Easy Language Learning Tips - How to Remember Verb Endings and Pronouns
Easy Verb Endings
I am certainly not the world's most skilled linguist, but I've studied more than a handful of languages. When I first began taking French in elementary school, I discovered (what I think is) the world's most useful language learning tool. It is a simple chart, almost like an incomplete tic-tac-toe board, that helps you easily figure out which verb endings and verb conjugations go with each 'person' or pronoun. Strangely, I never encountered anything quite like it again, even though I continued taking various languages all the way through college. I kept using it, though, and I've always found it enormously helpful.
This handy little chart makes remembering pronouns, endings, and irregular verb conjugations a breeze. It also makes it easier to match the correct verb form with a pronoun. Don't believe me? Take a quick look at it - you'll be glad you did.
Know your Person and Number
Before you can conjugate verbs, you have to know which person and number you need. In other words, ask yourself if you are you talking about yourself, to another person, or about a third person/object. This determines whether you need a first, second, or third person pronoun and/or verb ending.
Next, determine the number you are talking about.
- Is it just you, or you and another person?
- Are you talking directly to one other person, or to several other people?
- Are you talking about a single third person, or several other people/objects?
Once you know the person and number, you are ready to begin. Create a small chart with one vertical line and two horizontal lines, as shown below. Fill in the boxes, as shown to the right.
After making your chart of person and number, create a second chart. Substitute the correct pronouns for "first person, singular," etc., in the chart, as shown below. You may choose to create one chart in your native language and a second in the language you are learning. The charts below display English and French.
Next, make yourself another chart. This time, put the verb endings in the correct boxes. For example, in French the regular, "-er" verb ending for the first person singular is "e." Therefore, an "e" would occupy the same position as "je" in the pronoun chart. See below for an example.
Irregular verbs are just as easy to deal with. Simply create a chart, placing each conjugation in the correct spot, as shown below with the German verb sein, "to be."
Whether you are studying a language in a formal classroom or at home by yourself, this simple verb chart can help!
This Verb Chart Works
Why is this simple chart so much better than traditional ways of learning pronouns, verb endings, and irregular verb conjugations?
Because it involves your visual memory.
Instead of copying endings over and over again or struggling to remember what goes where, you can simply visualize the chart. If your pronoun is the second one down in the left column, the needed verb/ending is also the second one down on the left. You can use this chart for all verbs and pronouns, regardless of the language you are studying. Simply create charts for different tenses to make learning these pronouns and verbs easy, too!
I hope you enjoy this chart and that it helps you. The simple graphic representation is enormously useful and helped me while studying French, German, Latin, and Russian. Equally applicable in all languages, it can even help you better understand your native tongue.