Spanish Proficiency Exercises
Tell the story of The Three Little Pigs.

Simplified and native speakers:

• Simplified example
• Daniela R.
• Irma C.
• Alejandro C.
• Emilia A.
• Hanevy S.

.m4v (iPod) downloads
Click red links to download .m4v files for use in iPod:

• Simplified example
• Daniela R.
• Irma C.
• Alejandro C.
• Emilia A.
• Hanevy S.

Subscribe to iTunes podcast: adv19
Subscribe to podcast: adv19

Key vocabulary for this task

Example phrases for this task

Grammar points for this task

Simplified Example
"Les voy a contar de los tres cochinitos y el lobo...."
Daniela R.
Perú, Lima
"Tres chanchitos dicidieron independizarse..."
Irma C.
México, Monterrey
"Les voy a contar un cuento..."
Alejandro C.
Ecuador, Quito
"Había una vez tres chanchitos que querían construir su casa..."
Emilia A.
Argentina, Tucumán
"Había una vez tres chanchitos que vivían en una casa con su mamá..."
Hanevy S.
México, Irapuato, Guanajuato
"Érase una vez tres cochinitos que eran hermanitos..."
amenazar   to threaten
brincar   to jump
chanchito/cochinito/cerdito (m)   little pig
clavar   to nail (together), to pin, to stick
construir   to build
derribar/tumbar   to demolish, to knock down
espiar   to spy
estar hambriento (m)   to be starving
flojo (m)   lazy (adj.), lazy person (noun)
fogata (f)   fire (used to cook or heat)
ladrillo (m)   brick
lobo (m)   wolf
moraleja (f)   moral (of a story)
olla (f)   cooking pot
paja (f)   straw
patada (f)   kick
pelear   to fight
soplar   to blow
trabajador (m)   hard worker, diligent
El primer cochinito construyó su casa de paja. The first little pig built his house out of straw.
El lobo sopló muy fuerte y derribó la casa. The wolf blew very strongly and knocked the house down.
Al fondo de la chimenea había una olla de agua hervida. At the bottom of the chimney there was a pot of boiling water.
Los cerditos tenían miedo de las amenazas del lobo. The little pigs were afraid of the wolf's threats.
Una casa de ladrillo dura más que una de paja. A house of brick lasts longer than a house of straw.
La moraleja del cuento es: ser flojo es un vicio. The moral of the story is: being lazy is a vice.
Ya que el lobo estaba hambriento quería comerse los cochinitos. Since the wolf was hungry he wanted to eat up the little pigs.
El lobo espiaba a los tres cochinitos. The wolf was spying on the three little pigs.
Si los tres cochinitos no se hubieran peleado, no se habrían separado. If the three little pigs hadn't fought with one another, they wouldn't have separated.
Si los cochinitos no se hubieran separado, el lobo no los habría perseguido. If the three little pigs hadn't separated, the wolf wouldn't have gone after them.
Reporting what someone says

Reporting what someone has said can be a difficult task in a foreign language. The first question to ask yourself is: did the speaker give information or ask for a favor? For example, let's imagine that my neighbor Joe says, "There's a mouse in my house." He has just given me information. Now, if Joe says, "Give me a mousetrap," he is asking for a favor.

It is important to distinguish between the two because it will determine how I report what Joe said to a third party. For example, let us now imagine that my friend Ben didn't hear Joe and he asks me what he said. For the first sentence I would respond, "Joe said that there was a mouse in his house." The second sentence would require a different form, "Joe told me to give him a mousetrap."

Likewise, indirect speech in Spanish requires a different form for reporting information and a favor. Let's look at the same sentences in Spanish:

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
  Juan dice, "“hay un ratón en mi casa”". Juan dijo que había un ratón en su casa.
  Juan says, "There is a mouse in my house." Juan said that there was a mouse in his house.
Juan dice, "dame una ratonera". Juan me dijo que le diera una ratonera.
Juan says, "Give me a mousetrap." Juan told me that I (should) give him a mousetrap.

When reporting information in Spanish two changes occur: first, the tense changes from the present (e.g. dice, hay) to the past (e.g. dijo, había). Secondly, que must be used to separate the first verb-subject combination (e.g. Juan dijo) and the information (e.g. había un ratón en la casa). Here are some more examples:

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
  Ana dice, "quiero un refresco". Ana dijo que quería un refresco.
  Ana says, "I want a soft drink." Ana said that she wanted a soft drink.
  José dice, "leo tres horas por día". José dijo que leía tres horas por día.
  Jose says, "I read three hours a day." Jose said that he read three hours a day.

Reporting a favor is a more complicated matter. In addition to the changes made when reporting information, you must use the past subjunctive to express the favor that has been asked (e.g. diera) and, in most cases, you will need to add an object pronoun (e.g. le). Here are some more examples:

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
  Ana dice, "cómprame un refresco". Ana me dijo que le comprara un refresco.
  Ana says, "Buy me a soft drink." Ana told me to buy her a soft drink.
  José dice, "léeme una historia". José me dijo que le leyerauna historia.
  Jose says, "Read me a story." Jose asked me to read him a story.