Verb Paradigms



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Mastery of verbs is an essential component of learning to speak a language fluently. While this concept is actually quite simple, it is something that is quite difficult for many. I personally think that Spanish verbs are exceptionally difficult. We have so many different subjects: yo, tú, etc. We also have vosotros and vos, which are not consistently taught or used throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Add to this that each form is often different depending on the subject, and the challenge grows. Top if off with loads of stem-changers, spelling changes and the importance of the subjunctive, we now have a recipe for frustration and disengagement for our students.

As a student, I quite enjoyed verbs. It is was fun to recognize patterns and then apply them. As a teacher, I try to do lots of independent work with verbs that allow the learners to recognize the patterns, extend them and apply them. One way in which I do this is to create charts. Students can fill in the blank charts as notes (I find this most effective) and then later have a quiz in which they fill out the same chart. You can also give them a completed one as notes. We get right into the tense. The students use these as aids for communicative activities and homework. While the evidence is clear to me that these work as a teacher, the students consistently tell me how helpful these are to them.


Here are some verb paradigm/chart/quizzes in Spanish:


Present Tense








Present Subjunctive

Present Perfect



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