Spanish Practice Activity: Listening to Conversations About Volunteering

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  • 0:03 Dar, Decir, Hacer
  • 1:43 Reciclar
  • 4:04 Comparing Experiences
  • 6:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Pablo Serna

Pablo has taught college Spanish at the University of Missouri and Central Methodist University, and has a master's degree in Spanish literature.

In this lesson, we will listen to people discussing their volunteer experiences last year while we practice community vocabulary, and the verbs dar, decir, and hacer in the preterite tense.

Dar, Decir, & Hacer

When working with the community, verbs like dar and hacer are very important. You give your time, love, and effort to help others. It's not only what you do to help others, but you also feel great knowing that you did something valuable. Now, if you want to brag about it (hopefully not), you would need the verb decir.

Remember that the verbs dar (to give), decir (to say/tell), and hacer (to do/make) are irregular verbs. Let's review these verbs.


Person\Tense Present Preterite
Yo digo dije
dices dijiste
Él/ella/usted dice dijo
Nosotros decimos dijimos
Vosotros decís dijisteis
Ellos/ellas/ustedes dicen dijeron

Dar and hacer in the preterite:

Person Dar Hacer
Yo di hice
diste hiciste
Él/ella/usted dio hizo
Nosotros dimos hicimos
Vosotros disteis hicisteis
Ellos/ellas/ustedes dieron hicieron


Let's listen to Sergio and Jorge discuss their experience starting a recycling club at their university.

Sergio: ¡Estoy muy feliz de que el club tenga ya un año! Te dije que iba a tener éxito.

Jorge: Tuvimos veinte voluntarios este año y dieron todo su tiempo a diferentes actividades.

S: Sí, tuvimos consistentemente suficientes voluntarios para recolectar los productos reciclables y llevarlos al centro de reciclaje.

J: Y suficientes para dos eventos de sensibilización que hicimos sobre el problema de la contaminación.

S: Hubo un gran problema con basura en los contenedores de reciclaje pero los avisos (signs) que hicimos ayudaron.

J: La gente sólo necesitaba la educación que les dimos. Los estudiantes reciclaron más después de los eventos.

S: Y después no necesitamos gastar (to spend/waste) tanto tiempo separando los productos reciclados.

J: Empezamos cambiando sólo una calle; después un barrio; luego una comunidad y pronto vamos a cambiar ¡el mundo!

Now let's practice vocabulary and conjugations by filling in the blanks below. Check the answer key at the end of the transcript when you're finished.

1. Sergio le _______ (decir) a Jorge que iban a tener éxito.

2. Los voluntarios _______ (recolectar) productos reciclables y los _______ (llevar) al centro de reciclaje.

3. Ellos _______ (hacer) avisos (signs) para reducir la cantidad (amount) de basura en los contenedores.

4. Jorge _______ (decir) que su meta (goal) es cambiar el _______.

Comparing Experiences

Now, let's read and listen to Jaime and Gabriel who had to volunteer for one of their classes. Jaime chose to work at a hospital and Gabriel at a retirement community. Let's listen to them compare their experiences.

Jaime: ?Te alegra haber escogido el ancianato, Gabriel?

Gabriel: Me gustó ser voluntario allí, pero el horario era muy malo. Para preparar el desayuno, yo llegaba a las 5 AM.

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