Today’s Vine is by JiRafita, from Mexico City.
It’s an example of a horrible pick-up line (una frase seductora).
- Guy: Oye, ¿cumples años hoy?
- Girl: No, ¿tú?
- Guy: Tampoco. ¡Tenemos mucho en común!
- Girl: ehhhh…
- Guy: Cállate y bésame.
- Guy: Hey, is it your birthday today? [literally: do you turn years today?]
- Girl: No, you? [as in, is it yours?]
- Guy: Me neither. We have a lot in common!
- Girl: ehhhh…
- Guy: Shut up and kiss me.
Notice how he asks if it’s her birthday: “¿cumples años hoy?”
hoy = today
años = years
cumplir = to turn, to fulfill, to finish
- cumplir años = to have a birthday
- cumplir una promesa = to keep a promise
- cumplir un sueño = to fulfill a dream
cumplir is an interesting word, and this picture illustrates its multiple meanings:
“Promises? hahahaha…these days, the only thing people keep is years.”
(It’s nothing special in English, but in Spanish it’s a pun – you use the same word for birthdays and promises: cumplir años and cumplir promesas).
- ¡oye! – hey!
- Pronunciation: “OH-yeh”
- This literally means, “hear!” It comes from the verb oír (to hear).
- You might hear someone say ¡oiga! That is the formal way of saying “hey” – i.e. that’s what you would say when talking to usted (formal “you”).
- Tampoco – neither.
- Pronunciation: “tam-POH-coh”
- In this Vine, he’s using it to mean “me neither” but, due to the question the girl asked, he is able to convey “me neither” by simply saying “neither.”
- If she didn’t ask the question, he would have to say:
- Yo tampoco – me neither.
- Tenemos mucho en común. – We have a lot in common.
- Cállate. – shut up.
- Pronunciation: “CAH-yah-teh”
- Double “L” is pronounced like a “y” (always)
- Literally means, “quiet yourself.” Callarse is a reflexive verb meaning “to quiet oneself.”
- Bésame = kiss me.
- Pronunciation: “BEH-sah-meh”
More about shut up and kiss me!
“Shut up and kiss me!” is a command. We have a special conjugation for commands. Consider this phrase:
Tú me besas = you kiss me / you’re kissing me.
This is not a command. This is an observation; a statement of fact. If you want to make it into command, conjugate it as though you’re in the 3rd person:
- Escribes una canción. = You write a song (statement of fact)
- Escribe una canción. = Write a song. (as in, do it! write it!)
- Tomas agua ahora. = You drink water now (as in, I’m observing that you’re drinking water now.)
- Toma agua ahora. = Drink water now. (as in, do it! drink that water!)
There are some exceptions – verbs whose command format looks a little different. I’ll list a few of them:
- hacer (to do/to make) becomes haz (do! make!)
- decir (to say / to tell) becomes di (tell! say!)
- tener (to have) becomes ten (have!)
- haz la tarea = do the assignment.
- di la verdad = tell the truth.
- ten cuidado = have caution (“be careful!”)
OBJECTS: Remember how we learned that objects go before the conjugated verb? (e.g. me quiere = he loves me) Well, when we’re dealing with commands (e.g. kiss me!) we glue the object onto the end of the command.
- ¡Escucha! = Listen!
- ¡Escúchame! = Listen to me!
- Di la verdad = Tell the truth.
- Dime la verdad = Tell me the truth.
Remember the song “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid? In Spanish, it’s “Bésala.“
SPELLING: Why the accent over the first “a”? It’s because, the default pronunciation is emphasize the second-to-last syllable. If you want to change this, you need an accent to show where the emphasis should be. Callate is designed to be pronounced, “CAH-yah-teh.” Without an accent, it would sound like “cah-YAH-teh.”
More about birthdays
There are several ways to ask if someone is having a birthday. In this vine, JiRafita asked, “¿cumples años hoy?”
He could also say,
¿hoy es tu cumpleaños? = Is today your birthday?
el cumpleaños = birthday
¡feliz cumpleaños! = happy birthday! (short version: ¡feliz cumple!)
¡felicidades! = happiness/blessings/congratulations! (commonly used to convey, “I’m wishing you happiness on your birthday!”)
See if you can identify these words/phrases in English.
- un beso
- bésame mucho
- ¿cumples años hoy?
- Sí, cumplo años hoy.
- Yo también.
- Yo tampoco.
- ¡feliz cumple! / ¡felicidades!
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