Synergy Spanish

This system teaches you Spanish, the easy way - not the academic way. With only 138 words you will be speaking Spanish.

Click

The best lawyer we have ever used!

Christian Limon, is with the Marcus Family Law Center, PLC, in El Centro (founded in 1974). She brings a comprehensive set of skills and expertise to assist her clients. She is licensed as an attorney both in Mexico and California, with her international practice in Imperial County and Mexicali. Her emphasis is family law, including cross-border custody and family support issues. Christian is also experienced in cross-border contracts and bi-national litigation (civil, commercial, family, and labor), advising several US companies in Mexico, including real estate development and maquiladora operations. Christian is a Spanish/English interpreter with a focus on legal documents and legal proceedings, as well as a California Notary. She is a member of the California BAR, Imperial County Bar Association, ANADE (Mexican Association of Corporate Attorneys) and AEM (Mexican Entrepreneurs Association).

Marcus Family Law Center, PLC

The Best Vet in Mexicali!

Dr. Rafael, the best veterinarian anywhere; he's close to the border, speaks English and has lived in Arizona! Click

The best – we’ve used them since 2008!

Mexico Insurance

Who’s on First (Mexican Style)?

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Did you ever see that Abbott and Costello skit? It’s pretty
famous and very funny. I’ll give you a link to it in a moment.

My wife and I used to communicate in a mixture of Spanish
and English, which at times channeled those two comedians.

Like when she said, El martes tenemos una junta con la
contadora. (On Tuesday we have a meeting with the
accountant.)

I replied in English, “When?”

She said, el martes. (On Tuesday)

I said, “Yes, but when is it?”

She said, “ya te dije, es el martes.” (I already told you it’s
on Tuesday)

I reply, “yes, you said that but when is it?”

Cuantas veces quieres que te lo diga? Es el martes.
How many times do you want that I might tell you it? It’s on
Tuesday.

Por fin, (finally) it dawns on me why she isn’t understanding
me, she was hearing “when” in English but thinking, cuando,
in Spanish.

In English, when, and, what time, are often interchangeable
but that’s not the case in Spanish. I switched to Spanish and
asked,

¿A qué hora es la cita?
What time is the appointment?

She replied, a las tres y media. (At half past three.)

In Spanish cuándo in a question refers to a general time and
it’s typically answered with the day or date for example you
could ask these question with cuándo,

¿Cuándo es el Día de la Madre?
When is Mother’s Day?

“Cuándo va a nacer el bebé?”
When is the baby going to be born?

¿Cuándo es Semana Santa este año?
When is Easter this year?

En cambio, (on the other hand) if you want to know a specific
time you need to ask, ¿a qué hora es? (At what time/hour is it?)

¿A qué hora empieza la fiesta?
What time does the party start?

¿A qué hora llega el avión?
What time does the plane arrive?

¿A qué hora es la junta?
What time is the meeting?

I can’t promise you’ll never have your own Abbott and Costello
skit like we did, but if you use Bola de Nieve you’ll be well
armed to get you point across and be understood every time.

The subtle but important distinctions like, cuándo vs a qué
hora, are built into the program. Soon using the correct one
is second nature to you and you don’t need to think about it,
you just know what to say.

Saludos,

Marcus Santamaria
Spanish Communication Coach—try my course, Synergy Spanish!

1 comment to Who’s on First (Mexican Style)?

  • Rachel

    This is a great way to learn spanish, the key words can get me by, which want I want, when I visit mexico. a Very effective method!
    Rachel

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  

  

  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.