WORDS AND PHRASE FROM THE MOVIE
A CHRISTMAS STORY

(page 7)

The line from the movie you heard this time was:
My old man's spare tires were actually only tires in the academic sense.
They were round, they had once been made of rubber.

Or as translated in the movie:
Las llantas de repuesto de papa solo eran en sentido académico.

Eran redondas, habían sido de caucho.

Once again you probably won't be able to ever use either of those phrases.   But we can at least learn some  vocabulary words and some grammar. Las llantas means "tires".  Repuesto means "spare or spare part".    Solo is the adjective that means "only".  Sólo is the adverb that means "only".  Eran is the imperfect form of the verb ser.  The imperfect form of a verb is used for on-going actions or states.  It is useful for descriptions. Sentido means "sense". Redondas is an adjective that means "round".   Because it refers to "tires" in the first sentence (which is a feminine noun) you say redondas.  In English we do not think of adjectives as being plural, but in Spanish adjectives have to agree in gender and number with the noun or pronoun that they modify.    Habían sido is the past perfect sense of the verb ser "to be".  It is used to express an action in the past.  Caucho means "rubber".

Here are some more simple phrases.   When there is a name just substitute any name.

¿Cuánto?
How much?
Don't mistake cuánto with cuanto which means "all".  Also do not mistake cuánto with cuando which means "when".

 

¿Por qué estás llorando?
What are you crying about?
Por qué means "why".  Don't confuse it with porque which means "because".  Estás is a form of the verb "estar" which means "to be".   This is a good demonstration of the difference between "estar" and the verb "ser".  One of the times that you would use "estar" is for conditions that are temporary.  Since your crying is temporary you say "estás" instead of "eres". (Click here to learn the difference between "ser" and "estar".)  Llorando is the present participle form of the verb llorar which means "to cry".  The present participle form of the verb indicates an action that is presently occuring, such as crying.  To show present action you would use the correct form of estar plus the present participle of the verb.   (Click here for examples)


¡Claro, Papá Noel!
Of course, Santa Claus!
Claro means "of course" when it is used as an interjection.  Otherwise claro can also mean "clear".   The way you would say "Of course not!" is ¡claro que no!  The way you would say "Certainly!" is ¡claro que sí!  Papá Noel is the Spanish name for "Santa Claus". 


El grande, el jefe
The big man, the head honcho.

El grande is used here as a title meaning "great". Grande when used as an adjective means "big or large". Before a singular noun you would use gran. El jefe means "chief or boss or head of an organization".  


Joven.
Young man.
Joven means "youth.  Yoven can be used to refer to either a young man (boy) or young woman (girl).  Joven when used as an adjective means "young".   Los jóvenes are "young people or youth (plural)".

 

Vocabulary Words
¡claro! = of course!
creo que = I believe that
creo que no = I don't think so
cuánto = how much
debe ser = He or she or it must be
decir = to say or tell
el jefe = chief or boss
joven = young man/woman or young
llorar = to cry
Papá Noel = Santa Claus
por qué = why

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