Friday, April 24, 2015

Short Cut To Learning The Irregular Preterite Spanish Verbs

Remembering all of the irregular Spanish verbs in the preterite tense is not so bad if  you break it up into four steps.

Step One: the verbs that are weird all the way through ( Ser, Ir, Hacer, and Dar)

Step Two: the verbs that are only weird in the yo form ( verbs ending in car,gar or zar) and verbs that end in  a vowel after you chop of the verb ending as in Leer and Traer. Most of these guys are weird in the usted(es) form except for Traer which is weird through and through.

Step Three: The IR verbs that get weird only in the usted(es) form (Depedir, Vestire, Pedir etc.)

Step Four: The 7 stem-changers

For step one, picture the twins (Ser/Ir), the flip-flopper (Dar), and Hacer going on a vaction....
Dar: di,diste,dio,dimos,dieron
Hacer: hice,hiciste,hizo,hicimos,hiceron
For step two, They catch a ride in a car with  a zcar, who is  saying, "Garrr." and asking for someone to bring him something to read.  
Buscar: busqué (yo form)
Pagar: pagué (yo form)
Almorzar: almorcé ( yo form)
Leer: leyó/leyeron (usted and ustedes form)
Traer: traje, trajiste, trajo, trajimos, trajeron

Step Three, they all end up in a hotel called IR because this only involves verbs with IR endings. All the verbs in this category can be done in a hotel.
With this group, either an e becomes an i or u changes to an o.
Pedir: pidió/pidieron (usted and ustedes form)
Dormir: durmió/durmieron (usted and ustedes form)
Finally, and for no reason, they climb seven stairs to find the stem-changing verbs and one of the weirdos says, "Seven poo poos is cutie." Which sounds kind of random until you realize that it is a mnemonic  for saber, venir, poder, poner, estar, querer and tener...the seven stem-changing Spanish preterit verbs.
sup vin pud pus estuv quis tuve
Stem-changes for this group of freaks
Saber: sup
Venir: vin
Poder: pud
Poner: pus
Estar: estuv
Querer: quis
Tener: tuv

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

When To Use The Spanish Past Imperfect

Use  the Spanish Past Imperfect when you need a verb to talk about ongoing continuous action.

People who like to front load their stories use this type of verb. You know the kind of person who when asked, "how was your weekend?" goes into all the background information to set the scene. ("Oh my weekend, glad you asked... the sun was shining. The wind was blowing. the air was floating.")
At times this background information is relevant,  but to my ears all it sound like is BLA BLA BLA. This is helpful because bla bla bla kind of looks like the ending to the Spanish Past Imperfect endings for the AR verbs.

AR endings aba abas aba abamos aban
IR and ER endings ía ías ía íamos ían

The endings of the Ir and Er verbs sound more like (EEEEE Ya) which is the noise I am tempted to make while a run away from these big mouths.
Spanish Past Imperfect