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
desgustar, 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.
I forgot my keys. Se me olvidaron las llaves.
It seems obvious to me. A mi, me parece obvio.


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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