Using Model Phrases For Fluency in Spoken Spanish

Learning with model phrases is a proven solution to the  major problem of learning a new language: how to put all the new words together?  Learning Spanish means learning lots of new words. You'll probably need at least 1,500 to 2,000 words to start feeling comfortable. If the subject is anywhere technical, you'll need much more. But that's just the start. You have to know how to put all the words together fluently and in a grammatically correct manner.

 A word by itself does not mean much. It takes on meaning only when put into a real context. If you want to sound natural in Spanish, a good way to start is to work with authentic sentences. This way you are sure that the Spanish is really used and not something just out of a textbook. Then you can use these phrases confidently knowing that they are grammatically correct.

As you watch or listen to movies, television shows, podcasts, radio programs or Internet documents, make a note of entire samples that you find useful or interesting. Look up any words you don't know, and make sure you understand how the grammar works. Here is an example with literal and idiomatic translation:

No le robo más tiempo.
Not to you (I) rob more time. I won't take up any more of your time.

Notice how compact the Spanish phrase is compared to the English. This is a very useful and common phrase that can be used in many situations where you are about to take leave of someone. Note here that the indirect object pronoun le is for usted 'you'. It could also mean 'him' or 'her'. So, you want to make this phrase part of your repertoire of stock phrases.

The good thing about this set phrase is that it can be modified infinitely to adapt it to any situation. Let's change the pronoun as in the following examples:

No te robo más tiempo.
No les robo más tiempo.
A ustedes no les robo más tiempo.

Now change the verb form:

No le robamos más tiempo. 'We won't take up more of your time.'
No le voy a robar más tiempo. 'I'm not going to take up more of your time.'

Now change the verb:

No le quito más tiempo. 'I won't take up more of your time.'
No le resto más tiempo. 'I won't take away (subtract) more of your time.'

Add another verb:

No quiero robarle más tiempo. 'I don't want to take up more of your time'

Then we can add some words in front:

Bueno pues, no le robo más tiempo. 'So, I won't take up any more of your time'
Así es que no le robo más tiempo. 'So, I won't take up any more of your time'
Siendo así, no le robo más tiempo. 'That being the case, I won't take up any more of your time'

As you can see, the basic phrase lends itself to all kinds of variations. This is a foundation for fluency. By mastering the initial set phrase and how to vary it, you now have a wide range of means of fluently expressing nuances for any situation. .
(First publishd by articles@ezine )