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Spanish Verb Tenses

Learn all about Spanish verb tenses using the award-winning Rosetta Stone app.

by Rosetta Stone
Mayan Temple II at Tikal National Park in Guatemala

Spanish Verb Tenses

Like English and other Western European languages, Spanish has no shortage of verb tenses. In total, there are 14 (7 simple and 7 compound): Present, Imperfect, Preterite, Future, Conditional, Present Perfect, Pluperfect, Preterit Perfect, Future Perfect, Conditional Perfect, Present Subjunctive, Imperfect Subjunctive, Present Perfect Subjunctive, and Pluperfect Subjunctive.

As overwhelming as Spanish verb tenses may seem, you don’t have to tackle them all at once. Even getting a grip on the present tense will open you to being able to speak the language. From there, learning the future tense and a couple variants of the past tense will be most of what you need for virtually any conversation.

If you already speak English, French, or Italian—or have had even limited exposure to Spanish—you’re well on your way to building your skills. Because all of these languages have a deep relationship to Latin, they also share a lot of vocabulary in common. That’s why you can easily find English words like “plural” that look and sound remarkably similar in French (pluriel), Italian (plurale), and Spanish (plural). Spanish also has a highly consistent system of spelling and pronunciation, with few irregularities. And the alphabet has the 26 letters you already know, plus only three extras you’ll need to learn: ch (chay), and ll (elle), and ñ (eñe).

Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you the language, not just the words. What makes it so effective is that we prepare you to use your new language everyday. So, it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. That way, you’ll be ready to handle situations with ease and confidence.

Learn Spanish Words and Phrases

Many people make the commitment to learn Spanish because they find that they frequently encounter the language in their day-to-day life. After all, Spanish is prominent in much of today’s most popular entertainment and restaurants. Other people decide to learn the language because they have plans to travel to or work in any one of the 20 countries around the world which have named Spanish as the official language. So whether it’s for travel, business or everyday life, you can hit the ground running by first familiarizing yourself with the pronunciation of basic Spanish words and short phrases. Doing this will help you understand how the language is used in everyday situations by the estimated 437 million Spanish speakers worldwide.

All too often, new language learners get sidetracked trying to memorize long lists of Spanish vocabulary words and phrases. Then these beginners become frustrated when they find themselves unable to understand or speak in everyday Spanish conversations. That’s why experts advise that you focus on learning to understand and accurately pronounce commonly used Spanish words and short phrases. This proven and practical approach to learning Spanish will help you to acquire the ability to comfortably and confidently engage in conversation with locals.

It’s worth pointing out that Spanish does have some characteristics that can make proper pronunciation of some Spanish words a bit challenging for new learners. As one example, the letter r is pronounced differently and takes some practice for most new learners. This distinct sound is formed by tapping the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, about a third of the way back in the mouth. Some Spanish language experts counsel new Spanish learners to practice making the “tt” sound, as it sounds in the English word butter.

Rosetta Stone helps you get the pronunciation right in a snap with our TruAccent™ speech engine. TruAccent compares your voice to native and non-native speakers—in real-time—so you get the feedback you need for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to tweak your accent as needed. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the Spanish language.

Once you have acquired the basic Spanish words and short phrases and their pronunciation, you’ll find it to be a natural transition to learning the longer phrases that make up so much of everyday Spanish conversations. Rosetta Stone’s brief, 10-minute language lessons are designed to help you learn in just this way––first teaching basic words and short phrases, then teaching longer phrases, teaching vocabulary for real-world situations, and always emphasizing accurate pronunciation.

Try Our Award-Winning App

Surround yourself with Spanish whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app.

Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation.

The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.

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