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¿Me regalas un ...?

 

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  #1  
Old July 07, 2022, 09:03 PM
elchocoano elchocoano is offline
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¿Me regalas un ...?

When I am in Colombia, I usually use ¿Me regalas ...? when asking for things for which I will pay.

A specific example: ¿Me regalas un pastel de pollo?

The question I have, that I hope someone will be able to help me with, is:

Should I use a yes-no question sentence intonation when making these kinds of requests?

I've never been sure. I'm not really asking a question (it is more of a polite request) but grammatically it is a question.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old July 07, 2022, 10:59 PM
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This works in Central America, but you might want to consider your audience (el tuteo no se usa en general con los desconocidos). It's understood that you intend to pay for the item.

A question is asked like a question, intonation-wise.
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  #3  
Old July 08, 2022, 12:53 AM
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I have heard regáleme...por favor instead of me regalas. That avoids using question marks.
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  #4  
Old July 08, 2022, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elchocoano View Post
Should I use a yes-no question sentence intonation when making these kinds of requests?
Yes, you should. We do it all the time in Mexico.
Instead of giving orders, we prefer asking questions, so we kind of leave it to the other person to "decide" whether or not to do as we want.

- ¿Me prestas tu pluma? (Far better than demanding: "Préstame tu pluma.")
- (Asking the domestic service) Señora Mari, ¿puede limpiar aquí, por favor? (Way less harsh than "Señora Mari, limpie aquí, por favor", even adding "por favor.")
- ¿Me regala un café con leche, por favor?
- (The office boss speaking) Carlos, ¿puedes venir a mi oficina? (Kinder than asking "Carlos, por favor ven a mi oficina.")

All of these are polite requests that many of us prefer formulating as questions to avoid an imperative, even if the non-question alternative is polite itself.

Some of us also intonate as a question something like "¿La cuenta, por favor?" (Check, please.)
Just like in the previous examples, we may say in a polite tone: "La cuenta, por favor", but we still choose the question.


Side note: I agree with Rusty about the "tú"/"usted" thing, but there are many places where young staff use "tú" with everyone (some restaurants, clothing stores, etc.), so if the atmosphere is as informal and friendly, it's alright to use "tú" with them as well.
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Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; July 08, 2022 at 08:45 PM.
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  #5  
Old July 08, 2022, 06:14 PM
elchocoano elchocoano is offline
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Excellent help, everyone.

On the side-note re. tú/usted, Rusty's comment is well-taken and I should not get too relaxed, even though, as Angelica pointed out, things seem quite informal in many situations. In fact, I was just in Medellín and tried to get some general guidance on this from a few people. The Medellín situation is even more complicated with a third singular pronoun, vos, also in use. I wasn't able to get much guidance since the usual answer is: tranquilo! use whatever you want! Perhaps this is because I am a foreigner asking!

In any case, I think that I should try to pay attention to how people use the pronouns vos/tú/usted amongst themselves and with me, and draw my own conclusions.

The usage does vary throughout Colombia. In Bogotá I use usted most of the time; in Medellín, seems quite relaxed, but not really sure! I don't usually use vos as I'm not exactly sure what the implications are in terms of level of intimacy. In Cali, vos seems quite common.
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  #6  
Old July 08, 2022, 08:44 PM
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I'm not really familiar with Colombian usage of pronouns (except for what I've seen on TV), but I've noticed that "usted" is widely used even for close family and friends. Anyway, just do as the Romans do. Once you listen to a couple of conversations you'll know how to talk, I think.
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  #7  
Old July 09, 2022, 12:48 AM
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While I haven't visited Colombia myself, I worked for a few years (1983-1987) as part of the admin staff for the ESL program at my university, where I met may people from may countries, including from most Spanish-speaking countries. I knew one young woman from Medellín who used usted exclusively with everyone, and she told me that everyone in her family also used usted exclusively. When I asked whether this practice was universal in Medellín and Antioquia, she said no; some families were like hers, and others were not.
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Old July 09, 2022, 05:50 PM
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It's apparently complicated in Colombia. Many telenovelas from Colombia and filmed in Bogotá use ud. exclusively, but I have joined Spanish/English intercambios, and people from Bogotá tell me they use tú. Additionally some have told me the use of ud. seems standoffish.
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  #9  
Old July 10, 2022, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poli View Post
It's apparently complicated in Colombia. Many telenovelas from Colombia and filmed in Bogotá use ud. exclusively, but I have joined Spanish/English intercambios, and people from Bogotá tell me they use tú. Additionally some have told me the use of ud. seems standoffish.


Yep: local expectations regarding when & with whom to use tú, vos & usted vary so much from place to place and setting to setting, and not just within Colombia...
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