IWTYAL 268: 3 tips for learning verb conjugations

Ron asks: “What's the best way to learn verb conjugations?”

In Today's Episode:

Here are what are the big-picture principles for learning and memorising verb conjugations in Spanish or any other language:

  1. Make sure you're getting lots of exposure through listening and reading – learning verb conjugations ultimately will come down to whether you can get used to the language through a lot of exposure
  2. Speak regularly – it's how you gain confidence over the usage of the verbs
  3. Some focus on rules and deliberate practice helps – whether that's practice exercises, drills or something else


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Andy R says:
24 Aug 2018 02:03

As a beginner, I like the following courses because they only teach one verb form at a time, slowing down the process to make it easier: Michel Thomas, Paul Noble, and Language Transfer.

Otherwise, a technique I occasionally use is to use a 6-sided die to drill the verb table for one specific verb in one specific tense. 1 = I, 2 = you (singular), 3 = he/she/it, 4 = we, 5 = you (plural), 6 = they.

But mostly it’s similar for me as for you: I master the “I” form by talking to myself in the target language, and other forms through reading, listening, and conversation practice. I tried a grammar practice workbook once but it preceded each exercise with long word lists, and I don’t want to memorize vocab lists, so I gave up on it very quickly. I had the same experience with a grammar-translation textbook (a really old Teach Yourself book).

Finally, I came to the conclusion that I prefer to create lots and lots of my own sentences rather than do grammar drills made by other people. I can always have a tutor correct me during conversation practice later.

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