Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pa'l Feis

The topic of contractions in Spanish doesn't seem to come up often, and there's a very good reason for that. There are only two.

Yep, you read that correctly.  There are only two official contractions in the Spanish language.  Let's take a look at them.

We'll start with the contraction al.

Voy al parque
I'm going to the park

So what is al? Al is....

Voy a el parque

A + el = al

Simple isn't it?

But let's back up for a second.

Unlike English, in Spanish you cannot pick and choose when to use (or not use) contractions.  In Spanish you are required to use contractions.  So that means Voy a el parque is incorrect.  If you say it that way you'll be understood, but it will sound really, really weird.

OK, one down, one to go.

Soy del sur
I'm from the South

What is del?

Soy de el sur

De + el = del

And just like with al, you have to use the contraction.

One thing I need to point out is not to confuse el with él.

el = the and él = him or his

So if we have the sentence:

Es de él
It's his

We don't use the contraction del.

And that's all there is to it.

Sort of.

Remember when I said there were only two official contractions in the Spanish language?  The operative word is "official".

There are actual other unofficial/colloquial contractions you'll hear in Spanish, like this one:

What is Pa'l?  It's a contraction of "para el".  You may also see it written as simple as pal or pal'.

Casi Muero, Pa'l Facebook
I almost died, this (photo) is for Facebook

If you don't understand the joke and you have 3 minutes to spare, this video says it all.  Heck, you should watch it no matter what, it's just plain funny.

By the way, you may have noticed the title of this post uses the word feis.  That's a colloquial way to refer to Facebook, pronounced "face", which is used heavily by Mexicans and possible others.  You'll also see it referred to as "el face".

And speaking of Facebook, if you need to brush up on your Spanish vocabulary for Facebook, then read my post Si tu ere dominicano dale like.

Let's take a look at some more unofficial contractions.

Para + allá: Pa'lla

Voy pa'lla ahora mismo

I'm headed over there right now

Para + arriba: Pa' rriba

Voy pa' rriba
I'm going upstairs

Para + qué: Pa' qué

Préstame el coche.  ¿Pa' qué?
Loan me the car.  For what?

Pa' qué tu sepas, voy al super
Just so you know, I'm going to the supermaket

These colloquial contractions are extremely common, so it's a good idea to become familiar with them.

And don't forget to follow me on Facebook!

That's it for today, espero que les sirva.

1 comment:

  1. What about contractions for titles? like Senor, Senora, Senorita, Maestro and so on.