6.4 To Say and To Give: Using DECIR and DAR Language Lesson

6.4 To Say and To Give: Using DECIR and DAR
Language & Culture Lessons
As in English, the verbs decir (to say or to tell) and dar (to give) are widely used in the Spanish language. Let's take a
closer look at these two useful verbs.
Language Lesson
Like tener and venir, the verb decir is both stem-changing (-e to –i) and irregular in the 'yo' form. The verb dar, on the
other hand, is irregular in the 'yo' form only (aside from an unstressed - e.g., unaccented - 'vosotros' form).
It is a good idea to memorize each individual form of these verbs, as you will use them frequently.
"to say, to tell"
"to give"
Ud., él, ella
Uds., ellos, ellas
Remember those indirect and direct object pronouns from the previous section? These verbs will give you the perfect
chance to practice. Both are often used with indirect object pronouns. In other words, the action is performed for you
or me, or he or she.
Por ejemplo:
¡Manuel te dice que no!
Manuel tells you no!
Les digo que está bien.
I tell them it's okay.
Tus amigos me dicen que la fiesta es el sábado.
Your friends tell me the party is on Saturday.
Yo te doy el dinero.
I give you the money.
Él me da el libro.
He gives me the book.
Ellos nos dan la comida.
They give us the food.
You can also use decir and dar to practice combining direct and indirect object pronouns.
Por ejemplo:
Le digo a ella.
I tell her.
Él te da más tiempo.
He gives you more time.
Él me lo dice.
He tells me it.
Ellos se lo dicen.
They tell it to them.
Te lo doy.
I give it to you.
Vosotros me la decís.
You tell me it.
We give it to them.
Nosotros se lo damos.
Did you know?
Did you know that in Spanish, you don’t capitalize the days of the week unless they start a sentence? The same goes
for the months.
For example:
Mi día favorito es el domingo.
My favorite day of the week is Sunday.
Lunes es el primer día de escuela.
Monday is the first day of school.
Nos reunimos el primer viernes en marzo.
We meet on the first Friday in March.
School Education
Literacy rates in Iberoamérica (former colonies of Spain and Portugal in the Americas) and the Caribbean are quite
high, with over 90% of the population able to read and write. According to the World Bank in 2007, the few
exceptions are Bolivia , El Salvador, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, with over 15% of their people remaining
uneducated. This is because in many countries, public education was only given in Spanish, leaving those with a
different mother tongue excluded from the system. In other cases, some children in isolated regions don´t have
access to school, or youngsters of extremely poor families would drop out of school to find a job. But aboriginal
oriented governments in Ecuador and Bolivia are trying to include those left aside, and Nicaragua and Guatemala are
receiving foreign help to improve their school system.
estudiando (studying)
There are three main types of school in the region: public, government subsidized, and private. Public schools are
run entirely by the state or city council, with a standard curriculum nationwide. The subsidized schools are privately
run institutions in Spain and Chile, with some financial aid from the government. They give middle class families the
option of higher quality education for their children, but are not as expensive as private schools, which are usually
attended by the wealthy families only. These schools tend to have better resources, and produce much higher test
There are several different kinds of private school:
Catholic institutions that usually have separate establishments for boys and girls, most costs are covered by the
church and donations of wealthy companies and businessmen;
Language and international schools; supported by the British Council, the German embassy and similar
international bodies that want to spread their language;
Secular schools, for families that are not interested in religious lessons.
Private high-schools are very competitive. Their aim is to provide as much hands-on experience as possible in the last
few years of high-school, in order to improve their graduates' chances of getting better jobs.
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