Learn Spanish conjugation

Recently, a couple of English-speaking friends asked me how they could easily learn Spanish conjugation. This post is dedicated to them and many others who are interested.
In this article, I’ll show you the quickest, most dynamic, and most enjoyable way to learn Spanish conjugation and expand your knowledge of the language.

Why do you want to learn Spanish?

First of all, it is important to be motivated. Learning a new language allows us to evolve professionally, meet people from other countries, enjoy other cultures, and open our minds. Aside from being a widely spoken language, Spanish is also the official language of all South American countries (except Brazil and Guyana), the six Central American republics, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. It is also spoken in parts of Morocco, on the west coast of Africa, and in Equatorial Guinea. In the United States, it is widely used in states such as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

Another benefit of learning a language is that it significantly improves our mental health; did you know that?

When we learn, our brain reorganises our memories, reinforcing or removing them based on their importance to our survival and daily lives. The changes in our brain structure are extremely beneficial.

Learning a language activates a large neural network; it is an excellent brain exercise because it forges new neural patterns that aid in the development of new brain connections, increasing brain capacity.

Now that you have more than enough reasons to study Spanish, let’s look at some things to keep in mind when learning Spanish conjugation, which form the foundation of the language.

For your peace of mind, while pronunciation and usage of Spanish vary naturally from country to country, regional differences are not so severe that a Colombian cannot understand a Spaniard. As a result, once you’ve established a solid foundation, you’ll be able to communicate and comprehend clearly in a variety of Spanish-speaking countries.

Where should one start when learning Spanish conjugation?

All linguistic constructions are built on verb conjugations. Changing a verb’s tenses is known as conjugating it.

In this regard, Spanish is a language that is somewhat complex; each verb has a number of alternative forms, and there are also exceptions and variations that allow the same sentence to be written in a variety of ways without altering its meaning. Therefore, if your goal is to learn quickly, I do not advise you to study grammar because it will take you a long time to absorb the material, which will make you lose motivation and become frustrated.

So how can one effectively learn Spanish?

Practicing repeatedly is necessary. Repeat phrases using all the verb tenses to help you learn vocabulary and verb tenses in a lively and enjoyable way.

Forget about grammar; instead, concentrate on a verb you want to master and practise using it in all of its tenses, or at least the most frequent ones: present, past, future, and conditional. You can begin learning comer conjugations and begin practising 27 present tense sentences. After some time, you go over the phrases you’ve learned and add an additional 27 phrases in a different conjugation. You may learn a lot of Spanish vocabulary and conjugations in a few months if you keep up a study routine.

To retain your recollection of what you have studied, revision is crucial. You must insist on repeat or practise since the more intense a memory is, the longer it is remembered. A typical forgetting curve graph demonstrates that, unless we refresh what we have learnt, we typically forget half of what we have learned within a few days or weeks.

What other activities may you engage in to continue and consolidate your Spanish studies?

If you have the chance, travel to Spain or another Spanish-speaking nation to study the language. You will learn the language more quickly and have a wonderful experience.

I also advise you to post-it everything around you with significant words or phrases that you want to review and memorise.
As well as watching movies with Spanish dubbing or subtitles, listening to Spanish music, and reading in Spanish.

Joining a language exchange app and speaking with native speakers of the language is another excellent option to learn Spanish rapidly. You may even get a companion to learn alongside you so you can encourage one another. Above all else, though, practise patience and consistency. Aim for weekly growth, set goals for yourself, and give yourself rewards when you succeed.

Although learning Spanish can be challenging due to its many quirks, you shouldn’t let this deter you; with determination and persistence, you can succeed.

Language peculiarities in Spanish

Just keep the following in mind:

  • Utilising the verbs ser and estar. English speakers frequently make this error since there is only one verb for it (be). Who hasn’t heard the common expression «el está muy bueno conmigo» («he’s very good with me»)? when «el es muy bueno conmigo» is the appropriate response. Ser» is used to denote permanent states, while «estar» is used to describe temporary situations and indicate transition.
  • Echar is a very polysemic verb. So much so that the Real Academia Espaola provides 48 possible interpretations based on the situation.
  • The difference in verb tenses to refer to the past. The majority of the Spanish population -except for the population of northern Spain- uses the past perfect compound tense to refer to an action close in time («He comido hace cinco minutos»), while the majority of the Latin American population uses the past perfect simple tense («comí hace cinco minutos»).
  • The use of the subjunctive. The subjunctive mood groups together the verb tenses used to express probability, possibility, desire, doubt, requests, hypothesis or something expected. We can say that we use the subjunctive when we want to express something that can happen, something possible, but that does not always happen.
  • Prepositions. Why do we say «montar en burro», «montar en bicicleta» but say «montar a caballo»?
  • The orthography of Spanish, thanks to a large number of modifications, is almost ‘phonetic’ par excellence and is therefore easier to learn than most languages. Spanish is pronounced phonetically; however, the vibrant ‘r’, which is a little difficult to pronounce, must be kept in mind. The letters ‘b’ and ‘v’ are virtually indistinguishable. The letter ‘h’ is not pronounced.
  • Punctuation in the Spanish language is very similar to that in English, although it differs. There are some essential differences. For example, in Spanish, exclamatory and interrogative sentences have opening question marks and exclamation marks, e.g.: ¿Habla usted inglés? (Do you speak English?) or ¡Qué lástima! (What a pity!). Furthermore, in a dialogue in Spanish, a change of speaker is indicated by a dash (-), whereas in English, each speaker’s comments are placed in separate paragraphs.
  • The double negative («no tengo nada»), particularly difficult for English speakers.
  • The difference between «bring» («traer») and «carry» («llevar»). The former indicates the movement of an object towards the speaker (<-), while the latter indicates the movement of an object away from the speaker (->).
  • Direct complements of person: the direct complement does not take a preposition unless it is a complete direct complement of person («Vi una casa» vs. «Vi a Elena»).
  • The difference in the use of «tú», «vos», «usted», «vosotros» and «ustedes» between Spain and Latin America.
  • The omission of personal pronouns. It is usually implied by the verb suffix. However, foreigners tend to always add personal pronouns to verbs because they are used to doing so in their mother tongue.
  • Formal translations have several different characteristics from informal ones. Deference and politeness are expressed by the use of the second person «tú» and «usted».
  • The ‘r’ and ‘x’ sounds.
  • Intonation, or how intonation can change the meaning of the utterance.
  • The abundant use of jokes, idioms or jokes that have a cultural and historical background. It is necessary to know where they come from in order to contextualise, understand and use them.

So much for my advice on how to learn Spanish intelligently: who said it was a challenging language? Start learning Spanish conjugations right away, I implore you.
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