We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the Costa del Sol is an incredible place to learn Spanish. The province of Malaga has great potential if you’re looking for a destination to work on your language skills. After all, there’s no better way to improve than to spend some time in the country whose language you are learning. You’ll gain confidence and fluency while having an amazing time. But to help you get there, you’ll need to know some verbs. And verb learning can be tough. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips to help you master Spanish verbs without the headache.
1. Go back to a classic: verb tables
There’s no two ways around it: to improve your Spanish, you’re going to have to memorise some verbs. Visual memory and selective memory are particularly important in this. Your first port of call should be verb tables. They’re a classic, but they’re a classic for a reason - they work. We recommend learning by rote the ten most common Spanish verbs, namely ser, estar, tener, hablar, decir, sentir, tomar, ver, mirar and ir. You’ll be surprised by how much they come up and having them at your fingertips will really help boost your level of everyday conversation.
2. Play games to help you memorise
Memorising verbs can be an arduous and tedious task, even if you’re somewhat of a language geek. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. There are certain games you can play to make learning Spanish verbs much more fun. Battleships is a great example of this. In this linguistic version of the game, you’ll need to get the conjugation of the verb right to be able to sink your rival’s ship.
The rules are simple. Create two boards - one for you and one for your opponent - and in the coordinates place the subjects and conjugations of the verbs you want to practise. When you’ve got enough hits to sink a rival ship, you have to correctly conjugate the verbs of your coordinates. If you don’t, you can’t sink the ship. It’s an original way to learn, right?
3. Identify patterns within groups of irregular verbs
A great tip for learning irregular Spanish verbs is to identify patterns within the irregulars. There tend to be similarities within groups of verbs and once you know the pattern, it’s much easier to master other verbs. Let’s look at an example. The verb empezar changes its e to ie in the present tense: empiezo, empiezas, empieza, etc. The same thing happens with other verbs such as apretar: aprieto, aprietas, aprieta. Our top tip then is to study the patterns between groups of verbs to make it easier to acquire new verbs, multiplying your vocabulary.
4. Use music and poetry to your benefit
We all know what it’s like to have a song stuck in your head; the beat, the melody and the lyrics going round and round. Music and poetry have an extraordinary power over the mind. Our recommendation is, therefore, to listen to music by Spanish singer-songwriters and artists you enjoy. By listening you’ll pick up new verbs and new conjugations. A great song to start with is Me gustas tú by Manu Chao. The title even has a verb in it!
5. Chat, chat and chat some more with Spanish speakers
And our final tip is to chat with Spanish speakers. There’s no better way to practise your verbs and gain fluency in using them. The Costa del Sol is a great place to put your newly learned skills to the test. Malagueños are known for being friendly, the weather is great all year round and culture is everywhere - giving you everything you need to immerse yourself in the world of Spanish. Come and visit the Costa del Sol and enjoy the many wonders of the destination while - perhaps - even studying at one of the many Spanish schools in the province.