How to Learn Spanish Verbs

There’s a rumor going around that Spanish verbs are difficult and confusing. You might even be afraid to try to learn them. There’s no need to worry, Spanish verbs can be learned with just a little attention.

One thing people don’t realize is that English verbs are, in many ways, similar to Spanish verbs. For instance, you will often hear the complaint that it’s hard to learn Spanish verbs because you have to conjugate them. Conjugating verbs just means matching up the right verb form for each “person,” like I, you, he, she, we, or they.

What people don’t seem to understand is that we conjugate English words as well. So, for instance, we say “I have,” but we say “she has.” When you learn Spanish, you will conjugate verbs in the same way.

The only difference is that you have diverse forms for more of the “persons.” When you learn Spanish verbs, you will learn a special form each for “I”, “you”, “we”, “they”, and another form for “he”, “she”, or “it.” Another thing that makes it easy to learn Spanish verbs is that these verb forms are just based on mostly standard endings. Once you know the endings, you can apply them to the infinitives.

Infinitives are the most basic forms of the verbs. All verbs in English have an infinitive form, but most people aren’t aware of it. The English infinitive starts with the word “to,” as in “to have.” Spanish infinitives are single words, like “tener,” meaning “to have” also. If you learn Spanish infinitives, you will have a good start when you learn Spanish verbs.

As you learn Spanish, you will find that some of the words are different. Just as in English, there are irregular verbs. The English verb “to be” is conjugated “I am,” “you are,” “she is,” “we are,” and “they are.” Since these forms are not the usual infinitive with an ending, they constitute an irregular verb.

When you learn Spanish, you will learn verbs that follow similar patterns. Using the same example, for the Spanish verb “ser,” the forms are “yo soy,” “tu eres,” “ella es,” “nosotros estamos,” and “ellos estan.” These are also irregular verb forms.

The final set of forms you will need to learn Spanish are the tenses. In English, the past tense for “jump” is “jumped”. This is a regular past tense. An example of a verb with an irregular past tense is “go.” Its past tense is “went.”

As you learn Spanish, you will find out how to make the endings for each tense: present, past, past perfect, and so on. You will also learn Spanish irregular endings for verbs in the different tenses. With all this knowledge under your belt, along with information on the other parts of speech, you should be able to carry on an intelligent conversation.

Certainly, there is a lot to understand as you learn Spanish verbs. There are many words and verb forms to remember. However, if you remember that English has many of the same structures, you will find that it’s not so confusing.

Learn Spanish Language Secrets

You can learn Spanish to a certain degree and still have trouble with certain words and sentence constructions. It seems that you are saying them right, but you notice that Spanish speakers say them differently. If you learn Spanish language secrets, you will understand the subjects better.

One thing to remember is that you don’t always have to use the pronoun. If you say “yo,” meaning “I,” each time you could, you will sound strident. This is because using the pronoun is only necessary when you are emphasizing it. If you are constantly emphasizing it, you will sound foolish. Learn Spanish rules like this and you will sound more like a native speaker.

You can learn Spanish word order in its basic form quite easily. It is usually like English except adjectives tend to go after the noun they describe. However, if you spend the time to learn Spanish word order by listening to Spanish speaking people, you will find differences. Meaning can have subtle variations when you change the word order.

There is another secret people can come across when they learn Spanish. There are many Spanish words that look very nearly like English words that you know. Sometimes, they can be considered direct translations.

However, some words only look similar. They actually mean something quite different. Pay attention to the exact translations of words, as you learn Spanish. Using some of these words incorrectly can cause you embarrassment, or can even insult someone.

An interesting secret when you learn Spanish is that common phrases, or idioms, don’t always translate word for word. If you try to translate an idiom word for word, you might get the meaning, or at least an approximation of it.

However, there are many idioms that would seem to mean one thing that mean something else when translated as a whole. The only way to learn this is by experience, or to get a book of idioms. You must remember, though, that there are different idioms in different Spanish speaking countries.

Learn Spanish from textbooks if you like, but when you are put into the culture, don’t rely on them. This is another secret to know when you learn Spanish. Many people don’t speak like the textbooks are written.

That’s ok; English speakers don’t either, if you think about it. If you try to learn Spanish better in this informal way, you will likely make mistakes that the book has not prepared you for. Don’t worry; you can pick up the language from the conversation if you’re alert.

Another secret is that pronunciation is important. The way you pronounce your “b’s” and “v’s” will mark you as a person who does or doesn’t consider it necessary to learn Spanish well. If you don’t roll your “r’s” properly, you will sound like a toddler to the Spanish speaking person. All these little things can set you apart or help you fit in.

Learn Spanish with all the nuances and you will not be looked at as an outsider. Taking a few steps to improve your Spanish will be worth it in the long run.

Learn Spanish Phrases for Your Trip Abroad

It’s nice when you get a chance to take a trip abroad. If you are going to a Spanish speaking country, it might be a little intimidating to get off the beaten path and explore. Just making yourself at home in hotels and restaurants can be quite a task if you’re unprepared. That’s why it’s good to learn Spanish phrases to get you by.

Of course, if you have time to take a full Spanish course, that’s preferable. Learning to speak conversational Spanish will make your stay among the local people much more pleasant. You can communicate most ideas if you learn Spanish in this way.

However, you may not have the time to learn Spanish thoroughly. You may have been invited on the trip unexpectedly. You may have won the trip and have to take it in a short amount of time. Or, perhaps you had plenty of notice, but had too busy of a schedule to fit in a full course to learn Spanish properly.

It doesn’t matter why you’re in this position; the crux of the matter is that you need to learn Spanish enough to handle your basic needs. You will probably find English speaking people somewhere on your journey to speak with. However, there will be times when you must depend upon Spanish speaking people to answer important questions.

You can find phrasebooks to help you find the words to ask for basic needs. They will tell you how to introduce yourself and say please and thank you. You will learn Spanish phrases for asking the time and weather.

More importantly, these books will tell you how to ask where the restroom is. You will learn Spanish phrases like “Ayudame!” meaning “Help me!” Most of the books will also tell you how to ask where you can find a doctor or dentist.

Phrasebooks can also be helpful with the hotel you’re staying at. They can tell you how to ask for clean linens. You can learn Spanish phrases that make it easier to order room service. You will also know how to check into and out of your hotel.

The books will tell you the basics of how to order food in a restaurant. They will tell you any number of words to use in different situations. A book like this should also contain valuable information like how to ask where the US embassy is.

If you are concerned about your pronunciation, you can get the same type of phrase manuals on CD’s. Just pop them into your CD player and repeat after the speaker. You can do this in your car, at your computer, or in your living room. Wherever you find comfortable will do.

A book or CD like this can help you learn Spanish phrases. What it can’t do is help you understand the answers. You will have to rely on a lot of pointing and gesturing. Also, never forget, if you think you might be able to understand the person, if they would speak slower, just say, “mas despacio.” It works wonders.