The Revolución Starts Now. Or Close to Now….


It takes little skill to recognize fault on the jobsite. Identifying problemas (proh-BLAY-mahs) is easy. The hard part is the solución (soh-looh-SYOHN).


As a manager and leader, your effectiveness is largely determined by your ability to outline a reasonable solución and then implement it.


Since I don’t have the time, energy or omnipotence (To Do List for October 20th, 2011: include $3-word in blog…. Check!) to help you outline every conceivable problema, I will lend a helping hand with the implementation.


A key component of every solución is the time frame. When are we going to fix this?






Have you ever watched some Bruce Lee flick at 2 in the morning and thought, “Man, I wanna learn me some tae kwon do?” Umm, right. Me neither. But… if you have, you were speaking Spanish. The “kwon do” portion of Bruce Lee’s specialty is exactly how you say when in Spanish.


Tae Cuándo.


So now that we know cuándo, we’ll review 3 words that will help you get it done today.






Just remember the H in front is silent. You’ll be the walking definition of the word gringo if you pronounce it.







Ahora means now, but not necessarily this minute. There is no immediacy behind the word. Ahora doesn’t mean tomorrow, but there is a general lack of time sensitivity. Think of it like you would with a 15-year old, when you ask him to do something.


15-year old sitting on couch. Watching South Park re-runs. Mouth slightly ajar. Cheetoh stains on shirt.


You: “Honey, would you mind taking your clean clothes upstairs to your bedroom now?


15-year old: Zero movement. Not a muscle. Mouth still ajar. Eyes glazed over. Whispers:





Will he do it? Yes.

Will he do it now? No. Not unless further action is taken on your part.


Your idea of now is preferably right this very minute.

His idea of now is… not tomorrow.





Right this GD minute


This is what you need to convey absolute immediacy. Ahorita means drop-what-yer-doin’-and-do-it-right-now.


When you see the suffix -ito or -ita, it means we’re minimizing the thing the suffix is attached to. Here we are shrinking now to right now.


Some other examples:


Casita = little casa = little house

Carrito = little carro = little car

Carlito = little Carlo


Burrito = little burro = little donkey/Latino cuisine

Gatito Burrito



At any rate, the -ita behind ahora minimizes the regular now to right now.



Now… go & prosper. Ahorita.



Bradley Hartmann is founder and el presidente at Red Angle (, a Spanish language training firm focused on the construction industry. He likes Cheetohs, Al Pacino (HOO-wah), and burritos (no… not cat burritos). His new book, Spanish Twins, will be on digital shelves everywhere later this month – Stay tuned! >> Spanish Twins

Categories: Jobsite Leadership

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