Ayuda... Help!

Jo--110

Jo--110

Hola a todos. I am just looking for some help/reassurance/advice really as I am in a stage I'm sure many of you have been through. I have been learning part time since January and just started on Level 2 and getting into learning the past tenses. I made perhaps the mistake of googling a conjugation and ended up on a web page like this: http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/traer and tbh was a bit freaked out by all the different tenses and how little I actually knew relatively. Just wondering in moments of being overwhelmed, how all of you have gotten through this?! How you manage to stick it with and not end up giving up on learning a language like the vast majority do?! Gracias!
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Jo...you are right: we all have been there. Life was so simple when all you had to worry about was the present tense. The 2 past tenses...preterite and imperfect...are challenging for us English speakers since we are only used to dealing with one past tense. You should be somewhat relieved to know that most of level 2 deals with these two past tenses. Only at the end do you get into the future tense, and they begin to tease you a bit with the subjunctive mood.

I have found it helpful to read Spanish, and when I come across a conjugation, to think what tense it is in...present, preterite, imperfect, future, conditional....and why. After awhile it starts to make sense and seem logical. When I know I need to talk about something that happened in the past, my default is to first think of the preterite, unless it is obviously imperfect, such as "I used to think I couldn't speak Spanish."

The native Spanish speakers that I talk with seem to be really good about correcting me if I use the wrong past tense. And sometimes they even have to think about it.

The biggest challenge for me when choosing betweeen preterite and imperfect is when I want to use a conjugation of ser or estar when speaking. First you have to decide which verb to use, then choose the correct tense. A lot of thinking to do when you are forming spoken sentences!

Just remember, it took you a long time to learn how to use English properly when you were a child, it will take awhile now as well.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

I certainly agree with Dan. Personally, I find the preterit tense the most difficult. For the most part, the other tenses are pretty intuitive / regular once you get the hang of how they work (and note that there are a few tenses that you will only see in literature).
 
Robert-C7

Robert-C7

I think you need to be patient and take it one step at a time.  It can seem overwhelming if you look at everything that you have to learn.  I also agree that the preterite tense is probably the hardest to learn.  The other tenses are much easier.
Jo--110

Jo--110

OK thank you so much for your advice guys. That helps a lot!

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