Lecciones de Español

Temas

Contar: Counting and Recounting

Y yo te voy a contar lo que pienso hacer con el empleo nuevo.
[Caption 17, Muñeca Brava > Pilot > 9]

...este historia que voy a contar
[Caption 2,
Rafael T. - Journey North]


Contar, such an interesting verb, shows up in three of our new videos, but used in different ways. One of the most common meanings is of contar is "to tell" or "to relate." So, in Muñeca Brava, when Federico's cuñado says ...and yo te voy a contar lo que pienso hacer con el empleo nuevo, we translate it as "and I'm going to tell you what I have in mind for the new job."

Likewise, when our friend Rafael, in his monologue Journey North, says ...este historia que voy a contar, he is talking about relating his tale, "...this story that I am going to tell."


Rafael also consistently uses contar where we might have expected to hear a form of tener (to have), but when he does so he couples it with the preposition con.

cuando uno ya cuenta con familia...
[Caption 10, Rafael T. - Journey North
]

Yo cuento con una farmacia...
[Caption 15,
Rafael T. - Journey North]

When he tells us cuando uno ya cuenta con familia, he means "when one has [a] family" and when he says Yo cuento con una farmacia... we translate it as "I have a pharmacy."

¿Entonces puedo contar contigo para eso?
[Caption 49, Provócame > Pilot > 14
]

Of course, the first dictionary definition of contar is "to count," as in contando ovejas when you have insomnio . You can also count on someone or something to perform in a certain way for you, and for this we once again find contar+con. When Chayanne asks ¿...puedo contar contigo para eso?, he doesn't want to know "...can I have you for this," but rather, "...can I count on you for this?"

Vocabulary

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