Ordering a simple meal in Spanish.

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PHRASES:

Tráigame la cuenta, por favor.Bring me the bill please.
¿Necesita cambio?Do you need change?
Sírvame unas quesadillas, por favor.Serve me some quesadillas, please.
Me gusta mucho la comida condimentada, pero no muy picante.I really like flavorful food, but not too spicy.
¿Podría servirme más café, por favor?Could you give me some more coffee please?
Prefiero el plato del día que la especialidad de la casa.I’d prefer the daily special to the house special.
¿Qué vas a pedir hoy?What are you going to order today?
¿Vas a pedir postre al final de la comida?Are you going to order dessert at the end of the meal?
En los países hispanos el almuerzo es la comida fuerte del día.In Hispanic countries lunch is the main meal of the day.
En Estados Unidos la comida fuerte del día es la cena.In the United Status the main meal is the dinner.

GRAMMAR:

Command forms

Command forms in Spanish may be challenging because they differ depending on five possible intervening factors:

·whether the command is given informally (with “tú”) or formally (with “usted”)
·whether the command is negative or positive
·whether the command is given to one person or many people
·whether the verb is reflexive
·whether there are direct or indirect object pronouns

Each of these five factors can be mixed together to create a wide variety of possibilities.DIRECT COMMANDS

Positive formal commands.

To form postive formal commands, start with the form of the verb that goes with the pronoun “yo” (e.g., abro, muevo, vengo, etc.). Then take the “-o” off of that verb ending. If the verb is an AR verb, replace the “-o” with “-e” If the verb is an ER or IR verb, replace the “-o” with “-a” If the command is given to more than one person, the endings are “-en” and “-an” respectively. If the verb is reflexive, put the reflexive pronoun “se” after the verb form. If there are object pronouns (it, them) put them after the verb too. The following examples help to clarify.

Examples:

INFINITIVE“YO” FORMSINGULARPLURAL
acostarse “to lie down”me acuestoacuésteseacuéstense
calmarse “to be calm”me calmocálmesecálmense
escribir “to write’escriboescribaescriban
explicar “to explain’explicoexpliqueexpliquen
sentarse “to sit down’me sientosiéntesesiéntense

Note: There are some irregular forms as well because the “yo” form does not end in an “-o” as follows:

dar “to give”doydén
estar “to be”estoyestéestén
irse “to go away”voyváyaseváyanse
saber “to know”sepasepan
ser “to be”soyseasean

Negative formal commands.

The negative formal commands are similar to the positive ones. The difference is that the word “no” goes before the verb and reflexive pronouns and object pronouns also go before the verbs.

No escriba.
No se calme.
No se vaya.

INDIRECT COMMANDS

Given the difficulty and the variety of direct command forms, one solution is to use indirect command forms. These are easier to form and do not involve as many choices. There are three phrases that are helpful in giving indirect commands: “hay que…” (one must), “favor de…” (please do the favor of…) and “usted tiene que….” (you have to…). Each of these phrases is followed by a verb in the infinitive. As such, it is not necessary to know the verb conjugation. Be aware, however, sometimes the regular command form sounds much better.

Examples:

Hay que escucharme primero.You must listen to me first.
Hay que explicar todo.You must explain everything.
Hay que levantar el pie.You must raise your foot.
Favor de mostrarme los papeles.Do the favor of showing me the papers.
Favor de ayudarme con esto.Do the favor of helping with this.
Usted tiene que sacar las manos.You have to take your hands out.
Usted tiene que dejarlo aquí.You have to leave it here.
Usted tiene que salirse ya.You have to go away now.

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