Make Learning Spanish a Habit

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I invite you to read this article:

Make Learning English a Habit
http://edition.englishclub.com/esl-magazine/make-learning-english-a-habit/

As you can see the article is for Learning English, but the important thing is to highlight the importance of forming habits when it comes to learn/acquire a language. Anyway, overall, I think all the tips and approaches to learn English are valid for any language, for instance, the first thing you need is a strong motivation, isn't it?

Regards,

Pablo

p.s. please, correct my English.

5834 views
updated JUL 31, 2009
posted by Pablo_

16 Answers

0
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Janice has hit close to what 'the progressive? really is--a form within or of the tenses. The technical term is aspect, and it is one of the five main qualities of a verb/verb form, along with tense, mood, voice, and person. There are differences among languages (and opinions of grammarians) as to whether and to what degree aspect is an element of tense, but it is generally recognized as a separate quality of a verb. I have no training in linguistics, so if this needs correction or clarification, maybe Lazarus or samdie can intervene.

I know the Reference section on this site calls it the "progressive tense," but it also lists it as the "progressive tenses," and lists 13 of them. This would be impossible, since I have read that there are 14 Spanish verb tenses (and I can name that many, none of which are 'progressive'), and Lazarus says that there are 16. That same article also incorrectly says that the progressive has to be formed with the verb estar, however, it can also be formed with other verbs, such as andar, continuar, ir, seguir, and venir.

The progressive aspect can be used with all three moods you listed, not just the first two. Example of the progressive aspect used with the imperative mood:

Sigan caminando; no paren ni corran.

You quote a definition of "tense" in English that is concerned "chiefly" with time; however, we know that tense does not necessarily have to do with "time" in the English language, and even less so in Spanish. Don't get me wrong ? tense can be an indicator of time, especially relative to verbs in other clauses, but it doesn't necessarily indicate time relative to the present moment. Examples:

Mañana voy a Londres. / Tomorrow I am going to London. (present tense verb, future action)

I get to the house, she is reading the newspaper, and he is watching TV. So I say, 'C'mon, let's get going; we're going to be late!? Then we all jump in the car and go flying to the office, and we get there two minutes before the office closed. (all present tense verbs except the last one, all past action--and this would be the same if you translated it to Spanish)

And notice that the present progressive in the above paragraph also refers to action in the past. So the progressive does not specify the time of the action, but rather the aspect or state of the action, which is occurring or ongoing, as opposed to completed, habitual, etc.

Thank you, Rocco, for your clarification. I guess I went for the really "quick" answer, without thinking much. Your examples are great! I love how everyone can learn from each other on this site and really get thorough, elaborate explanations.

Saludos grin

updated JUL 31, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
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"When it comes to learning/ acquiring a language etc......

I am not sure the "learning" above is in fact a progressive tense. It is a gerund (a noun formed from a verb). As I understand it for "learning" to be a verb it has to have the verb "to be" in front of it. "When I am learning" or "When I was learning" or "When one is learning" etc.

You're correct of course. I should have said the present participle, not a or the progressive tense(s).No, Ian is right; the word learning is a gerund here. There is a difference between a gerund and a present participle (despite the fact that Spanish sometimes calls the present participle el gerundio). A gerund is a noun, by definition--usually defined simply as "a noun form of a verb in the -ing form," which is where many people confuse it with the present participle. (Example: "Learning is fun." "Learning" is the subject of the sentence, and as such, has to be a substantive; it cannot be a verb. It is a gerund.)

But as Ian states, a participle is a verb form that requires a "helping" (auxiliary) verb, forming a periphrasis (e.g., "I am learning."). In the sentence you were dealing with, "learning" was the object of a preposition (for), which by definition is a substantive, hence it is a gerund.

Side note:

Even though a gerund is a noun, it can have an object, and thus forms a "gerund phrase" (I guess that is still the term--I haven't studied it in recent years). Example: "Learning Spanish is fun."

updated JUL 31, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
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The progressive is a tense that one can use in either the indicative or subjunctive mood, obviously depending on the structure of the sentence. (Creo que ella está leyendo la revista vs. No creo que ella esté leyendo la revista.)

Since the progressive is only "specifying the time of the action" it is a tense, not a mood.

I have to differ with you on that, Nick, although you are closer to what is correct than my passing, thoughtless comment was. Again, this was not a good morning for me; I don't know why I suggested it could be a mood. (My point was that Ian was right in that 'learning,? the way Quentin was using it, was not 'the progressive tense,? but rather a gerund.)

Janice has hit close to what 'the progressive? really is--a form within or of the tenses. The technical term is aspect, and it is one of the five main qualities of a verb/verb form, along with tense, mood, voice, and person. There are differences among languages (and opinions of grammarians) as to whether and to what degree aspect is an element of tense, but it is generally recognized as a separate quality of a verb. I have no training in linguistics, so if this needs correction or clarification, maybe Lazarus or samdie can intervene.

I know the Reference section on this site calls it the "progressive tense," but it also lists it as the "progressive tenses," and lists 13 of them. This would be impossible, since I have read that there are 14 Spanish verb tenses (and I can name that many, none of which are 'progressive'), and Lazarus says that there are 16. That same article also incorrectly says that the progressive has to be formed with the verb estar, however, it can also be formed with other verbs, such as andar, continuar, ir, seguir, and venir.

Indicative, Subjunctive, and Imperative are all moods.

The progressive is a tense that one can use in either the indicative or subjunctive mood, obviously depending on the structure of the sentence.

The progressive aspect can be used with all three moods you listed, not just the first two. Example of the progressive aspect used with the imperative mood:

Sigan caminando; no paren ni corran.

Tense: a category of verbal inflection that serves chiefly to specify the time of the action or state expressed by the verb.

Since the progressive is only "specifying the time of the action" it is a tense, not a mood.

You quote a definition of "tense" in English that is concerned "chiefly" with time; however, we know that tense does not necessarily have to do with "time" in the English language, and even less so in Spanish. Don't get me wrong ? tense can be an indicator of time, especially relative to verbs in other clauses, but it doesn't necessarily indicate time relative to the present moment. Examples:

Mañana voy a Londres. / Tomorrow I am going to London. (present tense verb, future action)

I get to the house, she is reading the newspaper, and he is watching TV. So I say, 'C'mon, let's get going; we're going to be late!? Then we all jump in the car and go flying to the office, and we get there two minutes before the office closed. (all present tense verbs except the last one, all past action--and this would be the same if you translated it to Spanish)

And notice that the present progressive in the above paragraph also refers to action in the past. So the progressive does not specify the time of the action, but rather the aspect or state of the action, which is occurring or ongoing, as opposed to completed, habitual, etc.

updated JUL 31, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
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Hey Pablo_ you English is getting better and better, perhaps I was wrong when I said that English was harder than Spanish to learn....

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by eric_collins
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I already have made it a habbit. smile

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by eric_collins
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I invite you to read this article:

Make Learning English a Habit

http://edition.englishclub.com/esl-magazine/make-learning-english-a-habit/

Thank you, Pablo, for this link. It is a helpful article. grin

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by --Mariana--
0
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Indicative, Subjunctive, and Imperative are all moods.
The progressive is a tense that one can use in either the indicative or subjunctive mood, obviously depending on the structure of the sentence. (Creo que ella está leyendo la revista vs. No creo que ella esté leyendo la revista.)

From Dictionary.com tongue laugh

Tense: a category of verbal inflection that serves chiefly to specify the time of the action or state expressed by the verb.

Mood: a set of categories for which the verb is inflected in many languages, and that is typically used to indicate the syntactic relation of the clause in which the verb occurs to other clauses in the sentence, or the attitude of the speaker toward what he or she is saying, as certainty or uncertainty, wish or command, emphasis or hesitancy.

Since the progressive is only "specifying the time of the action" it is a tense, not a mood.

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
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It seems as I have seen the grammar is the strength of several of you. I don't know and think I don't need to know much about grammar neither in Spanish nor in English. Instead, I learn or acquire what my mind/brain is able to learn, using the language. That would be an interesting topic for other thread. Thank you very much to all of you smile

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by Pablo_
0
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"When it comes to learning/ acquiring a language etc......

I am not sure the "learning" above is in fact a progressive tense. It is a gerund (a noun formed from a verb). As I understand it for "learning" to be a verb it has to have the verb "to be" in front of it. "When I am learning" or "When I was learning" or "When one is learning" etc.

You're correct of course. I should have said the present participle, not a or the progressive tense(s).

I am smiling, having hoped that someone would address the grammar of your paragraphs in "grammar" terms, Pablo. I don't know too much about grammar and so carefully worded my response to you in order to avoid using "gerund", "progressive", "tense'" "mood'", "participle" - words like those.

Thank you, Quentin. Thank you, Ian.

See, Pablo, your invitation to correct has brought us all something.

With regard to whether "progressive" is a tense or a mood, let me guess that grammarians would more likely consider it a "tense". (We can look this up somewhere, I am sure.) Considering the more common, everyday understanding of the word "mood" rather than its meaning in grammar, -- but from which the use of "mood" in grammar surely derives -- well, I am betting that when I look this up, I will not find a progressive mood, but rather a progressive tense..or maybe a progressive form within a tense'...(the tense is "present", right? the mood, indicative')

Oh my, knowing more about grammar would prove very useful! It would help us be able to explain to Pablo the "why" of our corrections.

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by Janice
0
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"When it comes to learning/ acquiring a language etc......

I am not sure the "learning" above is in fact a progressive tense. It is a gerund (a noun formed from a verb). As I understand it for "learning" to be a verb it has to have the verb "to be" in front of it. "When I am learning" or "When I was learning" or "When one is learning" etc.

You're correct of course. I should have said the present participle, not a or the progressive tense(s).

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by 0074b507
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Yes, Ian, you are correct. I agree even with your wording: "a progressive tense." I don't think "the progressive tense" exists. I can't remember, though, if progressive is considered to be a mood or not.

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

"When it comes to learning/ acquiring a language etc......
I am not sure the "learning" above is in fact a progressive tense. It is a gerund (a noun formed from a verb). As I understand it for "learning" to be a verb it has to have the verb "to be" in front of it. "When I am learning" or "When I was learning" or "When one is learning" etc.

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by ian-hill
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Thank you Quentin, perhaps high motivation sounds better but strong motivation it seems is used often as well.

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by Pablo_
0
votes

I invite you to read this article:

Make Learning English a Habit

http://edition.englishclub.com/esl-magazine/make-learning-english-a-habit/

As you can see the article is for Learning English, but the important thing is to highlight the importance of forming habits when it comes to learn/acquire a language. Anyway, overall, I think all the tips and approaches to learn English are valid for any language, for instance, the first thing you need is a strong motivation, isn't it?

Regards,

Pablo

p.s. please, correct my English.

Well, why I was wring this Janice posted her reply. Since we both mentioned the same points maybe I wasn't as off base as I thought I might be.

I can only suggest what sounds more common to me since your use of English grammar and syntax is probably better than mine. When I came to the part of your paragraph that says "learn/acquire" I was anticipating "learning/acquiring" or where you say...tips and approaches "to learn"... I was thinking "for learning". This use of the progressive tense rather than the infinitive may just be a personal preference, but I thought I would mention it.
Also, and I can provide no reason why whatsoever, but, "a strong motivation", sounded strange to me. A little motivation, a lot of motivate, some motivation, just dropping the a, yes, but when you used the noun with an adjective like strong, then "motivator" comes to my mind. It probably because motivation is nebulous when it comes to quantification, but "a strong..." is normally usually used with something less abstract such as... a strong reason or cause, etc.
I'm not suggesting that you committed a grammitical error or even that you said it awkwardly, just that it did not sound like the common method of expressing the thought.

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by 0074b507
0
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Thank you very much smile Have a good night.

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by Pablo_