It’s the beginning of day two and I already know I’m in trouble. Claudia keeps telling me I have to stop with the negative thinking, but I took 5 years of French (one of it in college) and spent time in France, and can’t really speak a word of it. That’s why I figured if I just focused on learning 8 words a day really well I can at least have the minimum requirements to speak the language. But today’s list presents a number of problems (se, su, por, con, haber, no, para, como):
- What’s the difference between “por” and “para”? Both mean “for”. So far (its early in the day still) is that if there’s a human on the other side of “for” then use “para”. “El libres es para James” versus “por favor”. (I could be wrong on my “El libres” but I’ll worry about that later).
lists some more uses but they are hard to remember. I’m sticking with “Para” is used instead of “in order to” and “by” and “for the benefit of”, and “por” for just about everything else.
- “Haber” is hard. Apparently it means “to have” but also can be used (as an impersonal) for “to be” like “there is”, “there are”. I’m sticking “to have”: for now and the conjugations:
o Yo he
o Tu has
o El/Ella ha
o Nosotros hemos
o Ellos han
I skipped the plural “You” again (like I did on “Ser” yesterday) because I’m assuming people will know what I mean if I just use “tu”instead of vosotros and just chalk it up to me being “gringo”.
Once I have the conjugations I go to “translate.google.com” and try out different various on “Yo he un libro” to see if it spits back what I think it should spit back. “I have a book” in this case.
- Some of the words on today’s list are easy: no (no), con (with)
- “su” I just have to remember the expression “mi casa es su casa” my home is his home. But is it also “your home”? I guess if I’m speaking to someone directly, its “your” but if I am talking about someone else, its “his”. Also, when I was first typing this into “translate.google.com” I typed “me casa” (since I haven’t learned “mi” yet) and it spit out “marry me”. MUST be careful with that one. Here’s some more on “your” versus “his”: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1827309
- “Se” I don’t get at all. It could mean “him” or “Himself” but why not use “El”? I think I’m only going to use it, initially, in any context like this:
- “Como” means “like” or “how”. But I guess its not the verb “to like” (in fact, it’s the verb “to eat” but that’s later on the list). I think its on the most common used words list simply because everyone says when they greet each other, “how are you” – “como estas?” but its also used as “like” in analogies. Like “he is like her” is “el es como ella” (its an odd phrase but I only know the verb “ser” until now). I guess I don’t understand at the moment why “estas” means “you” in “como estas?” Any ideas?