Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Here's a method that is helping students lock in those AR, ER, and IR verbs!

So, you nod your head a lot and smile while your instructor explains how to conjugate verbs but you really, really aren't getting how they work at all! Sound familiar? Although you might be puzzled, there’s actually a reason that Spanish verbs have different endings for each tense. Well, are you ready to learn?

First of all, why do we even need to change the ending of the verbs in Spanish?   

Answer: so that people know who in the world we are talking about!
In English, we have those wonderful pronouns like “I, you, he, she, it, we, and they” tell us what or who we  are talking about. We pretty much use them all the time -  yep, can't live without them. The good news is, we also have them in Spanish! The difference is that in Spanish we have the choice to use them or not. We have choices people, choices! When we change the ending of the verb in Spanish that's how we know who or what we are talking about.

Let me give you an idea how it works, using the word hablar or to speak. Hablar, without being conjugated, literally means “to speak.” So, we must change the ending to indicate who is speaking - you? Me? Him? Her?

I speak
You speak
He speaks
So clearly, we can't just say 'speak' because how random would that sound?
But on the flip side, in Spanish:
I speak = (Yo) hablo
You speak = (Tu) hablas
He speaks = (El) habla

We have two great ways to say the same thing! When we replace the ar at the end of hablar with an ‘o,’ it forms the word hablo, which means ‘I speak.’ We can use this verb alone or with the pronoun (pronombre) ‘yo.’ Let’s see an example of how to use the conjugated ‘yo’ and ‘tu’ form of hablo:

Juan: Hola, hablas español?
Julia: Si, yo hablo español!

Or, in English:

Juan: Hello, do you speak Spanish?
Julia: Yes, I speak Spanish!

That, my people, is why we change the ending of verbs.

One of the best ways to really nail these verbs is to create study sheets for each verb. Then,  take all your unit/chapter verbs and group the verbs together based on whether the verb ends in AR, IR or ER. Do a separate study sheet for each group and read them outloud once a day to commit them to memory!

Here's a sample of a study sheet I have my tutoring students do:
Study Sheet for Regular AR Verbs

Hablar = to speak

I speak = (yo) hablo
You speak = (tu) hablas
He speaks = (el) habla
She speaks = (ella) habla
You (formal) speak = (usted) habla
We speak = (nosotros/nosotras) hablamos
They speak = (ellas/ellos) hablan
All of you/you all speak = (ustedes) hablan

Let me know if you have any questions or if there are other instructional blogs you would to see!  And got this!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Take a look at these great tips because getting the grade you want may not be as hard as you think!

First, talk to your instructor!  Whatever you think the situation may look like,  make that connection! Not only does it encourages your instructor about your sincerity but it will also give some really golden information on what they are looking for and expecting.  For instance, many students don't realize the importance of class participation, i.e. answering questions, reading aloud etc. 
Next,  take your golden information to your highschool or college tutoring center.  For example,  Palomar College has an excellent Star Tutoring Center right there on campus and completely free of charge!  (BTW, another great blog on making the most out of your tutoring sessions coming soon!)

Next, really stick to whatever game plan you and your tutor have come up with.  If it's to spend an extra 30 minutes on homework or just study time... Oh, how can I put this... Do it!  If it's to restructure the way you take notes...hmm... Just do it!   Remember,  we tutors have been there,  done that and have come out alive and sparkling!
And our goal is to help you get there too!

Finally,  realize that attitude is everything!  You got this, the  sky is the limit ! So take advantage of these  tips and remember you can always email me for more!