Video Q and A For November

Thanks to all of you who sent in questions this month.

Language Notes for the Video

Question 1 – Spanish for ‘What’s the point?’

Mi nombre es Randi. Mi pregunta es: ¿Cómo decir “What´s the point” en español? Por ejemplo: What´s the point in doing that?

Simple answer – ¿Para qué?

Here’s an example: Voy a pedir una subida a mi jefe – I’m going to ask my boss for a raise.

Answer 1. ¿Para qué? – What’s the point?
Answer 2. Total, para lo que te va a servir – Right, for all the good it’s going to do you (much more ironic.)

Question 2 – Useful words for vegetarians in Spanish:

David – my question is part language/part cultural: how, as a vegetarian, should I deal with being given meat-based tapas without appearing rude or ungrateful? I was recently in Granada and felt uncomfortable sending the tapas back.

Answer 1. Muchas gracias, te importaría cambiarme la tapa por una que no tenga carne? Soy vegetariano. – Thank you, would you mind changing it for a tapa that doesn’t have meat? I’m vegetarian.

Answer 2. Culturally . it’s fine! The Spanish always send stuff back! You can’t be too British about it!

To confirm something is vegetarian on a Spanish menu:

Perdona. ¿Este plato tiene carne, pescado o embutido? Es que soy vegetariano – Excuse me, does this dish include meat, fish or cured meat (e.g. chorizo, cured ham)?

Question 3 – Christmas words in Spanish:

Marcus – I have a question regarding the word “navideño”. I saw this word on a poster several years ago, but I rarely see this word used when I read Christmas-related articles in Spanish. I know that people say “árbol de Navidad” for “Christmas tree”, “canciones de Navidad” for “Christmas songs”, “época de Navidad” for “Christmas time”, “regalos de Navidad” for “Christmas presents/gifts”, so when would you actually use “navideño”? Could I instead say:

– árbol navideño – no, this is not common
– canciones navideñas – yes, this is fine
– época navideña – yes, this is fine
– se acerca la época navideña – yes, this is fine

Would it be correct to say this? – Me encanta la época de Navidad, el amor está en el aire y todas las casas de mi ciudad están adornadas con cosas navideñas. – Yes, perfect!

Here are a few more:
7 curiosidades navideñas – the name of a podcast we are releasing soon!
Este mantel es muy navideño – this table cloth is very Christmassy.
Hay un ambiente muy navideño en la plaza mayor – There is a real Christmas atmosphere in the Plaza Mayor.

Question 4 – How to use ‘A flor de piel’.

Marcus – Last month I came across an interesting expression: a flor de piel. If I remember the sentence correctly it went like this: Un día vas a despertar con la nostalgia a flor de piel. Are there any other examples you could give me to correctly use this expression?

Tiene los nervios a flor de piel, mejor que le dejes tranquila – She’s on the edge of her nerves, you better leave her in peace.

Tiene las emociones a flor de piel – Her emotions are just under the surface

Question 5 – using ‘hombre’ in Spanish.

Gill from New Zealand – In the episode about scooters in Madrid, Marina said to Ben, ‘Hombre, tampoco te pases.’ What does that mean, and when would you use it?

Ben said he used to walk across half the city to work, a big exaggeration.

Hombre is used as a filler word, for men or women. It has different meanings.
In this case it means ‘come on’, ‘yeah right’.

Tampoco te pases – don’t exagerate

Hombre Can also mean ‘well…’ for example:

– No seria mas fácil para ti ir a San Sebastián en el tren?
– Hombre, no lo había pensado.

Thanks again to all you who sent in questions this month!

The other Q and A videos from this month:

Seasonal Christmas Holiday Greetings in Spanish

The Mighty Echar! Super Useful Spanish Verb

Un abrazo desde Madrid!

Ben y Marina

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