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  • Judy Schulten

37. Learn the extremely useful idiom “tengo que . . .”

It means “I have to . . .” You say, “Tengo que trabajar.” I have to work. “Tengo que limpiar la casa.” I have to clean the house. “Tengo que salir.” I have to leave. The beauty of “tengo que” is that you use the verb infinitive; you don’t conjugate the verb but you give a whole sentence of information.

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53. Take heart from other mediocre linguists.

It's fun to read about other people's struggles with a second language. Fun, and somehow comforting. I just read Monsieur Mediocre, by John von Sothen, an American married to a French woman, living in


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