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Course Introduction

1. Nouns & Articles

2. Ser & Estar

3. Nouns & Adjectives

4. Regular Verbs

5. Ser/Estar (Past Tense)

6. Core Irregular Verbs (Present & Past)

7. Imperfect

8. Adverbs

9. Prepositions

10. Stem-changing Verbs - Part 1

11. Stem-changing Verbs - Part 2

12. Imperfect vs. Preterite

13. Syntax: Objects Overview

14. Past Participles & Present Perfect

15. Irregular and Go-verbs (Present)

16. Verbs with Irregular Yo-forms (Past)

17. Direct Object Pronouns

18. Indirect Object Pronouns, Direct & Indirect Object Pronouns Together

19. Reflexive Verbs

20. Verbs like Gustar

21. Present & Past Progressive

22. Past Perfect & Infinitive Constructions

23. Future Simple

24. Conditional

25. The Imperative


Course Introduction


Rylan: ¡Hola! Welcome back to GUTS, everyone. It has been a caffeine-fueled night here in the studio, but… we’ve done it!
Ceci: Yes. We got down to business. We brought all of our ideas to the table, had some heated debates…
Rylan: We laughed, we cried…
Ceci: And in the end, we did it. Overall, a pretty good night!
Rylan: Ok, Ceci, let’s tell our listeners what we’ve got in store for them.
Ceci: Why don’t we show them instead?
Rylan: Challenge accepted. Eso no es convencional, es... ¡ambicioso! Y... memorable.
Ceci: Esas palabras son muy familiares.
Rylan: Did you catch all those words? Convencional, ambicioso, memorable, familiares. All of these are cognates. I bet you know what they mean, and by the end of this introduction, you’ll be able to spell them, too.
Ceci: That’s right. Today we’re going to learn more cognates, and show you just how easy it is to spell and pronounce Spanish.
Rylan: Spoiler alert: it’s way easier than English.
Ceci: Ok, where should we start?
Rylan: Sounds and spelling. In Spanish, if you can say it, you can spell it, and if you can spell it, you can say it.
Ceci: Just like that?
Rylan: Just like that.
Ceci: With no exception?
Rylan: I dare you to find a single exception to this rule.
Ceci: You’re on.
Rylan: Ok, so each letter in Spanish – every vowel and every consonant – makes only one sound. Let’s take for example, the letter “a” in Spanish: It’s called “la letra a.” And it’s always pronounced “a.”
Ceci: That’s true. Every time you hear the sound “a” in Spanish, you can be 100% sure that it’s spelled “a.”
Rylan: By contrast, if you read the letter “a” in English, how do you pronounce it? Is it….
The /a/ in exact
The /a/ in father
The /a/ in about
The /a/ in table
Ceci: Sheesh. ¡Muy complicado!
Rylan: English has 5 vowels – a, e, i, o, u – but 17 different vowel sounds!
Ceci: Spanish also has 5 vowel letters, but only 5 vowel sounds. Simple as that. Each vowel has a name that also represents the sound it always makes.
La letra a = A
La letra e = E
La letra i = I
La letra o = O
La letra u = U
Rylan: Let’s say them again, Ceci! A, E, I, O, U
Ceci: Per-fec-to. Now what about the consonants?
Rylan: About half of them are just like English, and the rest only require a simple shift to learn.
Ceci: Let’s start with those simple shifts.
Rylan: In English, we have 2 different ways to pronounce C and G. We have a hard “c” sound - when c comes before a, o, and u – ca, co, cu. Similarly, we have a soft “c” sound - when it comes before e and i. With g, same story. We say “ga” “go” “gu”, and “ge” and “gi.”
Ceci: Spanish kinda does the same thing. En español, we say “ca” “co” “cu”, and “ce” and “ci”.
Rylan: Hey, ce-ci… ¡Ceci!
Ceci: I guess my name is a perfect demonstration of the soft “c” sound.
Rylan: And finally, en español, we say “ga” “go” “gu”, and “ge” and “gi.” The biggest difference here of course is that the soft “g” sounds like an “h”. That’s it!
Ceci: In Spanish, the letter J, la jota, also makes an h sound.
Rylan: Yes, always. And the letter H, la hache, is always silent!
Ceci: Ñ, the n with the tilde accent mark on top, is rolled and sounds like an n + y.
Rylan: Another letter that is rolled is the R. R like Rrrylan.
Ceci: Sí, Rrrylan. A single R is rolled at the beginning of the word. In the middle of a word, like María, it is softer.
Rylan: But the double RR, is always rrrrrrolled.
Ceci: Ok señor, don’t get carrrrrried away. Let’s do the last two shifts.
Rylan: In Spanish, the letter “v” always sounds just like a soft “b.” For example, vamos…
Ceci: Vino.
Rylan: Venezuela.
Ceci: And the last letter of the alphabet, z, la zeta, always sounds just like an s.
Rylan: And all the rest of the consonants sound just like they do in English: the letters ch, f, k, m, n, q, s, w, and y.
Ceci: Ok, there’s one more thing we need to cover before we move onto Episode 1.
Rylan: More cognates!
Ceci: Cognate verbs and adjectives, to be precise.
Rylan: Let’s start with the verbs.
Ceci: Remember that all verbs in Spanish end in either -ar, -er, or -ir.
Rylan: If it doesn’t finish with one of those three endings, it’s not a verb!
Ceci: And like we mentioned before, due to the Latin influence on both Spanish and English, there are lots of words that are instantly recognizable.
Rylan: AR verbs like activar, comunicar, investigar, motivar,
Ceci: Organizar, participar, usar. And ER verbs like comprender, corresponder, defender.
Rylan: Depender, mover, ofender, responder. And IR verbs like admitir, consistir, convertir.
Ceci: Describir, existir, insistir, introducir.
Rylan: Perfecto. So, basically, there’s no secret formula here. If you see an English word + AR, ER, or IR, chances are you will understand that word in Spanish.
Ceci: Let’s finish up with a little discussion of adjectives.
Rylan: Adjectives are easy. There are a bunch of them that are exactly the same in Spanish and English!
Ceci: Words like casual, profesional, circular, popular, admirable, and flexible.
Rylan: And then there are adjectives where you only need to make a small shift in spelling. Usually you just add an -o to the end of an English word to make it Spanish! For example: Correct.
Ceci: Correcto.
Rylan: Extraordinary.
Ceci: Extraordinario.
Rylan: Artistic.
Ceci: Artístico.
Rylan: Rapid.
Ceci: Rápido.
Rylan: Active...activo!
Ceci: Of course, there are other cognate adjectives that don’t end in -o. Words like ágil…
Rylan: Agile.
Ceci: And juvenil.
Rylan: Juvenile… For these words you simply drop the -e at the end of the English word.
Ceci: And finally there are some English adjectives where we add an -e to get the Spanish.
Rylan: Words like distant.
Ceci: Distante.
Rylan: And important.
Ceci: Importante.
Rylan: ¿Sabes qué más es importante? – You know what else is important?
Ceci: Tell me.
Rylan: Buckling your seat belts!
Ceci: Um, why?
Rylan: Well, because it’s the law. But alsoooo…. Because this is the end of our introduction and it’s time to get ready to roll.
Ceci: That’s right, everybody. Estamos listos. We’re ready.
Rylan: We are ready to get up to speed!