Spanish Grammar - Spanish 201
So, you want to study Spanish so that you can travel the world and have a brilliant career instead of being stuck in some cubical like all your twenty-something friends. Great! Of course, after the initial enthusiasm wears off, you discover that you must come face-to-face with your nemesis: The verb table! Many people who study Spanish have told me about the feelings of panic that comes over them when they are faced with those rows of words lined up like an army of Mexican solders scheming how to defeat the gringo who wants to learn to speak Spanish.
In truth, one should not fear grammar rules when beginning to study Spanish. The grammar rules exist to bring order to the chaos which is the Spanish language. The grammar rules are your only hope in making sense of Spanish. I never had much interest in Spanish grammar until I was fifteen. I wanted to date a beautiful young girl, but I had no money. My mom gave me the idea of earning extra money by tutoring younger students with their Spanish homework. And while I was reviewing the seemingly thousands of Spanish tenses, the pluperfect, imperfect and the subjunctive, etc., I began to realize that these were very similar to patterns which I had already learned. I finally discovered a benefit of all those years I spent studying French verbs in primary school.
Grammar is a not a nightmare, it’s a life-raft in a sea of randomness. The key to turning grammar into a helpful friend and not an endless nightmare is to be aware of when it makes sense to study the rules. If you spend too much time studying the grammar rules, this will not serve any purpose. You will find that they more you use Spanish in the street, in other words, the more context you add to Spanish, the more useful it is going to be.
I had a friend who studied Spanish grammar for many years with expensive private tutors. He never used his knowledge by speaking Spanish due to his fear of making a mistake. On the other hand, I learned just a few grammar rules, got a job attending to customer in Latin America, spoke Spanish poorly every day, and received several promotions because of my Spanish ability. After a few years, I moved to Brasil and learned some Portuguese while working on water purification projects. When I returned to live in the United States, I took the time to learn Spanish grammar and a truly enjoyed the experience. Meanwhile, my friend who studied with private Spanish tutors for so many years, never spoke Spanish at all.
Unfortunately, most Spanish courses give a learner the grammar rules and a few examples, then they go on to the next rule. We approach teaching Spanish very differently. As soon as we teach you anything new, we immediately integrate it into all our games and quizzes and flashcards, etc. You will never find yourself asking the question “How would I say this in Spanish?”, because you’ll be saying it in Spanish from the very moment you learn it. this is why so many people have had success using our website to study Spanish.