Goal written by PBO student: “Quiero mejor mi gramática y hablar mejor.”
There are 2 different ways to improve your grammar – through conversation or through exercises. If you chose the latter, eventually you will have to try it out through conversation though…at some point all roads lead back to learning grammar through conversation (although the exercises do help tremendously).
And the way that you do this is very simple:
1 – When you’re corrected in class do not continue the conversation until you have gone back and repeated it the correct way. Saying “uh-huh” does not help your grammar in any way, shape or form. It only makes your teacher want to strangle you 😉
2 – Slow down when you speak so that your teacher can make more corrections. (But please be warned that if you’re one of the students with excellent grammar that lacks fluidity, you need to do exactly the opposite).
3 – Write down the corrections. You don’t need to write down the error, just write down the correct version.
Those are the things you can do in class. If you’re really motivated to improve your grammar, when you get home take the correct version of the phrase you were corrected on and come up with 20 other similar phrases, using the mistake you made, correctly. For example:
If you said: Voy en la playa mañana = “en” should have been “a” because “a” means “to.” – Voy a la playa mañana is correct. So you could go home and write 20 phrases such as: el viernes voy al supermercado – el sábado voy a la casa de mi amiga – el domingo voy a un restaurante – el lunes voy al trabajo. The repetition will help you remember the correct version. The only thing is that you will need someone to take a look at it to see if you’re on the right path. Maybe a co-worker or friend could take a quick look and tell you if you used the phrase correctly.
The last tip I will give you is to try to concentrate on one thing at a time. If you’re trying to improve all grammar at once, it’s very difficult to make progress. Learning something like “a = to” or the preterit vs imperfect is very useful. Once you have that down, you can move on to something else.
The way I personally feel about grammar is that it doesn’t have to be perfect, but that everyone should at least attempt to speak well. Make the effort, knowing that it doesn’t have to be perfect 🙂
The optional homework this week…
is to write a list of 10 things that you would do if you could. All of the sentences should start with “If I could” – “si pudiera” and the 2nd part should be in the conditional. (If you want to use other conjugations such as “ if we could” – “si pudiéramos” or “if my sister could“ – “si mi hermana pudiera,” that works as well.)
Si pudiera tomaría 2 semanas de vacaciones cada 3 meses. – o – Si pudiera compraría una casa en Coronado.
This is how you conjugate the conditional tense in Spanish:
The infinitive + the endings: ía, ías, ía, íamos, ían
For example: comer: yo comería, tú comerías, él/ella/Ud. comería, nosotros comeríamos, Uds. comerían
La tarea opcional de esta semana…
es hacer una lista de 10 cosas que harías si pudieras. Todas las frases deben empezar con “si pudiera” y la segunda parte debe usar el condicional. (Si quieren usar otros pronombres personales como “si pudiéramos” o “si mi hermana pudiera” está bien también).
Por ejemplo: Si pudiera tomaría 2 semanas de vacaciones cada 3 meses. – o – Si pudiera compraría una casa en Coronado.
Así se conjuga el condicional en español:
el infinitivo del verbo + las terminaciones: ía, ías, ía, íamos, ían
Por ejemplo: comer: yo comería, tú comerías, él/ella/Ud. comería, nosotros comeríamos, Uds. comerían
Este ejercicio probablemente será fácil para Uds., ya que usaron el condicional hace unas semanas.