Saturday, December 1, 2012

Describing You and Your Family


In our high school class, we are learning how to use the verb SER (to be) to describe people and their characteristics.  The different forms of SER (in the present indicative) are:


soy
I am
somos
we are
eres
you are (informal you)
sois
y’all are*
es
you are (formal you)
es
he/she is
son
you all are
son
they are
* used mainly in Spain


Each of these forms corresponds to the different subject pronouns:

yo
I or me
nosotros
we
nosotras
femenine we
you (informal)
vosotros
y’all
usted (Ud.)
you (formal)
él
he
ella
she
ustedes (Uds.)
you all
ellos
they (the boys)
ellas
they (the girls)


Now that you know all these forms, you can say things like, “I am tall.”  Or “He is blonde.”  Or “They are short and nice.”  All you need to learn are a few adjectives.  Watch this video to learn some great describing adjectives.

Here is a short list of useful adjectives:

short—bajo/a
tall—alto/a
thin—delgado/a
skinny—flaco/a
fat—gordo/a
young—joven
blonde—rubio/a
brunette—castaño/a
red-headed—pelirrojo/a
kind—simpático/a
studious—aplicado/a
old—viejo/a


Look at the subject pronoun grid.  How do you say he? That’s right, él!  Now, how do you say he is?  Yes, él es.  Okay, look at the list of adjectives.  How do you say tall?  Well, there is alto and alta.  Anytime an adjective (describing word) ends in an “O” or an “A”, you have to choose one of those endings.  Use the “O” ending if you are describing a masculine noun and an “A” if you are describing a feminine noun.  So for he is tall, you would choose alto, because he is masculine.  So “He is tall” in Spanish is “Él es alto.”  See how that works?


You are ready now to answer the questions:

¿Cómo es?*  (What is he/she like?) or

¿Cómo eres?* (What are you like?)

In other words these questions ask, “Describe him or her,” of “Describe yourself.”

*Cómo means how.  So literally these questions say, "How is he/she?" or "How are you?"  But they are translated as "What is he/she like?" and "What are you like?"

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