Introduction to ¿Qué idiomas hablas tú?

Soon you’ll be able to talk about what you actually do at the university, since you’ll be learning more verbs than just ser and hay.

In order to make sure that you communicate correctly using verbs, there are some terms you need to know if you don’t know them already.  A verb infinitive in English is a phrase that includes “to”:  “to speak,” “to write,” “to live,” “to be.”  A Spanish infinitive is only one word, and it ends in -ar, or -er, or -ir.  When you use verbs in both languages, you will use the form that matches the subject.  This is called conjugating a verb.

The following section will focus on conjugating -ar verbs by working with just a few verbs. After learning the basic patterns, we’ll move on to the full list.

In Spanish, verb conjugations are particularly important because they often indicate the subject of the verb’s action. If we didn’t know the conjugations, we wouldn’t know who is studying philosophy from the phrase estudio la filosofía (I study philosophy). In this section, we’ll be learning the conjugations for regular verbs that end in -ar.

When memorizing verb conjugations, it can be helpful to learn short sentences or phrases using the different conjugations, rather than trying to stamp the conjugation table into your memory. Bits of songs, poetry, signs, slogans, or phrases that have personal meaning to you can help lock in the various endings. It can be a frustrating process at first, but before long, conjugation will be so automatic you won’t even notice you’re doing it!


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