there’s where my confusion lies.  As I mentioned, veo is present-tense.  Yet, the message being conveyed is “I’ll see…”, a future tense expression.  The conjugation of ser into future tense is veré.  (Check me at SpanishDict, if you like.)  Therefore, shouldn’t “I’ll see you tomorrow” be “Te veré mañana“?

Much ado about nothing?

I sometimes wonder whether I’d learn this much faster, and be more inclined to move faster through my studies, if it were not for my propensity for stopping and investigating anomalies like this one.  I remember being somewhat puzzled by the prescribed lack of article adjectives, for example, in declaring one’s profession.  I.e., en Español, “I’m a writer” is expressed “Soy escritor”.

A word-for word translation of that into English would omit the “a” and be “I’m writer”.  While I was puzzled (and a little bugged) by that, I was able to chalk it up to… well, I don’t know what and move on.  I’m sure I’ll still move on from this veo vs. veré conundrum, as well, but it might just stick in my head a little longer, to be honest.  It’s challenging enough learning all of these verbs and their many conjugations without finding out that there seem to be cases in which they’re thrown to the wind!  But I’m going to do it.  I’m determined to.

Bueno, te veré luego.

Well, that’s about all I have for this time.  Naturally, there will be another vídeo de música come Wednesday morning.  I’m not sure whether it will be from Ha*Ash, Prince Royce, one of my other favourites, or someone completely new.  Haven’t thought that far ahead.

And, I’m hoping to finish out not only lección 5.3 before next post, but hopefully all of Module 5.  Ambitious for someone who’s been slacking off, I know!

¡Te veré luego, amigas!


Adjectives Revisited (Adjetivos Revisitados)

Buenos días, amigas.  At least, it is morning as I’m creating this post. In the spirit of The Truman Show, though, buenas tardes, buenas noches,  y buenas noches. (In case I don’t see ya.) If you’re familiar with my tendency to post vídeos de la música each Wednesday, you know how much I love listening to (and sometimes attempting to translate) Latina pop.  In many of those songs, I come across the adjectives este, esta, y esto, as well as ese, esa, y eso.  In each case, I kept noticing their being translated as “this” and “that”, resp.  And I kept wondering why!

Gender games revisited

As we’ve discussed in some past posts, el idioma del español assigns gender to each noun, and, thus, the adjectives that modify said nouns and the pronouns that replace them. Read More

Objectively Speaking: Pronouns as Direct and Indirect Objects

This afternoon (and part of the previous one), I spent some time in one of the e-books I mentioned in a previous post and studied direct and indirect object pronouns, as well as pronouns acting as objects of prepositions.  For some of you, this might be akin to a visit to the dentist’s office.  As a word nerd, I was ecstatic to be getting into a lesson that wasn’t teaching me how to ask for cream in my coffee.  (Not that I have anything against coffee.  Or cream.  Love them both!)

Be direct with me.

The first lesson I popped open discussed the use of Spanish pronouns as direct objects.  Read More

LL y Y — Y v. J

Cryptic, you say?  You betcha!  But my head has been spinning recently as I attempt to determine why some Spanish speakers (and singers) pronounce the letters LL and Y with the Spanish textbook Y sound, whereas others tend to pronounce it more like a (softened) J.  I mean, it has been keeping me up nights, amigas!  (Okay, not seriously, but I do listen to Danna Paola sing many nights as I’m trying to get to sleep.  Does that count?)

My research department (read:  mi esposa, Josefina) took the time to do some digging today and found a couple of articles I’ll link to at the end of this article (si recuerdo) explaining what regions typically use the respective pronunciations. I had wondered about the difference between those 2 pronunciations, and, evidently, there are other pronunciations besides!

A little help?

What’s perplexing to me, however, Read More

Hitting the Books

Well, the book, anyway.  On my desktop lies a book.  (Didn’t that sound poetic?)  Seriously, though I have a book on my desktop — an ebook, actually — entitled Rocket Languages Beginners Spanish.  Would that I could provide you a link to it, but it is available only to members of the Rocket Languages site.  It is written and edited by Mauricio Evlampieff and Amy Waterman, respectively.  If those names sound familiar, there’s a good reason for that:  http://hermanojoaquin.com/amy-y-mauricio-introduction/

Catching up

I jumped right into the audio lessons from Rocket Spanish when I started out, without really going through any of the course orientation, since I was so excited to get started on this journey.  I wish I had kept that momentum, but I also wish I’d been a little more careful now to investigate how best to proceed with the course.   Read More

Lyrics Translation — Un Nuevo Ejercicio

For the past few weeks — almost since the beginning, actually — I have been sharing with you some of the Latino pop songs I’ve been finding on YouTube and/or those which mi hermana has shared with me.  One of the reasons I listen to these, apart from the beauty of the music itself, is to train my ear to the pronunciation of las palabras (the words) being sung, and the diction with which the artists sing them.

Another benefit to my exposure to esta música, though, is that I become curious enough about what is being sung to make use of translation sites where I find the lyrics in both Español and Inglés.  One such site — my “go-to”, actually — is LyricsTranslate, where you can find songs written in many languages translated into various others.  I have been visiting that site since way back when I first needed to know the (English) meaning of the lyrics to Soy El Mismo, the first song Lupita ever shared with me, back in octubre de 2015.

Bold or Indebted?

Read More

Más o Menos

Well, I’ve more or less (más o menos) kept my commitment to myself (and you, if you’re there yet) to study more regularly.  There are, unfortunately, some obstacles, apart from my own emotional state, that come into play, so I don’t have total control, but I’m doing my best to hold myself accountable for the time over which I do hold sway.

In so doing, I have progressed to the end of Module 3 (at least the interactive audio portion) and have learned how to talk about the weather, use the proper terms for “yours and mine” (tuyo y mío, resp.), and a number of other new and interesting additions to my vocabulary.

Day Job Discovery

Two of my life-hacking “webpreneur” heroes, Neil Campbell and Luria Petrucci, once referred to their former work life — working for someone else in a traditional role — as “the tyranny of the day job”.  If I’ve shared this before, it’s because (a) it made such an impression on me and (b) I’m 52 and sometimes forget what I’ve shared before!

Read More

¡Lo siento, amigas!

I wanted to post today about gender in pronouns (and elsewhere) in Español, but wow — I don’t know exactly how many days have passed since I last posted here!  (I’m afraid to look just yet.)  I started this blog with the intention of posting at least once per week, with an occasional guest post and/or link to an external article, podcast episode, or YouTube/Vimeo video pertaining to the study of Spanish.  Lately, I’ve really missed the mark!

My other objective was to keep myself hitting the proverbial “books” (in actuality, mostly the websites I use for self-study).  I’m afraid that I’ve fallen woefully behind in that respect, as well.  ¡Caramba!


Trust me when I tell you that I am every bit as motivated to continue with my studies, and with my blogging, as when I started this endeavor back in Noviembre de 2015.  The trouble is not a lack of motivation; it’s a deluge of noise, of inputs, of interruptions.   Read More

Te Echo de Menos

One of the entertaining aspects of learning Español in my previous foray into embracing the language was learning how so many expressions in English just really are not translated literally into Español. That is, they certainly can be, but they wouldn’t be.  It stands to reason, I suppose, since the languages derive from different cultures, which could account for such differences.

I want to outline three of those here, and I’ll ask any Spanish-speakers out there reading this (if there are any at this point, apart from Lupita) to chime in with any they know of.  I am still getting started, so I’m sure there will be many more to come.

I need to think of a term for these, if there isn’t one already.  Mi amiga virtual, Amy (Rocket Spanish instructor) often refers to words in Español that sound similar to their counterparts in English as “cognates”.  So, perhaps there is already a term for these words and phrases that are not translated literally, but I don’t know what it is just yet.  Read More

Los Cincos Ws

En Inglés, there are 5 interrogatives known widely, especially among us word geeks, as the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where, and Why.  These have counterparts, of course, in Español, but none of them begin with Ws at all.  (There’s a reason for that, but I’ll save it for later.)  Here are the English words alongside their Spanish counterparts:

  • Who:  Quién
  • What:  Qué
  • When:  Cuándo
  • Where:  Dónde
  • Why:  Por qué
  • HowCómo (for those oddballs who like to throw it into the mix)

It’s important to note the accented vowels within a few of those.  For example, the words “qué” and “que” are two totally different rascals!  The former, as explained above, means “what”, but the latter — the version with the unaccented “e” — means “that” (i.e., “the one that got away”).  The other use of “that” is another word in Español altogether, and we’ll get to that another time.  Read More