Did you know that more than half of the effort required to learn Spanish is in the study and use of verbs?
And did you know that verbs are a rough indication of your level? A quick way to check your level is to assess what you know about verb conjugations, and how well you can use them.
Did you ever have to memorise multiplication tables when you were young? 1 x 2 = 2, 2 x 2 = 4 … one times two is two, two times two is four, and so on. If so, as an adult, can you still recall them?
Learning verbs is no different: once you have memorised the verb conjugations, you can get down to the business of learning how and when to use the various tenses.
The courses at El Patio step their way through the various verbs tenses in a particular order. We spend the first few Elementary levels in the present tense, before introducing three past tenses. Even with so much time in the present tense, we still don't ever get to a moment where we put up a whole scheme of present tense conjugation. But now the moment has arrived!
Enter the Verb Workshops ...
We've created five, unique 3-hour sessions to look at such schemes, for various verb types and tenses. We show the conjugation patterns of regular verbs, and look for patterns within irregulars – even irregular verbs have patterns within their irregularity!
Then, in all but the first one (Basics), we practise how to use them.
Here's a summary of the five Verb Workshops offered for the 2017 Spring Intensives (between September 26 and October 6).
You can do a single one of 3 hours, or more than one, there being discounts for multiples.
About the images ...
The illustrations used below, as well as for the covers of the Verb Workshop booklets, are engravings by Gustave Doré, a 19th century French illustrator.
Doré created these illustrations for an 1860 French edition of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quijote de la Mancha (1605, 2nd volume 1615).
Here is an English version of Don Quijote (Project Gutenberg) with Doré's illustrations in the text – he made over 200 engravings for this edition.
Verb Workshop - Basics
Basics gets you sorted with ... the basics!
- Present tense – the most common and the most important of all. Master this tense to create a good foundation
- Fall in love with the patterns of 7 categories of present tense - starting with the endings, through the various irregular verbs (eg: stem-changing, changes in the first person, etc) to totally irregular verbs (not that many)
- Refine your reflexive verbs and the gustar (and others used like that)
- Do some listening and gap-filling practice, to help make them feel familiar
- Bask in your new-found, stress-free verb deployment in your Spanish sentences
- Impress your classmates (and friends who understand) with your rapid, zero-time-lag conjugation of stem-changing verbs (for example)
- Read more about the Basics Workshop
Verb Workshop - Basics-PLUS
Get a bit more sophisticated in the present tense!
- Expand your use of the present tense with some more complex verb combinations
- Enjoy a quick and painless way to talk about the future – Voy a estudiar mucho (I'm going to study hard)
- Relish saying what you have to do – tener que (a very useful excuse formula)
- Bring to fruition descriptions of how you're in the process of doing something – the flowing present progressive
- Become alert to the very first past tense (perfecto), to open up your gamut of conversation
- If you have realised Upper Elementary 1, this is the workshop for you
- Read more about the Basics-PLUS Workshop
Verb Workshop - Past
Open up the past with some meaty tenses!
- Take pleasure in possessing a complete scheme of the conjugations of the magnificent pretérito indefinido
- Complement that with a practice regime by category – to help you feel comfortable with it
- Revel in finding out the specific situations when the indefinido is used
- Enjoy the tiny amount of time needed to get the form of the imperfecto – because it's so simple (with only 3 irregulars)
- Likewise, take in the wonderful situations when the imperfecto is used
- Read more about Past Workshop
Verb Workshops - Past-PLUS
Sound elegant when using the Spanish past tenses
- Decide which past tense to use – indefinido, imperfecto or perfecto
- Assimilate and master how to use the precious indefinido and the scintillating imperfecto together – this is unique to Spanish
- Refine and polish up your knowledge with exercises – you'll eventually get it!
- This is a nutshell version of Upper Elementary 2–3 and Lower Intermediate 3–5
- Savour your new language, which will start to sparkle like that of an hispanohablante!
- Read more about Past-PLUS Workshop
Verb Workshops - Subjunctive
Start to hone your finer skills with the Subjunctive Mood
- Spanish uses the subjunctive extensively, more than most other languages
- Grab hold of the subjunctive and fine-tune your Spanish to take it to a sublime level
- Did you know that: Comfort with the subjunctive form and the degree to which a second-language speaker attempts to avoid using it is a good way to gauge his or her fluency in the language. [Wikipedia/Subjunctive_mood]
- So, take stock of the formation of the subjunctive
- Comprehend the first few uses – expressing hopes, desires, feelings and reactions
- Unlock the enigma of ¡ojalá!
- If you are in Upper Intermediate or Advanced and want to feel at ease, go for this one
- Read more about the Subjunctive Workshop