karl pilkington
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Anyone got any strategies for learning verbs like memorization etc memorizing the irregular ones is tedious and doesn't seem to work very well. I try to look for patterns etc aswell maybe the best thing would be just immersion. This is for Spanish.
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Anna Schoon
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(Original post by karl pilkington)
Anyone got any strategies for learning verbs like memorization etc memorizing the irregular ones is tedious and doesn't seem to work very well. I try to look for patterns etc aswell maybe the best thing would be just immersion. This is for Spanish.
Do you play a musical instrument at all? Because learning a language is similar to learning to play an instrument: you have to repeat, repeat and repeat a bit more. Repetition makes it enter into your long-term memory so that you have instant recall without effort. And this is vital, particularly for oral communication.

"Just immersion" is not enough. I know plenty of expats who have lived in foreign countries for years and years and who have never got to grips with the language of their country of residence, simply because they found the whole process of learning things like verbs and vocabulary simply too "tedious".

Oddly enough, if you like languages enough, it isn't tedious. And it becomes less and less tedious as you work on it because you find all sorts of interesting patterns and you make the most unusual discoveries.

Strategies for learning irregular Spanish verbs? I'd suggest the following:

a) make sure you know your regular conjugations thoroughly.

b) then learn all the tenses you need for your exam for the most important irregular verbs, namely ser, estar, haber, hacer and tener.

c) the radical-changing verbs fall into three different groups: infinitive e going to i (as in repetir); infinitive o (or u) going to ue (as in poder or jugar) and infinitive e going to ie (as in entender). The patterns are identical across the tenses, so just make lists of verbs as you come across them under the three different category headings and make sure you learn them.

d) find the most common other irregular verbs that you're likely to need for your exam and learn them in all the tenses required. You'll find that often, in Spanish, it is only the first person singular in the present tense that is irregular, so that is helpful. Common irregular verbs (that don't fall into any radical-changing categories) that come to mind are ir, venir, dar, poner, saber, decir, ver.

And then: practise, practise and practise some more so that the whole thing becomes mechanical. There are plenty of resources on the internet and in a wide range of books to help you with the process of internalising conjugations. Just google "Spanish irregular verb practice" and you'll see pages of stuff. Don't get discouraged; it's well worth the effort!
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