Are you tired of struggling to learn Spanish verb conjugation?
Today we will discuss how you can learn verb conjugation in Spanish without even studying it.
In fact, I’m going to explain why you shouldn’t study it…
And how studying conjugations in Spanish does not lead to becoming fluent.
This idea may surprise you…
Simply because it goes against much of what we learned in school.
But if you pay attention for a few minutes…
All of this will make sense for you.
Inside this article, you’ll discover the secret behind how I learned two new languages in less than two years…
Without really studying any conjugation or grammar rules.
I’ll show you the “caretaker speech” hack that helps children speak languages fluently without studying conjugation rules…
And you’ll discover what you really need to do to acquire verb conjugation.
But first, we need to address the main question…
And that is…
I don’t have a concrete answer to that question.
Even though I majored and got my degree in Spanish in college, I can say that I didn’t become fluent in Spanish from school.
In fact, it was what I did out of school, talking with my cousins and grandma every day, watching tv, listening to music, etc., that got me fluent.
Really the only reason why I majored in Spanish in college was that I loved the language so much, and I wanted to be a translator.
Of course, to get that kind of job at a high level, I needed some sort of formal education.
But if learning conjugation rules doesn’t help us get fluent, why are they wasting our time teaching it?
At first glance, it is easy to put all the blame on the teachers.
But the problem is deeper than that.
I have friends that I graduated with that are Spanish teachers…
And they don’t even believe in teaching their students that way.
The problem is that they have to because they have to abide by the standardized tests.
In other words, they have to prepare their students to be able to pass specific tests at the end of the year.
So they are really powerless in this matter.
But it’s the broader educational system that needs an overhaul.
And whenever we are talking about something like the educational system, we are talking about billions of dollars on the table.
So it’s doubtful that we will ever be able to change that system.
If you are taking a class and feel that memorizing conjugations isn’t working or helping you…
Then you are correct.
That is not going to get you fluent.
But don’t blame your teacher.
And don’t get discouraged.
Abide by what you need to do to pass the class, while also realizing that if you want to truly become fluent and really learn verb conjugations it’s not going to happen by studying those rules but rather by consuming more Spanish.
Quick story for you…
I have a goddaughter named Emma.
She just turned 5 years old.
Her speech is fantastic.
She structures sentences properly and conjugates verbs perfectly.
But she didn’t study how to do this.
If I were to ask her what a verb is, she wouldn’t know…
If I were to ask her what conjugation she used in a sentence, she wouldn’t know…
But she still can conjugate verbs perfectly when she speaks.
So how did she learn how to do this?
Well, she did so naturally.
She acquired the language and those grammar rules through something called “caretaker speech.”
Basically, she consumed input from her parents, teachers, and babysitters, where they talk in an understandable way to the child.
Over time the child’s comprehension grows…
And they are ready for new words.
But the key to remember here is the caretaker’s speech does not consist of teaching conjugation rules.
It simply consists of exposing the child to the target language.
The same thing should be done when learning a foreign language.
We need to be exposed to the target language—Spanish in this case—as much as possible.
This is why I film the majority of my videos in Spanish and upload the subtitles.
Many people will ask, “Well, if I’m a beginner, how will I learn from this?”
The answer is it’s the only way to acquire the language.
You have to consume it.
And the same goes for truly acquiring the conjugation rules.
Think about your own Native language.
If I were to tell you to put the proper verb conjugated the right way in a sentence, you probably could do so.
But you wouldn’t know the exact tense of every word.
Do you even know all the conjugation rules in your language?
Maybe if you are a linguistics major… but other than that, probably not.
I’ve met many people who have become fluent in a foreign language without ever having explicitly learned verbs.
Instead, they achieved it through massive exposure.
On the flip side, I’ve never met a student that became fluent in Spanish from only studying conjugation and grammar rules, or even having a learning regimen that consisted primarily in studying those rules.
Even myself for example.
I also speak Italian and Napoletano fluently after learning each one for about two years.
To this day, I haven’t really studied any conjugations.
The only time I even think to look one up is if I am curious about why a word or sentence was structured differently.
So it’s kind of after the fact, rather than the beginning.
That kind of leads to the answer to the question of…
The only time learning conjugation can help you become fluent is only when you are learning it through the target language.
In other words, let’s say you are in a Spanish class…
And the teacher teaching you the conjugation is doing so while speaking Spanish.
At that point, the grammar lesson can serve as an introduction to easy Spanish input.
Still, it’s important to remember that the fluency doesn’t come from studying conjugations but rather through the act of consuming Spanish.
So with all this being said, the best way to really learn verbs and conjugation of verbs is ironically by not focusing on learning them…
But on acquiring Spanish.
Everything will come naturally.
Then when you want to check and verify something you can do that.
I’m not saying that learning conjugations is terrible and will hurt your Spanish fluency…
But when it comes to becoming fluent in Spanish, it should come after consuming massive amounts of input.
If you found this article helpful and are really looking to transform your Spanish speaking and comprehension abilities then you should check out our Seven Day Spanish System if you haven’t yet.
Thanks for reading.