Monday, January 3, 2011

day three

1. -- pero (but) - apparently also appears in the "urban dictionary" as an occasional Spanglish word like, ""I think I liked her pero somebody tell me she ain't nothin but a mentirosa."

When I asked Claudia about “mentirosa” she thought I said “mende rosa” or “pink mind” and said that someone once called her that when referring to her as “flaky” although she says that’s not a common expression.

So now I have to look up "mentirosa" of course. Which means "liar".

2. --Todo (all). Yesterday, in reference to this blog, a friend of mine texted me “Suerte con todo” – Good luck with all. So I had a head start on today plus got the word “Suerte”

3. -- Lo (it). Claudia tells me to not learn “lo”. That its too difficult. Apparently it has many uses and appears all over the place. But its hard to figure out where to put it in the sentence. She says, “its fifth year Spanish but just be aware that its there.”

I’m not buying it. Apparently it can be used in some cases as “him”, in some cases as “it” and in some cases its used before an adjective to turn it into a noun. I’m going to stick with that third usage for today by learning a bunch of phrases its in and then calling it a day.

“Lo importante es” – the important thing is

“lo bueno es” – the good thing is

“lo mejor es”- the best thing is

“lo siento” – I’m sorry (“very important” says Claudia!, or “disculpa me”)

Its also apparently used in some expressions so I’ll try to remember some of those for today:

· a lo largo de, throughout

· a lo lejos, in the distance

· a lo loco, like crazy

· a lo mejor, probably

· lo saber todo, to know it all

· por lo general, generally

· por lo menos, at least

· por lo pronto, for now

· por lo tanto, as a result

por lo visto, apparently

So I figure I got my words for the day: “pero”, “mentirosa”, “mende”, “rosa”, “suerte”, “todo” , “lo” (but with some expressions. I still don’t feel I understand “lo” and may have to learn more expressions tomorrow).

Some more about "lo":


  1. James, you're doing a wonderful thing - which, though I'm happy to follow, since I'm learning French, won't do me a bit of good. Nor will I do much for you beyond cheering you on. So, with that being said...Tous mes meilleurs voeux pour votre succés!

  2. Leslie, thanks. I find that keeping a blog on the learning experience forces me "to keep it honest". Its also confronting me with the realities of learning a language. I thought I could just learn (and put down here) the 8 words I learn each day but its not so simple. "lo", by itself, requires you to learn about 100 different phrases or words or more. So I'm trying to just find the ones that are the most popular and learning those first. Still trying to figure out the best way to go about this but interacting with people helps.

  3. i think people have trouble placing the 'lo' because it is a bit awkward for english speakers.

    you ask a waiter about putting cheese on your burger

    tienes queso americano? do you have american cheese?
    si lo tengas, lo pongas...if you have it, put it (literal translation)

    notice the use of subjunctive tense...instead of saying "si lo tienes, lo pones' ....this is something i would let go..learning subjunctive is indeed difficult. However, you can also use similar conjugation for commands.

    Damelo! =Give it to me! (adding the lo at the end of the conjugation here along with 'me')

    Pongalo en la mesa!+put it on the table!

    also in prior day you mentioned haber and tener

    haber used for participles

    yo he estudiado=i have estudiado

    Hemos andado a Mexico- we have gone to mexico (verb is andare like in your andale example)

    tener is important because you can make a bunch of phrases with it.

    regualr use= yo tengo la llave. I have the key ...nosotros tenemos
    tu tienes i skip vosotros, but i think in argentina you will hear it (i lived in mexico)
    el, ella, ud. tiene ellos, ellas, uds. tienen

    tienes hambre=are you hungry
    tienes frio=are you cold
    tienes sueno=are you sleepy?
    tengo calor=im hot or warm
    tengo verguenza=im ashamed

    im going to follow this blog..going to be helpful to fill holes in my own spanish!

  4. simple rule for por y para

    use 'por' when expressing things with time or numbers
    and para for anything else

    Estabamos en la selva por dos dias. We were in the jungle for two days.

    Yo compre un anillo para mi esposa. I bought a ring for my wife.

  5. @thepuppets, these are great suggestions and gives me stuff to study today.

    On your last one, what about "por favor"? Is there a general rule when to use "por" in some common expressions?

    Good ideas on the "lo". The subjunctive is difficult for me.

    It seems like w Haber and Tener (I think, technically, tener will be day 4 for me), use "haber" with verbs (I have eaten) and tener with nouns (i have a book). but still figuring that one out. Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. More on the subjsect of Haber versus Tener:

    To have: tener and haber
    "To have" in the sense of "to possess" is tener. Haber is usually used much as the English "to have" as an auxiliary verb with the past participle. Tengo tres libros, I have three books. He leído tres libros, I have read three books. That difference is straightforward. But both verbs can also be used with que to indicate necessity. Tener que followed by an infinitive means "to have to," while hay que (hay is a form of haber) also expresses necessity but doesn't specify who is performing the action. Tengo que leer tres libros, I have to read three books. Hay que leer tres libros, three books have to be read (or, it is necessary to read three books).. A future lesson will more thoroughly discuss the uses of haber. Both tener and haber are irregular.

  7. From twitter:

    @jaltucher having lived in l.a. for over 20 years, the only 2 words one really needs to know is: cerveza and cenicero

    I looked them up:
    cerveza: beer
    cenicero: ashtray

    good to know! thanks.

  8. James,

    with por used in expressions i just learned them or became accustomed to hearing them. I will check for a steadfast rule on those (my wife to be is mexican living in guadalajara).

    Hasta luego! La bolsa esta llamandonos!! haha !! (the stock market is calling us!)

  9. It was menTe Rosa, with a "t"... this is great how you are learning James!

  10. LO

    In general replace something you have done or told before.

    I bought a car, I bought it yesterday

    Yo compre un auto, Yo LO compré ayer

    Lo replace auto. Car in spanish is he, so, I use LO

    My wife cooked my favorite dish. I have eaten it in few minutes.
    Mi esposa cocino mi plato favorito. Yo LO comi en pocos minutos
    Lo replace favorite dish. Dish is he, so I use LO

    Alguien rompió la barbie. Quién LA rompió ???
    Someone broke the barbie.
    Barbie is she, I use LA to replace

    See you
    Nos vemos