Accelerated Spanish, Lesson 12

We’ve learned all the verbs in the “irregular” neighborhood of verbs near Joel’s house. We’ve also been introduced to one regular verb on the beach, Deber, and one regular verb in the woods, Hablar.

We’re going to learn about 50 new verbs today. But we don’t have to learn conjugations! That’s because all the verbs along the beach are conjugated like Deber, and all the verbs along the woods are conjugated like Hablar. So we’ll basically just learn the infinitive of each verb we encounter.

Although the woods and beach are very different, the two separate verb paths follow some similar trends. In each case, there’s more business and urban development to the south (nearer to Joel’s house), but as we proceed north, things get more quiet.

Starting from Hablar and Deber, let’s follow both paths northward and see how they’re similar.

Er Verbs: Followed by Verbs

We begin by going to the beach.

Deber has already been introduced to us as the first shop on the beach. This store is in an area where there is very little else; it’s a unique spot where all the verb shops are connected to each other by skywalks.

Across the street from Deber is Seguir (pronounced “seh-GEAR”), a repair shop for segway scooters. As you can see, people are driving their scooters around in the skywalk, but some of them are falling apart. Seguir provides the parts (such as gears, belts, and gyroscopes) necessary for keeping a scooter going.

Seguir means “to continue” (or sometimes “to follow”). This verb is commonly followed by a gerund; for example, “to continue being a doctor” is seguir siendo un doctor, and “to continue doing that” is seguir haciendo eso.

Meanwhile, Deber is also normally followed by a verb, although it’s usually followed by an infinitive: “I must be a doctor” is debo ser un doctor, and “I must do that” is debo hacer eso.

Now that we’ve seen what’s next door to Deber, let’s cross the irregular verb area and go over to the woods to see what is happening in Hablar’s neighborhood.

Ar Verbs: Amusement in the Woods

After all this time that we’ve spent in Yol, you may have have a burning question: Where do most of the people actually live? Joel has an enormous house at the south end of our map, but the rest of the people must live somewhere.

Well, most of them live in apartment buildings on top of some of the shops. The Hablar shop, for example, has 6 floors of flats above it.

The woods around Hablar are prime real estate. Many people go by here, and it’s a thriving community; there are tall buildings and public transportation to handle the masses.

There are a few neighborhoods here, each with a distinguishing appearance. In Hablar’s neighborhood in particular, all the shops in have fancy awnings over their windows, which look suspiciously like the top of the carousel from the amusement park.

Next door to Hablar is Joel’s own office, which is called Trabajar. Joel claims that he’s a very “hard” worker. What he means by that is that he goes to his office about once a week, and as soon as he thinks about working, he says “That’s too hard!” and leaves. Trabajar, with a stress on “hard”, is the word for “to work”.

This office is connected with Dejar, a pawn shop that Joel owns but doesn’t run. If you want to borrow even a small amount of money from Dejar, you have to leave your most prized possession as collateral. Most people find this very hard to do, but there are enough poor people in Joel’s neighborhood that he and his manager are able to swindle people out of some pretty fantastic possessions. The word dejar, with a stress on hard, means “to leave” or “to leave behind”.

Alongside this is the neighborhood manners school, Tratar. The motto of this store is “Try to treat everyone nicely.” Students are given a bucket of tar to balance on their heads, and if they mess up and spill tar on anyone, they are expelled. (As you can see, the awning is splashed with some tar, reflecting the fact that students are expelled almost every day.)

The word tratar means either “to try” or “to treat”, depending on the context.

All four of these verbs, Hablar, Trabajar, Dejar, and Tratar, are most commonly followed by de. We’ll see why soon, but for now, just remember the colorful awnings, and imagine Joel flying out from under them, shouting “day!”, just like at the carousel.

The next neighborhood has public transport available: Small carousel-style horses move back and forth, allowing people to get a break from walking. However, this is a small neighborhood, so these horses don’t really go very far. In fact, right now there are only two businesses open in this neighborhood: Entrar on the left and Pensar on the right.

Entrar is a secret society of reptiles. You have to say a password in order to get in, and only reptiles know the password. Joel sees the lizard going in all the time, but he himself has never been able to guess the password. The word entrar (with a stress on “rar”, which is the password) means “to enter”.

Meanwhile, Pensar is a shop run by the Tsar. The Tsar does not really have any political power in Yol; he did once, but he never got anything done because he’s as lazy as Joel (and less resourceful). Now he runs a few shops in Yol, where he is just as productive as a businessman as he was as a ruler.

At Pensar, he tries to sell pens. He insists that if you have a pen, everyone will think that you’re smart, or at least that you’re thinking. His marketing method is to sit on the street in front of his shop, holding the pens out and telling the passersby, “Buy a pen! People will think that you’re thinking!” This is not very effective in anything but marking all the carousel horses with pen ink.

The word pensar means “to think”. Note that both pensar and entrar are commonly followed by en; for example, “to enter a house” is entrar en una casa, and “to think about a house” is pensar en una casa.

If you go through the carousel horse neighborhood and don’t jump off your horse, you’ll end up being dumped onto a watery slide that takes you through the next neighborhood. In this neighborhood, rather than en, verbs tend to be followed by a.

The first one we encounter is a shop run by Dar, whom we met in the irregular verb neighborhood. Here she has a “lifesaving” shop where she tries to sell lifejackets and life preservers to people who are going past on the slides. She mostly tries to sell these to the birds who go by. They normally ignore her, since they can naturally float just fine, though she shouts out “I’m just trying to help you!” The word ayudar (stress on Dar) means “to help”.

In the adjacent shop is Llamar, a sign shop run by a llama named Mar. Any new business has to buy a fin-shaped sign from Mar.

However, Mar is a bit of a bully; his rage and strength have victimized many Yol residents who have crossed him. He tries to stay professional in his store, but he gets angry very easily; for example, if a customer calls him a “lama” (pronounced LA-ma) rather than a “llama” (pronounced YA-ma), he pours out his rage on the sign that he’s selling them, “marring” the sign beyond recognition. The word llamar (pronounced “ya-MAR”), means “to call”. This is the word used when you’re referring to what someone is called.

The slides end at two shops: Llegar on the left and Jugar on the right.

Whoever slides into Llegar is greeted loudly with a shout: “She got here!” The owner of Llegar is an old granny who loves giving out prizes to little girls, especially little girls who are brave enough to slide past all of the shops in this neighborhood. But she’s blind, so she doesn’t realize that half of the people who slide in are guys, not girls. The word llegar (which sounds like “yeh-GAR” or “jye-GAR”) means “to arrive”.

On the right side at Jugar, we find another old woman. She wants young boys to come and play, because she has a bunch of games, but they’re all designed for little boys. For example, she likes playing a blindfold game, and normally she’s still wearing the blindfold every time a guest arrives. So every time someone arrives, in order to find out if it’s a boy who wants to play a game, she always says, “Who got here?”, or as she pronounces it, jugar. The word jugar means “to play”.

The last neighborhood in this noisy urban area only has one business: Contar, where tar is sold to pave people’s driveways. Their motto is “Make your driveway count”; they sell very high-quality tar, and they only want people to buy their services if the driveway “tells a story”. Sometimes that story is just hopscotch, but that’s good enough.

The word contar has two meanings: It can mean “to count”, or it can mean “to tell” in the sense of telling a story. Think about a driveway with hopscotch to remember the double meaning.

Joel normally zooms past this store in a neighborhood on a train. This train feels kind of like a roller coaster, because it has to go up and down over the hopscotch drawn on Contar’s driveway.

Er Verbs: Amusement at the Beach

When we go over to the east side of the city, the busy urban area by the beach is designed in a manner somewhat similar to the city area we visited near the woods.

First, we encounter a neighborhood of high-rise buildings where the carousel-style awning is standard. However, there’s only one shop here: Salir.

Salir sells airplane tickets. But it has a major problem: The business sits on the right side of the street, halfway in the water; when the tide comes in, Salir is often flooded with water all the way up to the awning. In these cases, the owner flies out in a Learjet, shouting “OK it’s time to lear!” (He means “leave”, but because it’s a Learjet, he says “lear”.)

Salir means “to exit” (or “to leave”, or “to go out”). It is most commonly followed by de, e.g. salir de la casa.

The next neighborhood uses carousel horse transport. On the left side is Vivir, run by a prankster clown, and on the right side is Creer, run by a crayfish who loves the wet, salty feel of the lower side of the beach.

Vivir is strange, because if you’re innocently going by on a carousel horse, the horse might spontaneously veer off of its public path and actually go inside the store. If that happens, you had better veer the horse quickly to the left or to the right; otherwise, you’ll fall into Vir’s trap. Many guests have fallen prey to this; they beg, “Can we get out now, Mr. Vir?” Vir always responds: “No! You didn’t veer quickly enough, so now you live here! Hahahaha!” The word vivir means “to live”. For example, “to live in Madrid” is vivir en Madrid.

Creer is a seafood shop with very foul air. In fact, it almost violates health code; the crayfish who owns the shop is required to wrap all the food in paper. Otherwise the smell would simply be far too strong.

However, there’s a problem: He now doesn’t know what’s in each package, and neither do the guests. All he can say is something like, “Based on the smell, I believe this is a marlin head.” Then he charges each customer based on what he “believes” the product is.

The word creer (with a stress on “air”) means “to believe”, or “to think”, in the sense that you think something is the case. For example, “to believe in God” is creer en dios, while “to believe that this is good” is creer que esto es bueno.

The smell of this shop is so bad that even the carousel horses can’t stand it. They tend to fall on their faces when they go past this shop, dumping their riders onto the sandy water slide that goes through the next neighborhood.

But there’s another problem here. The only shop open in this neighborhood is Volver, which sells teleports. Well, it would sell teleports if it was successful. But it’s not. It’s a bit of a failure. Usually what happens is that guests slide in via a revolving door, and then very quickly, they appear back on the horse that originally dumped them here. The teleport is VERY fast, sometimes putting them on the horse before they even entered the store; that’s why volver has a stress on “ver”.

Volver means “to return”, often meaning returning to do something you already did. So “to return to that place” is volver a ese lugar.

Er Verbs: Parking Lot by the Beach

After this busy downtown beach area, we come to a small, plain-looking neighborhood that doesn’t exist in the woods.

Here we find some verbs that are normally used by themselves, without any kind of object or prepositional phrase afterwards.

This area is an area where beachgoers can park. The businesses here are mostly food trucks and other wheeled businesses that serve tourists.

On the left side is Suceder, an auto insurance company run by Dare. He convinces tourists that cars are often struck by lightning here (which isn’t true), and he charges 100 Yen to give them special lightning insurance, “just in case that happens”.

The word suceder (stressed syllable “der” but with a secondary syllable “soos”, which sounds kind of like “Zeus”) means “to happen”. For example, “That happened” is eso sucedió.

Just across from Suceder is Morir, a funeral hearse. The owner, “Moe Rear”, charges 50 Yen to carry away any dead bodies, for example when someone drowns in the ocean or gets struck by lightning. But he’s not a huge fan of dead bodies; he always emphasizes, “The body goes in the REAR of the truck, not the front.” Morir means “to die”.

Next door is Dormir, a dormitory for meerkats. In Yol, the meerkats usually have an easy time burrowing and sleeping underground, but here at the parking lot, there is no place to burrow. So this van provides some nice tunnel-like compartments where the meerkats can sleep. Joel sometimes comes by to listen to the little animals snoring in their funny voices, though he tries not to get too close because he’s afraid of all mammals.

Dormir means “to sleep”.

The last business in this neighborhood is Valer, a souvenir shop for beachgoers that primarily sells Russian dolls. One of their most popular toys looks like a fish, with smaller and smaller fish inside of it, each of them more beautiful than the last, until there’s a solid gold toy fish in the very center. Tourists love this kind of toy, because as you take away the layers, it seems to get more and more valuable.

Valer is an interesting verb that means “to be valuable”. This is actually pretty common in Spanish, and you’ll become familiar with many uses before long.

Ar Verbs: Countryside Shops

Beyond the bustling southern part of the city, the north is more tranquil. There are very few apartments, and the shops here are mostly independent buildings.

In the woods, there’s a very large hill that accommodates quiet shops very nicely. However, this is the neighborhood that houses more verbs than any other; a hike up and down the peak brings us past over a dozen businesses.

All of these businesses on the hill are very commonly used with a direct object. (Think of the hill where the shepherd sings a hymn and leads Joel to covet his tea.) We’ll use a simple recurring example for all of these verbs: la [action]. This sentence structure is identical to la tengo or la quiero, but now with 13 new verbs.

At the base of the hill is an area where the trees have been burnt by a forest fire years ago and still haven’t recovered.

The first shop is in a large tree that was severely damaged by the fire. The owner, Scar, set up a woodburning shop inside the tree. (He actually calls it a “woodscarring” shop.) However, the entrance is very hard to find. The entrance is through a crack, or “scar”, in the tree, and visitors are expected to “seek the scar” before entering. Very few end up finding it.

Buscar means “to seek” or “to search for”. As an example, “he searched for her” is la buscó.

Next door is another tree shop, this one with a door that is easy to find. The tree has been turned entirely into charcoal, and the owner sells charcoal pencils that make funny squeaking sounds when used. Theoretically, if you listen closely to these squeaky pencils, you can hear them telling the story of the forest fire. However, this requires very close, attentive listening.

Escuchar means “to listen”. “He listened to her” is la escuchó.

The next shop is a small tent that is run by Dar’s father Vincent Dar, whom everyone calls “Old V. Dar”. He is a very forgetful man; he tries to sell holiday decorations such as Christmas lights, but he continually misplaces his merchandise. Consequently, he hasn’t made enough revenue to upgrade his tent to a full shop.

Olvidar means “to forget”. “He forgot her” is la olvidó.

The llama, Mar, has a couple more sign stores here as the hill begins to get steeper. One is a Valentines-Day-themed shop where he sells signs that have love messages. However, most of these are beaten up or broken, evidence of Mar’s uncontrollable temper.

Amar means “to love”. “He loved her” is la amó.

The second store sells large mugs. Mar sells these mugs because he thinks that the messages on them can serve as signs. However, most of the mugs just say “Take me!” on the side. They have very large handles so that they’re very easy to pick up.

Tomar means “to take”. “He took her” is la tomó. However, this verb is very rarely used with people; it really refers to “taking” in the sense of taking something in the hand, or sometimes in the mouth; for example, if a boy drank some water, someone might say la tomó to mean “he drank it” (the water). Just remember a mug associated with Tomar; both meanings are tied to this image.

Next door to Tomar is Extrañar (pronounced ex-tran-YAR), the “yard” store, which sells sod to the residents of the forest. As you can see, there’s a small clearing around the store, though all the sod around the store has died. There’s a backstory to this: The local forest grew up within the last 50 years; previously, there was much more grass, and people had grassy yards. But unfortunately, yards are not a realistic hope for the future of this area. The store is meant to be very nostalgic, and their motto is “We miss yards! Bring yards back!”

Extrañar means “to miss”. “He missed her” is la extrañó.

Disculpar is a sport shop owned by the con man. He sells frisbees and golf balls. But his supply methods are shady: Whenever someone walks in with anything round, the con man finds a way to take it from them, though he always says “I’m sorry!” or “excuse me!” afterwards. For example, one day Joel’s chef entered the store carrying an orange. The con man tripped the chef, said “Oh excuse me! I’m sorry!”, and then picked up the orange and put it on the shelf so that he could resell it as a golf ball and make some free money.

Disculpar means “to excuse”. “He excused her” is la disculpó.

The next three shops are owned by the lizard: Mirar, Esperar, and (across the street) Encontrar. These are all built into a steep part of the hill, and all three are mostly underground; the lizard loves dark places and caves. (Note that the stressed syllable of all of these shops sounds like “rawr!”)

Mirar is the lizard’s primary business, where he sells mirrors. But he’s not very successful. Because of the darkness of the store, the guests usually can’t even see the mirrors that they want to buy. And then if the lizard turns on a light, there’s a new problem: He ends up staring in the mirror, looking at himself in endless fascination with his reflection until he forces himself to turn the light off again.

Mirar means “to look at” or “to watch”. “He looked at her” is la miró.

Esperar is the lizard’s underground bird sanctuary. He knows that Joel likes to experiment on birds by putting them in the refrigerator. So the lizard provides a place for them to hide from Joel. If birds are afraid of Joel, they wait here and hope that he doesn’t find them.

Esperar means “to wait” or “to hope”. “He waited for her” is la esperó.

Speaking of finding things, the lizard has another underground shop to distract Joel. Encontrar across the street has the tagline, “Find the lizard!” Guests search through a series of tunnel mazes, and their only clue for where to go is the lizard saying “Rah!” over and over. As they get closer, the sound gets louder, and when they finally find the lizard, he shouts “Rar!”, as if to say “You win! You found the lizard!”

Encontrar means “to find” or “to encounter”. “He found her” is la encontró.

Beyond the lizard’s shops, the sun blazes hot on a flatter stretch of ground, slightly melting the tar of the road in front of Matar and Necesitar.

Matar, like the lizard’s shops, is mostly underground. But it’s for a completely different reason: Matar provides illegal entertainment. Hot tar is poured in the windows, and high-paying guests are invited to use the tar to kill animals. It’s very ugly.

Matar means “to kill”. “He killed her” is la mató.

Next door, Necesitar is a more friendly shop, where instead of being used to kill animals, the tar from the road is collected in buckets and sold. In fact, Necesitar is closely associated with Contar, but it serves a different market: Contar sells tar to wealthy individuals who are paving their driveways luxuriously. Necesitar sells tar to the public at much cheaper rates, and their tagline is “You need tar!” In Yol, tar is used to make anything watertight: Roads, roofs, boats, and bathtubs. Tar really is a necessary substance, and that’s why it is sold for such cheap prices here.

Necesitar means “to need”. “He needed her” is la necesitó.

As the ground becomes level at the base of the hill, we encounter a toll booth. If you travel over the entire hill, you must pass through Llevar (pronounced yeh-VAR) and be taxed on whatever you brought with you. This is the only neighborhood with a toll booth, but it’s implemented because of how far the road goes. Anything you brought with you, including your clothes, is taxed at 20%, payable immediately before proceeding.

Llevar (stress sounds kind of like “far”) means “to bring”. “He brought her” is la llevó.

After the hill, we come to a railroad crossing. All of the verbs in this neighborhood are commonly used with indirect objects, such as le, but the railway divides the neighborhood into two categories.

On the nearer side of the highway, we encounter verbs that often use both a direct object ant an indirect object. As examples in English, we might say “I asked him something”, rephrased as “To him I asked something.” Here “to him” is the indirect object (le), and “something” is a direct object.

In fact, “to ask” is our first verb: Preguntar is a business that serves expecting mothers. A pregnant lady comes in and asks, “Is the baby a boy or a girl?” and the response is to paint the answer on the lady’s belly.

Preguntar means “to ask”. For example, “I asked him something” is le pregunté algo.

The next shop is often visited by the same women. In Desear (pronounced “day-say-AR”), women make wishes for their future baby. However, all of their wishes have to begin with the letter R. They might wish that he be “royal”, or that she should have “radiance”, or that he be a “reincarnation”, or that she be “reliable”.

The word desear means “to wish”. It’s often used to wish something for someone else. For example, “I wish you all a good day” is les deseo un buen día.

On the further side, we find some very strange verbs.

As you can see, all of these shops are in tree houses above the ground. You can’t access them directly from the road, and these verbs are associated with indirect objects, but not direct objects. This creates a strange grammatical effect, one that we don’t have in English. (For the grammar nerds, these verbs are often referred to as the afectivo or “affective” verbs, because they refer to how the subject affects a person someone.)

The first is a treehouse restaurant called Gustar. This is a five-star restaurant (unlike Hacer, the 1-star restaurant near Joel’s house). There’s a very simple reason why this restaurant is so successful: Their motto is “We aim to be pleasing.” The verb gustar means “to be pleasing”.

A couple of strange things about this word:

First of all, it’s always used with dative objects. For example, “It is pleasing to her” is le gusta. “It was pleasing to them” is les gustaba.

Second, this word is how the English word “like” is usually translated. In English, we tend to say “He likes the food.” But in Spanish, the tea is the one doing the action: “The food is pleasing to him,” or le gusta la comida.

This is a strange grammatical construction that never occurs in English, but there are actually several verbs that word this way, so it’s very important.

Another of these stores is the verb Importar, which sells special imported goods, dips them in tar, and sells them at exorbitant prices. As you can see, this store is at the top of a very high tree, making it the highest store in the neighborhood. Tar drips down onto the other shops, but they don’t mind; it’s such a classy, important store that everyone is grateful to be rained on by their special tar.

The word importar means “to be important” or “to matter”. For example, “The food is important to her” is le importa la comida.

This sentence is a bit more familiar to English speakers than le gusta la comida, but as you can see the sentence structure is the same. Practice switching out Importar and Gustar in that sentences.

Below Gustar, in the same tree, is a place called Bastar. Guests who climb down from Gustar have to go by Bastar, which sells expensive take-out boxes if they have any leftovers. The server always asks the guests two questions “Did you eat enough?” and “Did that meal do the trick?”

Bastar means “to be enough” or “to do the trick”. For example, “that food was enough for her” is le bastó esa comida. (Spanish speakers use this interesting verb pretty often, and we’ll look at more uses later.)

A few trees further on, we find a more negative shop, Preocupar. This is one of the con man’s golf shops; at this one, he sells golf clubs. Anyone who enters is immediately scared into buying something: They climb up the ladder and enter the shop, and he quickly tells them, “You’re going to fall out of the tree if you don’t buy one of these golf clubs for balance!” (It’s almost true, too, because the tree sways back and forth in the wind, nearly dumping the guests out.) The customers quickly buy one of his golf clubs to keep from falling, and then the con man adds, “Good choice! That club will help you make par on any golf course.”

The verb preocupar (stress on “par”) means “to be worrisome”. For example, “the food worries her” is le preocupa la comida.

It’s a little strange that the con man has a store here, because this is the most elite store neighborhood in Yol. But maybe the con man has swindled enough money to pay the exorbitant rent.

The owner of this real estate is the Tsar, the same lazy owner of Pensar. He sits in his real estate office at the end of the neighborhood, simply watching people pass by. He tries to make sure they all look worthy of his wealthy neighborhood, but he doesn’t leave the building, and he never lets anybody in. He simply sits here, watching people pass by and watching things happen.

The word pasar (stress on “tsar”) means “to pass” or “to happen”. For example, “This happened to her” is le pasó esto (using the same structure as le gusta la comida).

Practice using Gustar, Bastar, Importar, Preocupar, and Pasar interchangeably, putting an indirect object before the verb in each case.

We have one more verb neighborhood in the woods. After we pass by Pasar, we find a bridge over a stream, which is just like the reflexive stream from the countryside.

Here we find three verb shops: Casar and Quedar on the left and Sentar on the right.

Casar is the floating Justice of the Peace office where couples can get married. The Tsar officiates these weddings, if he happens to decide to leave his Pasar office.

The word casar means “to marry”. However, note that this word is almost always reflexive: To say “he’s getting married”, you would say se casa, and “I’m getting married” is me caso.

Quedar is another business, floating on the same boat. Here, Dar sells very special glowing darts: If you throw them into the water, they stay exactly where you threw them, floating on the surface of the water and never moving.

Quedar means “to remain”. This verb actually means various things, but the most common use is as a reflexive verb that means “to stay”. For example, “He’s staying here” is se queda aquí. “I’m staying at home” is me quedo en casa.

Sentar, on the other side of the bridge, is a foot therapy business. The business just looks like a bunch of floating seats; the theory is that once you’re seated, your feet will clean themselves in the stream.

Sentar means “to seat”. The most common use is as a reflexive verb: Sentarme is “to seat myself”, and sentarse is “to seat herself”. (Nobody in Yol says “sit down”; they always say “seat yourself”.)

Er Verbs: Countryside Beach Shops

Just like the “Ar” verbs in the woods, the “Er” verbs along the beach get quieter as we go north.

After the parking lot area, we come to a hill in the form of a rocky cliff along the beach. The verb shops here are used just like the ones we encountered on the hill in the woods: They are normally accompanied by direct objects.

The first store at the base of the hill is Comer, owned by a horse named Mary. She is a health-conscious mare obsessed with seaweed, and she invites female horses to come and eat the green goodness that washes up on the shore. There aren’t many horses in Yol that like seaweed, so she has a very niche business.

Comer (stress on “mare”) means “to eat”. For example, “he ate it” is lo comió or la comió (remember that comida is feminine, so the la here may refer to food).

A little further up is a bookstore shaped like a cave. This store is called “Leer”, and it’s run by the crayfish who owns Creer. The funny thing about this cave is that the ocean breeze blows through it in such a way that it turns the pages of the books every single minute. This means that customers have to read at a steady pace; they’re forced to move on to the next page by the salty air that blows through the store.

Leer (stress on “air”) means “to read”. “He read it” is lo leó or la leó (remember that historia is feminine, so the la here may refer to a story).

The next shop is Ver, a glass lens shop that produces telescopes, microscopes, and reading glasses. The glass that Ver uses is the clearest glass in Yol, made from the tiny sand that blows up the hill; the motto of the store is “Very Clear!” As a demo item, a telescope stands on the roof so that customers can see far out over the ocean or across the city.

The word ver (think “very clear”) means “to see”. “He saw her” is la vió.

Just next door to Ver is Oír, an ear doctor’s office that looks suspiciously like Ir (from near Joel’s house), but rounder. This place is run by Ir’s brother, Oliver, who goes by “O. Ir”; he is much more sane than Ir, and he genuinely helps people to understand their ears and to hear better.

Oír means “to hear”. “He heard her” is la oyó.

Lower down on the cliff, we find two stores that are subject to the rising tide. They’re kind of hard to get to, and few people really ever go to these two businesses.

Conocer is a speed dating shop for beachgoers. It’s owned by Ser, but actually she secretly has this business because she has no friends (nobody likes Ser) and she is desperate to find ways to get to know people.

Conocer means “to meet” or “to be acquainted with”. Generally, it means “get to know” a person or a place; if you’re familiar with a person, that’s conocer, or if you’re familiar with a city, that also is conocer. As an example, “he met her” is la conoció.

If nobody shows up to Ser’s speed dating events, she cries and goes next door to Entender. This is where Dare (from Poder) tries to offer counseling to people in distress. His version of “counseling” is to put on an understanding face, which he calls his “tender face”, and simply listen to their problems. His most regular customer is Ser. If Ser comes over and cries and talks about her worries for an hour, Dare simply says, “I understand”. (He never really says anything other than that.) Then Ser is happy and goes home, and Dare congratulates himself on being such a “tender”, understanding counselor.

The word entender means “to understand”. “He understood her” is la entendió.

At the bottom of the hill, we encounter a railroad crossing, just like we did in the woods. For some reason, this railroad runs straight into the sea.

Here we find one verb that is used with both direct and indirect objects: Parecer.

Parecer is run by Ser, but it’s only open for a few hours a week (usually after she’s been at Conocer and Entender). Here Ser provides hair styling. But she’s a one-trick pony; she only knows how to part people’s hair directly down the middle, just like the con man. Anyone who visits Parecer walks out with a middle part and questioning looks from others: “That guy looks a lot like the con man!”

The word parecer (stress on “ser”, secondary stress on “par”) means “to seem”. If something seems like something else, then it parece something else. “It seemed to me like a dog” is me pareció un perro.

Nearby, the stream crosses our path and meets the ocean. Floating in this stream is an office belonging to the local psychotherapist, Tir (pronounced “tear”, as in “he shed a tear”).

Unlike Dare, Tir is a true certified psychiatrist. He is really good at serving his patients, because he doesn’t simply try to “understand” them (like at Entender); he truly tries to *feel* their pains. This can be a bit of a problem, though. He feels very strongly for his patients, sometimes even more than they do. So he ends up crying a lot throughout the day, and it often puts his floating office in danger of sinking because his empathetic tears amount to such a large volume of water.

Sentir means “to feel”. This word is normally reflexive; for example, “She felt happy” is se sentió feliz.