Vamos a reforzar los distintos tiempos verbales introduciendo lo que gramaticalmente se denominan frases “subordinadas”, el llamado “indirect speech”. Vamos a usar las WH-Questions en forma enunciativa en lugar de forma interrogativa.
Así que empecemos por lo sencillo, el verbo “to be” y transformando preguntas en respuestas que comienzan con “I don’t know…”:
- Where are my keys? → I don’t know where my keys are / I don’t know where they are
- When is her birthday? → I don’t know when her birthday is / I don’t know when it is
- What’s that? → I don’t know what that is
- Who is that girl overthere? → I don’t know who she is
- I haven’t seen your cousin, how is he? → I don’t know how he is
- How often is he in town? → I don’t know how often he is in town
- How many cars are there → I don’t know how many cars there are
- How far is Madrid from Barcelona? → I don’t know how far they are
- How much is it? → I don’t know how much it is
En realidad, con la lectura de cuentos que comenzamos en el bloque de los terceros pasos, se va a coger el concepto al vuelo, porque ya hemos visto sin darnos cuenta muchas frases subordinadas. Además, el recurso a la traducción que casi siempre tratamos de evitar en este caso es perfectamente “lícito”. “¿Dónde están mis llaves?” → “No sé dónde (ellas) están”.
Segundo paso tras asimilar bien lo anterior, lo que llevará varios días: Subimos un nivel utilizando ya no sólo “to be” sino cualquier verbo en las formas del presente:
- Where does she live? → I don’t know where she lives
- What are they watching on TV? → I don’t know what they’re watching
- Who do you like for president? → I don’t know who I like
- When does your next class start? → I don’t know when it starts
- How often do they come to town? → I don’t know how often they come to town
- How many cars are going to participate in the race? → I don’t know how many cars are going to participate
- How long does it take to go from Madrid to Barcelona? → I don’t know how long it takes
- How much does this book cost? → I don’t know how much it costs
Tercer paso: Cualquier verbo en tiempo pasado. Conviene aquí hacer un inciso con los verbos irregulares. Aquí vamos a tener que esforzarnos más, se ponen a prueba los conocimientos adquiridos del “past simple”… disparemos!
- Where did she go? → I don’t know where she went
- When did the plane leave? → I don’t know when it left
- Who did we vote for in the last election? → I don’t know who we voted for
- Who was she? → I don’t know who she was
- Why did she come late? → I don’t know why she came late
- What were the results? → I don’t know what they were
- How often did they come to town? → I don’t know how often they came to town
- How much did this book cost? → I don’t know how much it cost (muchos caerán y dirán “costed” 🙂 )
- How many goals did we score? → I don’t know how many goals we scored
Cuarto paso: Generalizamos, cualquier verbo en cualquier tiempo verbal, esto ya es para nota 🙂
- Where have you been? → I don’t know where I’ve been
- When will the plane leave? → I don’t know when it will leave
- Who will be the president? → I don’t know who he (or she) will be
- What has she said? → I don’t know what she has said
- How often will we visit our grandparents? → I don’t know how often we will visit them
- What did you bring? → I don’t know what I brought
- How much would you pay for this picture? → I don’t know what I would pay
- How long have they stayed in Spain? → I don’t know how long they’ve stayed in Spain
Por último, a modo de corolario, podemos también quitar la restricción del comienzo de la frase con “I don’t know…”:
- He said to me, “how are you?” → He asked me how I was
- The teacher said to him, “what is your name?” → The teacher asked him what his name was.
- He said, “when will they come?” → He asked when they would come.
- She asked her son, “why are you crying?” → She asked her son why he was crying.
Ejercicio intenso y completo donde los haya…. ¿no les parece?