How to Learn the Most Important Verbs in Your Target Language

January 9, 2020

Hello there! I hope you are having an amazing day so far. Today I wanted to talk to you and give you some tips in relation to verbs. If you struggle to learn the verbs in your target language or you don’t know what to do to remember them in a better way, I get you cover!

Verbs are an important part of language learning, and knowing the verbs will open plenty of doors for you. In today’s post, I will talk about how you can learn the most important verbs in your target language through different activities.

Let’s begin!

>> Recognize which are the main common verbs of every language

I took a list from where there are the 20 main verbs in English. In my opinion, the most common verbs in every language are quite the same. So these are the twenty verbs that you need to know in every language you are trying to learn:

  1. To be
  2. To have
  3. To do
  4. To say
  5. To get
  6. To make
  7. To go
  8. To know
  9. To take
  10. To see
  11. To come
  12. To think
  13. To look
  14. To want
  15. To give
  16. To use
  17. To find
  18. To tell
  19. To ask
  20. To work

By knowing these 20 verbs you are going to be able to communicate in an easier and smoother way. You will feel more fluent when communicating with others orally and also on written form.

Learn how to create a personalized study routine for 2020

>> Translate these verbs in your target language

Search on an online or physical dictionary how to say each one of those verbs, and write them down on a notebook. If you want to go one step further, you can also search for the different grammar tenses for the twenty verbs.

You can just learn the present, past and future tenses, or you can search for other ones like past continuous, present perfect, etc.

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>> Find similar sound between those verbs and words in your native language

One simple way to learn new vocabulary, in this case verbs, is to find similar sound between the verbs you are learning in your target language and other words in English (or any other language you already know).

To illustrate this, I will share with you one example of two similar sounds I found the other day while learning vocabulary in Korean.

I learnt nine words in Korean in just five minutes or less by identifying similar sounds to other words that could relate somehow to words I already knew in Spanish or English. If you are a person who often learns more by hearing, this technique can be very useful to you!

Read my post about how to Organize Your Notebooks to Learn Languages

>> Practice verbs by analyzing your favourite songs

You can take a look a the lyrics of your favourite songs in your target languages and try to look for the verbs you learnt from the list. Highlight the verbs in past with one colour, the verbs in present with other one and so on. You can also highlight every verb with a different colour. Just choose the option you like the most. The important thing is that you can identify those common verbs in different kind of sentences.

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>> Identify the verbs in audiovisual input

If you love watching films, Youtube videos or series, this idea will fit well with you. Grab a notebook and a pencil and watch your favourite films in your target language. You can also begin by watching movies you loved in your childhood, but this time watch it on your target language. The vocabulary is a little easier than the one from other kinds of movies.

Pay a lot of attention to the words the characters say, and every time to identify one verb from the list, in any time tense, write it down on your notebook.

Little by little you will be able to identify more verbs in the different grammar tenses.

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>> Create your own personalized sentences

Instead of creating sentences that you can’t relate to your life, like for example ‘Elizabeth is tall‘ (but you don’t know any Elizabeth), you can write down sentences that incorporate important people or situations in your life. For example ‘My mother works at night‘ or ‘My friend Carla talks really fast‘.

Read my post about how to get motivated again to learn languages.

>> Create a short story incorporating all the verbs from the list

If you prefer writing, maybe you can try writing a short story by incorporating all the verbs from the list. Translate things that you still don’t know and search for new vocabulary to relate to the verbs. By writing you are practising and improving one of your productive skills, which will help you remember the words in an easier way.

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>> Create and use digital or physical flashcards

If you are more visual, you may prefer practising these verbs with flashcards. You can both create them (or use a set of flashcards already made by other users) on the app Quizzlet. And you can also create physical ones by cutting some paper squares. On one side you can write the verb in your target language and on the other one the translation in English, a sentence where the verb is included (so that you infer it) or make a simple doodle/drawing.

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I really hope this post was useful for you! If you have any question just ask me. Leave me your suggestions for topics you want me to write about in future posts by writing in the comment section below!

If you want more content for language learning, follow me on my Instagram account @blissogirl. Each week I upload new quotes, IGTV videos and more.

Have an amazing day!

  • Axelle January 14, 2020 at 3:00 AM

    This post was really helpful, thank you!

    • admin January 16, 2020 at 11:34 AM

      You are so welcome, Axelle! I am really glad that it helped you 🙂

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