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  Lección Cincuenta y seis (56)
  1 Where have we got to?
— Without any difficulty, you understand the general meaning of the sentences at the second reading;
but there are phrases that seem strange to you, words that will escape you, and then, above all, the verbs.
You are beginning to see your way clear in the conjugation of the regular ones, in ar, ir, er;
but there are still the irregular, which we are now going to study a little more closely.
Don't get impatient; it is only by daily practice that you will succeed in becoming familiar with them.
Though your knowledge is still vague enough, we will enter the active phase of our study :
it is the best means to make it more accurate.
From the 57th lesson, we shall ask you, once you have studied the lesson as usual, to read over again one of the lessons of the beginning, starting by the first, in the following way :
a) Read the lesson aloud (after listening to the record, if possible), checking on the English text the meaning of the passages about which you are not sure.
b) Translate aloud into Spanish each sentence of the English text and verify it with the help of the Spanish text
(If you do this exercise in writing, it will be better still).
c) The same for the Exercise.
  2 Irregular verbs.
— We will not say that they are easy; they are at least as complex as the French ones.
You have been able to make sure of that by the few variations of hacer and decir that we have come across. But, luckily, those irregularities are not " individual ", but can be grouped;
thus we have seen that in certain verbs, the e changes into ie under the stress :
sentarse, to sit down : yo me siento (I sit [me] down) ;
querer, to want; yo quiero, I want, etc...
There are more than 80 such irregular verbs : when you know one, you know them all.

In the same manner, about 60 verbs change o into ue as in :
volver, yo vuelvo;
consolar, yo consuelo, etc..

We have seen the similitude of conocer, to know, and parecer, to seem :
yo conozco, yo parezco, I know, I seem, etc...

Outside the " grouped " irregular verbs of that kind, which we shall study gradually,
there are only very few " individual " irregular verbs to learn, which we may be very glad of.
  3 The floors.
— The ground-floor (U.S. first floor): el piso bajo or la planta baja.
As sometimes in France, the Spanish first floor is called : el entresuelo {French : entresol).
In Spanish, the floor above the " entresuelo " is called " el piso principal " or " el principal ";
so that " el piso primero " (or: el primer piso) corresponds to the English 3rd floor (U.S. 4th floor!!),
and el piso segundo (or : el segundo piso) to our 4th floor,
el piso tercero (or : el tercer piso) to our 5th floor;
el piso cuarto (or : cuarto piso) to our 6th floor;
el piso quinto (or : quinto piso) to our 7th floor, etc. (+ 1 for U.S.!).
  4 The adjective is placed generally after the noun which it qualifies; however, the meaning may differ according to the place of the adj. :
ex. : un gran hombre, a great man;
un hombre grande : a tall man.
  5 Let us see over again :
— 1 En medio de la calle.
— 2 Antes de media noche.
— 3 A las tres de la madrugada.
— 4 ¡Qué barato! ¡ Qué bonito!
— 5 A principio de la semana.
— 6 Desde hoy en adelante.
— 7 De modo que...
— 8 iQué tal ha pasado la noche?
— 9 No puedo volver a dormir.
— 10 Miré entorno de mí.
— 11 Mire usted entorno de sí.
  1 In the middle of the street.
— 2 Before midnight.
— 3 At three o'clock in the morning.
— 4 How cheap it is! How nice it is !
— 5 At the beginning of the week.
-— 6 From to-day.
— 7 So that...
— 8 How have you passed the night?
— 9 I cannot go to sleep again.
— 10 I looked around me.
— 11 Look around you.