Chapter 19   --   Speaking indirectly


We can speak directly about things, that is from a personal point of view.   For example, “I really enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.” or “I like spicy food.”   It is also acceptable to speak indirectly   For example, “The study of language fascinates me.”

The indirect speech style is the preferred style in Spanish, and they use it frequently.   In fact, some verbs are used exclusively with indirect speech, and have limited forms as a result.   Some examples follow.

   aburrir, to bore                                                          importar, to be important

   agradar, to be pleasing                                              interesar, to interest

   bastar, to be enough of something                              irritar, to irritate

   cobrar, to charge (a fee)                                            molestar, to bother, annoy

   disgustar, to disgust                                                  olvidar, to forget

   desplacer, to displease                                               parecer, to seem

   doler, to be painful                                                     placer, to please

   encantar, to enjoy a great deal                                  quedar, to have left

   faltar, to lack, to need                                               resultar, to result, to turn out

   fascinar, to fascinate                                                 sobrar, to exceed, to be more than enough

   frustrar, to frustrate                                                   turbar, to disturb

   gustar, to like                                                             urgir, to be urgent


Some examples of usage follow.

          This movie bores me.                         Esta película me aburre.

          That is enough for us today.               Nos basta por hoy.

          How much do they charge?                ¿ Cuánto se cobra?

          I have a sore throat.                           Me duele la garganta.

          I really like Italian food.                     Me encanta la comida italiana.

          I am ten dollars short.                        Me faltan diez dólares.

          I like pastries of any kind.                 Me gustan los postres de qualquier tipo.

          It is not important to me.                    A mi, no me importa.

          Soccer doesn’t interest me.                El fútbol no me interesa.

          It seems obvious to me.                     A mi, me parece obvio.

          There was nobody left on the bus.     No quedaba nadie en el autobús .


This speech style is used to describe accidents.

          I accidentally dropped my pencil.       Se me cayó el lápiz .

          I forgot my keys.                                Se me olvidaron las llaves.


Notice how the Spanish sentence does not require the word “accidentally”.   The fact that an accident happened is inherent in Spanish grammar, otherwise a different statement will be made.


This book is available from under item number 3352644. Books purchased from Lulu are accompanied by a complete list of irregular verbs and all of their forms.

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