I've hit a wall
Up until now I've been doing good learning Spanish, but the moment I started past tense it feels like I've hit a wall. What's a good way to help me understand past tense?
Practice, practice, and practice ... And talk to native Spanish speakers, if possible.
I've decided that I'll take a conversational course after I finish this tree, but until then I'll focus on listening to Spanish.
The series that I'm watching doesn't seem to use much past tense, so it doesn't help me much with that, though.
I know there are some books that have Spanish on one page and English on the other - the bible, for example. Of course, if you don't want to read that in particular you could research other books written like that.
I want to avoid translation as much as possible, so those books won't work for me.
For Spanish past tense, learn the regular verbs first (the rules are in the Tips& Notes ), then the irregular verbs. Duolingo makes your life hard here, because in the lessons, it thows in regular and irregular verbs mixed up.
If you find an unknown verb, go on Spanishdict, and hit "conjugation" For example, for ser: http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/ser
For ir (=to go) http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/ir
Yes, the past tense (preterite) conjugations for ser and ir are same. (Why? Dont know)
I think it's because the verbs that are used most often are the ones that are irregular. I'll try learning the regular verbs first.
I prefer using wiktionary for conjugations, but I'll look them up.
Have you tried studyspanish.com, a good site that gives you lessons and practice in just about everything. Then there's Memrise, they may have a lesson or two, not sure.. Maybe that's why R&R was invented, lol. Like doing puzzles, sometimes you just have to step back a little. let the mind refresh .
I've been a member there for years. I used that when I first started Spanish. Went through about 3/4 of the topics. Actually I think that's when I hit a wall, mine was just laziness, I know you don't know anything about that. lol
I think my main problem is impatience. I don't like being at a level where I can't even read.
Spanish past tense is really tough because there are many, many exceptions to rules (I would argue that more verbs break rules in the past tense than follow past tense, although I don't have actual proof. It certainly feels like all of the verbs you need day-to-day are the rule breakers...). I learned regular verbs before branching out (I mean, ser just kills me in basically any tense). Then it is literally just memorization. There is no intuitive way to learn it, it just is how it is...
I read somewhere that the more often a verb is used the more likely it is to be irregular.
It makes sense I suppose. Spoken language comes before written, so by the time people write out rules for everything it's a little late to change how everyone has decided to say it... Best of luck with your learning!
Arika Okrent has a video on irregular verbs in English, and obviously some of the same principles apply to Spanish https://youtu.be/o82_XBJXxMk
In the case of English, the irregular verbs tend to follow the rules for Old English but less commonly used verbs have moved on to use modern English rules.
In Spanish the equivalent of Old English would be Latin, and if you look at the conjugation for ir for example you see three similar latin words that have been jammed together into that one conjugation. In other cases it seems that if the irregular verb was regular it would be awkward to say, so the rough edges have been filed off.
http://www.wikilengua.org/index.php/Lista_de_per%C3%ADfrasis_verbales someone gave me this link but i don't know if it will help you or not i'm not quite to that stage yet
I have the same issue they have so many lessons on past perfect, present perfect, etc. I can't remember all of them.
The thing that gives me the most trouble is getting used to verbs ending in O not being first person verbs in past tense.
I had that same problem. Try using a curriculum. that's what I did and it helped a lot. Duolingo is good for helping you learn words, but for learning the structure of Spanish sentences, a school book would be a good thing to use.
I've hit walls before! Just keep plugging away and making mistakes and doing exercises, and eventually you will break through!!
For the preterite tense, just remember: -e, -aste, -ó, -amos, -aron. Like a mantra. "e, aste, o, amos, aron."
And for the -er verbs, "e, iste, ó, imos, ieron"