Basic Grammar (2ª parte)

Ya hemos visto todos los tiempos verbales básicos del presente, pasado, future y condicional.

Ahora vamos a reforzarlos 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.

Podríamos acudir a la teoría, pero como recalco a lo largo del blog, el camino para enseñar inglés a los niños no pasa por enseñarles las reglas de la gramática. Lo intuitivo y lo eficaz es ir directamente a los ejemplos.  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, los niños van a coger el concepto al vuelo, porque ya han visto sin darse 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!

When-Etch-Sketch-instinctively-knows-what-Woody-wants

  • 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 Ive 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?

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