What Happened Last Night? - Spanish Practice Activity

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  • 0:00 Background on Storytelling
  • 0:38 Asking What Happened…
  • 4:39 Telling People an Anecdote
  • 8:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elena Sacramento Lechado

Elena has a PhD in linguistics from University of La Laguna (Spain). Currently, she teaches Spanish as a foreign language and creates teaching resources.

Improve your Spanish skills and learn how to tell stories about your city adventures. In this lesson, you will read a conversation and a short text and answer some questions to test your comprehension.

Background on Storytelling

Telling a story involves the adequate use of tenses, vocabulary, and different connectors to organize our account. In this lesson, we'll look at a conversation between two friends talking about what happened the previous night in the city, and a short text about a past experience.

Look at the use of the verbs in the past tense, or actions that took place before, especially the irregular ones. Your knowledge of vocabulary related to city buildings and locations, as well as activities, will help you grasp the main idea of the texts. Ready?

Asking What Happened Last Night

When asking, 'What happened last night?' let's take a close look at this conversation between two friends, Marta and Laura. Then, afterward we'll check your comprehension with the true/false activity (verdadero/falso).

Marta: ¿Qué hicisteis ayer después del museo?

Laura: Fue una noche muy larga.

Marta: ¿Qué pasó?

Laura: Pues dimos un paseo y luego tomamos unas tapas. Cuando salimos del bar, Roberto se dio cuenta de que no tenía las llaves del coche, así que volvimos al bar pero no las encontramos.

Caminamos por la cuidad e hicimos el mismo recorrido buscando las llaves. Pasamos por el parque, por la oficina de correos, por la panadería y por el museo.

Marta: Quizás se le cayeron dentro del museo.

Laura: Exacto. Pero el museo estaba cerrado. Estábamos cansados y fuimos a la estación de tren pero ¡perdimos el tren por un minuto! El último pasó a medianoche.

Marta: ¡Qué mala suerte!

Laura: Sí. Tuvimos que tomar un autobús y llegamos a casa a las dos de la mañana. Esta mañana fuimos al centro y preguntamos en el museo. Por suerte, estaban allí.

Marta: ¡Menos mal!

Now try to answer these true or false questions. We'll check your answers when you're done.

  1. Marta tomó unas tapas con Laura.
  2. Roberto perdió sus llaves en el museo.
  3. Laura y Roberto tomaron el tren.
  4. El último tren pasó a las 12.
  5. Las llaves estaban en el museo.

The answers are:

  1. False
  2. True
  3. False
  4. True
  5. True

Did you get them right? Now let's look at the translation for any words you need to check.

Marta: What did you (both) do yesterday after the museum?

Laura: It was a very long night.

Marta: What happened?

Laura: Well, we went for a walk and then we had some tapas. When we left the bar, Roberto realized that he didn't have his car keys, so we went back to the bar but we couldn't find them.

We walked around the city and took the same route looking for the keys. We passed through the park, the post office, the bakery, and the museum.

Marta: Maybe he dropped them inside the museum.

Laura: Exactly, but the museum was closed. We were tired and we went to the train station but we missed the train by one minute! The last one passed at midnight.

Marta: What bad luck!

Laura: Yes. We had to take the bus and we arrived home at two in the morning. This morning we went to the center and asked at the museum. Luckily, they were there.

Marta: Thankfully!

Let's comment on a few important things here. Take a look at the use of the past tenses in Spanish. We use the preterite (tomamos, salimos, fuimos, llegamos) to talk about finished actions in the past. They happened once and they are over. In contrast, we use the imperfect (tenía, estábamos) to express that the action had duration in the past. Notice the use of se for unexpected events in se le cayeron las llaves (He dropped the keys). We also use the pronoun le because we are referring to Roberto, who suffered the consequences.

Telling People an Anecdote

Let's say that you hear someone say, 'Tell us your anecdote!' Now look at this excerpt from a blog in which writers share their unlucky experiences. Maria has written about her date with Luis. Read it carefully and fill in the blanks:

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