Preparing dinner for friends in Spanish.



PHRASES:

Para planear una cena hay que saber quién viene y qué es lo que les gusta cenar. In order to plan a dinner you have to know who is coming and what it is that they like to eat.
Vamos a empezar con una ensalada. We'll start with a salad.
Se me cayó el cuchillo así que tuve que pedir otro. I dropped my knife so I had to ask for another.
Daniel es un anfitrión muy detallado. Cada platillo que sirve está bien pensado. Daniel is a very detailed host. Every dish that he serves is well thought out.
Siempre se me olvida cual tenedor se usa para la ensalada. I always forget which fork is used for salads.
¿Alguien quiere una taza de café? Does anybody want a cup of coffee?
Trajimos el postre: fresas encubiertas en chocolate. We brought the dessert: chocolate covered strawberries.
Cuando te invitan a una cena se espera que ofreces llevar algo. When you're invited to dinner you're expected to offer to bring something.
¿Te gusta el pozole? Es una sopa mexicana. Do you like pozole? It's a Mexican soup.
No hay nada como las tapas de Granada. There's nothing like Granadan appetizers.

VOCABULARY:

anfitriona (f)   hostess
aperitivo (m)/tapas (f)   appetizer
callado (adj)   quiet, shy
cena (f)   dinner
cubiertos (m)   silverware
cuchara (f)   spoon
cuchillo (m)   knife
ensalada (f)   salad
entrada (f)   first course
invitado (m)   guest
invitar   to invite
platillo (m)   dish
plato (m)   plate
plato fuerte (m)   entrée
plato hondo (m), tazón (f), cuenco (m)   bowl
postre (m)   dessert
preparar, cocinar, guisar   to cook
reunió (f)   get together
sopa (f)   soup
taza (f)   (coffee) cup
tenedor (m)   fork
vaso (m)   glass

GRAMMAR:

"No fault" construction

One of the many uses of the word se in Spanish is in a "no fault" construction. Just as the name indicates, this construction is used for unexpected occurrences and does not place the blame on anyone. These sentences include se, an indirect object pronoun which refers to the person(s) involved (usually as an innocent victim) and the verb which is in the third person and agrees with the recipient. For example:

 

A Juan se le perdió la cartera. Juan lost his wallet (Juan's wallet "got" lost).
  Se me olvidaron tus libros. I forgot your books (Your books were forgotten).
  Se nos cayeron los vasos. We dropped the glasses. (The glasses fell).
  Se me rompió la mesa. I broke the table (the table broke).
  ¿Se te ha acabado el dinero? Your money has run out?

 

The no fault construction is very commonly used. In fact, if you were to not use it you would appear to have done the action on purpose. For example:

 

Rompí la mesa. I broke the table.
  Perdí mi tarea. I lost my homework.

 

Both of these sentences would imply an intentional act on the subject's part. Another possible translation of the first sentence would be, "I broke the table on purpose."

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