12 Easy Ways To Memorize Spanish Conjugations
You need to memorize Spanish conjugations, and it’s overwhelming! If you don’t know where to start and how to tackle Spanish verb conjugation, keep reading to find the solution.
I won’t teach you conjugation here, but rather explain how to do it in a manageable way.
This article provides plenty of materials for you to keep studying at your own pace. Find out how to learn Spanish verbs fast with 12 helpful strategies to choose from or combine.
Let’s get started!
(Get straight to the strategies here.)
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Table of Contents:
- What Is Verb Conjugation and Why Do You Need It?
- Which Spanish Conjugation Should You Learn First?
- 12 Simple Strategies to Learn Spanish Conjugation
- Ready to Memorize Your First Spanish Conjugation?
What Is Verb Conjugation and Why Do You Need It?
It’s crucial to understand the conjugation concept if you want to become fluent in Spanish. You’ll be surprised to see how much you already know about it.
In fact, conjugation also exists in English, although it tends to give its learners less of a headache than the Spanish one.
So, what is conjugation? In grammar, you conjugate verbs when you change their form according to the grammatical person or tense.
In all three examples, it’s the same verb, but I had to make a change for the third-person singular and for the first-person verb in the past tense.
Most English verbs just require you to add the -s in the third person singular in the present tense, but the verb “to be” has a more complex conjugation.
As you can see, also in English verbs change according to the grammatical person of the subject.
Spanish conjugation is a bit more complex. Why? In Spanish, you form a correct sentence with or without the subject. The conjugated form of the verb comes in handy to indicate who is acting without mentioning them. Let me explain.
If I say “Eat apples” instead of “I eat apples” you wouldn’t know who eats the apples. It could be “you eat apples” or “we eat apples” or “they eat apples.” The subject is required, otherwise it’s a command.
In Spanish, if I say Como manzanas, it’s clear that the subject of the sentence is the first person singular yo (I). Why? Because of the conjugation ending in –o.
So, if you want to make yourself understood in Spanish, you have to learn how to remember Spanish conjugations.
Which Spanish Conjugation Should You Learn First?
There are many Spanish tenses and there’s no point in trying to memorize all of them from the beginning.
First, you need to know that there are three types of conjugation depending on the verb ending.
1. -ar verbs (amar – to love)
2. -er verbs (comer – to eat)
3. -ir verbs (vivir – to live)
The -ar verbs are the easiest to learn with the least irregularities. But the -er and -ir verbs are also useful.
Check out the Beginner’s Guide to Spanish Conjugation for more hints.
12 Simple Strategies to Learn Spanish Conjugation
I’ve used these strategies with my students for years, and I can assure you that they work. They’re based on memorization strategies that enable you to remember chunks of information.
One thing is for sure: there are no shortcuts to learning how to conjugate Spanish verbs. You need to memorize them, drill them, and practice. But you’re free to choose how you want to do it.
1. Create Lots of Conjugation Charts
Don’t underestimate the value of good old grammar charts. Make separate charts for example for present tense conjugation, or -ar verb conjugation, and use bright colors to highlight the verb endings.
Hang the charts in a visible place or paste them in your agenda. Make digital charts and use them as a computer wallpaper.
2. Write Short Paragraphs with All the Conjugation Forms
Create a short but easy to remember paragraph to practice—for example—all forms of -ar verb conjugation.
It might look like this:
Yo te amo a ti. Tú amas a Ana y Ana ama a Juan. Todos nosotros amamos chocolate pero ustedes aman chocolate blanco y ellos aman chocolate negro.
I love you. You love Ana and Ana loves Juan. We all love chocolate, but you love white chocolate and they love black chocolate.
Write it down, use different colors to make it visually memorable, and memorize the sentence. Come back to it if you need to remember specific conjugation endings.
3. Record Yourself Conjugating Verbs
A fun way to memorize Spanish verbs is to record yourself conjugating the verbs and play it back to listen to. This is a great strategy for auditory learners.
4. Write Your Own Conjugation Song
You don’t have to be a professional songwriter to create a short song that will help you remember Spanish conjugations.
Simply add a well-known melody to the conjugation and chant it.
I like to sing Yo amo, tú amas, ella ama, nosotros amamos sí sí sí to the tune of We don’t talk about Bruno.
The silllier the better!
Don’t worry if the melody doesn’t match the words perfectly and you need to change the rhythm. SImply working on it will help you remember.
5. Sing Someone Else’s Conjugation Song
Look for existing songs that help you remember Spanish conjugation and create a catchy playlist.
Find simple songs like Spanish Verb Conjugation Song with Basho & Friends or look for well-known Hispanic singers who conquered the world and choose lyrics that will help you learn Spanish verbs.
The song Jueves from the group La Oreja de Van Gogh (Van Gogh’s Ear) helps you practice simple present tense conjugation. Check it out:
6. Practice Conjugation with a Fluent Spanish Speaker
Find yourself a Spanish-speaking partner and tell them you want to practice conjugation, for example, in the preterite tense. This person can ask you questions about what you did the day before, guide you, and correct your mistakes.
Sign up for a free trial class at Homeschool Spanish Academy and practice with a native Spanish-speaking teacher to see if this strategy works for you!
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7. Read Plenty of Spanish Books
Reading Spanish books helps you on many levels, but it also shows you conjugated verbs in context. Simply by reading, you’re practicing Spanish verbs.
Choose a random page and underline all verbs in their different conjugations.
Get your list now!
8. Watch Spanish Movies and Series
Another great way to see Spanish conjugation in context is by watching Spanish movies and shows.
Simply watch the movie and watch for the verbs in the subtitles. Write down phrases you like and say them out loud to practice your pronunciation.
Or just sit, watch, listen carefully, and enjoy.
- 10 Spanish Language Movies Available on Netflix U.S.
- 10 Spanish Language Drama Series on Netflix U.S.
9. Listen to Native Spanish
It’s satisfying when, after learning Spanish conjugation, you’re able to understand who’s speaking to whom and about what.
For a quick and easy Spanish-listening experience, just tap the video below to see Spanish Academy TV’s Spanish Conversational Dialogues:
10. Get a Quality Conjugation Book
I know that reference books in the era of the internet are not the most popular language resource, but I find high-quality conjugation books helpful.
One popular option, rated 4.8 out of 5, is:
Barron’s 501 Spanish Verbs
Here’s a review that may help you understand how useful these books can be:
“A must-have. I’ve had earlier editions of this book and loved them too. As the authors say, ‘we encourage you to use this book not only as a reference, but as a learning tool to help you gain better fluency.’ There are so many extra features, it would be ridiculous to list them all, but as some examples…
- Each tense is explained.
- Selected words appear in a contrasting color for clarity and speed.
- List of common irregular present and past particles.
- 501 verbs not enough for you? There’s an extensive list of over 2,300 verbs that are conjugated exactly like the 501 “modal” verbs.
- List of the most important 55 verbs.
- More help online.”
See more options here at Amazon.
11. Drill Spanish Conjugation Into Your Head With Quizzes
The more you practice, the easier it is to remember Spanish verbs.
Check out these FREE conjugation quizzes available on the Homeschool Spanish Academy blog.
Or, check out these 10 Websites With Spanish Conjugators.
12. Download Your Favorite Conjugation Apps
If gaming is your life, a conjugation app is what you’re looking for. Conjugation apps are good for inspiring enthusiasm on the go.
Review the apps in this Educational AppStore and choose the one that suits you best.
Ready to Memorize Your First Spanish Conjugation?
Congratulations! You’re ready to memorize Spanish conjugations!
Knowing Spanish verbs is crucial for successful communication. If you want to increase your social circles and gain new friends, Spanish is one of the best languages to learn. According to Forbes, more than 559 million people speak Spanish around the world. And the U.S. has the second-biggest population of Spanish speakers after Mexico!
Strike while the iron is hot and start learning your first Spanish conjugation right now! Let Homeschool Spanish Academy help you achieve your language goals. Sign up for a free trial class and start learning Spanish verbs in a 1-to-1 conversation! Check out our affordable pricing and flexible programs!
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