Impersonal Expressions with Se
Many places in Spain and Latin America have excellent public transportation systems,
The bus is called
Buses are generally either numbered or labeled with the name of the last stop of the route. Most subways systems have lines that are both numbered and colored for ease of distinguishing one from another. The Mexico City metro is famous for the pictographic symbols assigned to each line as well — for example, the Grasshopper line and the Pyramid line.
In many places you can buy packets of multiple bus or metro tickets. You may also have the option of a single pass. Some cities offer passes that are good for unlimited travel for a specified time, a week or a month, for example. Think about how much you might use any sort of public transportation to decide whether or not a pass will be worthwhile. Consider convenience as well as cost, because many transportation systems require exact change.
Getting Help on the Bus or Subway
So, you've found out that you have to take bus 32 to get to
Listen to each example on Track 68 as you follow along in the text. Repeat each one after you hear it.
(Can you let me know when we get to Güell Park, please?)
(Will you do me the favor of telling me when I should get off for Güell
(Will you let me know when to get off for Güell Park, please?)
(Which is the stop for Güell Park? Can you let me know, please?)
(How many more stops are there to Güell Park?)
Most people are happy to help out, but you might try to sit near the bus driver just so he or she remembers to let you know when you get to your stop. You might also want to ask the driver where to catch the return bus,
You've learned lots of impersonal expressions, and you may hear someone use them to give you directions or make sightseeing recommendations like
(Here one speaks Spanish; or, Spanish is spoken here.)
(One pays here.)
(One gets out [of the bus] in back.)
These sorts of expressions sometimes include the verb
(One should visit that church when there is a concert.)
(One shouldn't walk around that neighborhood at night.)
(Can one enter this way?)
(One can't go that way.)
Let's look at a few more examples that you might find useful when you're finding your way around town.
(How does one get to … ?)
(Does one get on [the bus] in front or back?)
(Does one eat well in this restaurant? Is the food good here?)
(Should one make a reservation?)
Practice: Impersonal Expressions with Se
Now you try it. Translate the following questions into Spanish using an impersonal expression with
How does one get into the museum?
Should one leave the key at reception?
One should see the fountain at night.
One can see the cathedral from the plaza.
One takes the number 7 bus to get to the historic district.
Keep in mind that these sorts of statements in English are usually expressed with the impersonal “you” rather than “one.” The Spanish equivalents with