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Get Set for Upper Intermediate 1

Welcome to the Upper Intermediate levels!

This is where your Spanish really starts to take shape.

The focus of the Lower Intermediate levels was on developing the past tenses.

Now, in Upper Intermedaite 1, we add to our bags of tricks, and learn a new tense: el futuro simple.

This is an important cognitive step towards introducing the subjuntive mood, which first happens in Upper Intermediate 3 when we see the presente de subjuntivo.

Where am I up to?

Upper Intermediate 1 is the first of 6 Upper Intermediate levels.

Together, the Upper Intermediate levels form the B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Click here for more information about the CEFR.

And click here for an overview and detailed explanation of all our levels.

Before starting Upper Intermediate 1, study up on:

The present tense

By now, you should be feeling fairly confident with the present tense. 

If not, take a detour and spend some extra time on it, the basics are always good to get right.

Some uses of the present tense we've seen so far are:

1) to describe actions happening now (present continuous: ESTAR + present participle (-ing)

2) to express intentions / plans for the future (IR a + infinitive)

3) to express obligation (TENER que + infinitive)

4) to create impersonal expressions (se puede + infinitive / hay que + infinitive)

The Spanish Verb System – an El Patio resource
Regular verbs in the present tense – an El Patio resource
Irregular verbs in the present tense – an El Patio resource
Verb Wheel for Spanish irregular verbs – very useful (and fun!)
Spaleon verb conjugation trainer – for the present tense and beyond
StudySpanish.com – ESTAR + gerundio
StudySpanish.com – IR a + infinitive
Trent University – TENER + que (exercises)

Get dexterous with the past tenses

Some time soon, you'll be able 'flip' between past tenses for any one verb. If he estado isn't right you can quickly try estuve or estaba.

This kind of dexterity takes a lot of hard work, especially if you're learning in a country where the language is isn't spoken and don't often get to observe native speakers making these subtle choices in their own speech.

So be kind to yourself (it can be tough-going), and also put in the time to do the hard work.

Musicians practise scales and rock climbers do finger-strengthening exercises. If you're learning a language, nothing will help you more than learning your verbs!

El pretérito perfecto

The pretérito perfecto is a compound tense (made up of two parts – the auxiliary verb HABER and the past participle). Learning this tense inside out will help you immensely when you come to learn another compound tense – the pretérito pluscuamperfecto – in Upper Intermediate 2.

Be completely familiar with the pretérito perfecto – the forms of HABER and the regular and irregular past participles.

StudySpanish.com – the pretérito perfecto
StudySpanish.com – the past participle
StudySpanish.com – the past participle (quiz)

El pretérito indefinido

We first nutted out the pretérito indefinido in the Upper Elementary levels and explored its irregular forms in more detail in the Lower Intermediate levels.

Of all the past tenses, the pretérito indefinido has the most irregularies. Thankfully there are patterns even in the irregular forms.

Learn the verb patterns and endings for the regular verbs and memorise the irregular forms.

StudySpanish.com – the pretérito indefinido (part 1)
StudySpanish.com – the pretérito indefinido (part 2)
Trent Universitythe pretérito indefinido (exercises)

El imperfecto

Compared to the pretérito indefinido, the pretérito imperfecto is a dream, with only three irregular verbs IR, SER and VER.

The tricky thing to master is not so much the form itself but the kind of time this tense expresses and how it differs from the pretérito perfecto and pretérito indefinido.

Check out the El Patio resource that shows these three past tenses side by side.

Perfecto, indefinido, imperfecto - an El Patio resource
StudySpanish.com – the pretérito imperfecto
Trent University – the pretérito imperfecto (exercises)

Direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns, reflexive pronouns

Learning to distinguish the direct object pronouns (me / te / lo / la / nos / os / los / las) from the indirect object pronouns (me / te / le /nos / os / les) and the reflexive pronouns (me / te / se / nos / os / se) is a long-term project.

It's good to keep in mind that native speakers of Spanish get these little words confused too – but don't let that stop you!

Trent University – The direct object pronoun (exercises)
StudySpanish.com – Verbs like GUSTAR
StudySpanish.com – Direct and indirect object pronouns used together

 

StudySpanish.com – Reflexive verbs
Trent University – Reflexive verbs (exercises)
Trent University – Reflexive verbs (ESTAR + present participle, IR a + infinitive) (exercises) 

Happy studying!

We hope you enjoy your course.

If we can help with anything please get in touch.


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