Learning irregular verbs
identify a few deviating forms and understand all verbal forms at a glance
As already pointed out, the Core Vocabulary of Romance Plurilingualism (CVRP) and its EuroComDidact ToGo learning app are powerful tools for promoting Romance multilingualism, especially the receptive competencies. Accordingly to the scientifically controlled construction of the core vocabulary, serial transparency and/or opacity between the CVRP target languages – French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish – are important categories for the didactic analysis of lexical input. The objective is to enhance the learners’ efficiency of acquiring foreign (Romance) languages. The goal also applies, of course, to verbs.
Following the lexicographic tradition, the CVPR registers the verbs in their infinitive form. The unavoidable disadvantage is self-evident: a considerable loss of intraserial transparency. To provide two examples: The infinitival pattern of Spanish querer (like, love) is morphologically quite distant from the following forms: indicative present, 1st person singular: quiero, pretérito perfecto simple, 1st person: quise, 2nd person. In French, we find the verb être with: suis, es, sommes, sont, fut, fûmes, allions…. Concerning all the conjugated forms of sp. querer, being familiar with only three forms allows you to decipher 36 forms. This outlines the virtual efficacy of the intercomprehensive approach in the field of the core vocabulary of Romance multilingualism and of verbs.
All Romance languages know three basic conjugations, categorized by the endings of the infinitival forms:
All these languages follow the same formation pattern: extension of the word stem by a personnel sign (i.e. fr. aim-ons, pt. pul-o), often combined with a tense or mood indication (fr. aim-i-ez, it. lava-v-o, pt. chama-v-am, sp. anda-b-a, me permit-a-n). In Italian, an extended form -sc- is possible: finisco, finisci…; capisco, capisci, capisce, but 5. capiamo). Regular verbs maintain the same root in all persons, tenses, and modes; “irregular” verbs, on the other hand, change the radical (essere: sono, sei, siamo, fummo, sarà…).
We assume that EuroComDidact ToGo users are familiar with the basic features of Romance conjugations which were acquired with the first Romance language. Thus, providing further explanations does not seem appropriate.
A complete list of verb forms can be found and downloaded for free. The highlighted forms signalize transfer bases whose knowledge allows the identification of all forms of the affected verb:
- Verb table French, highlighting irregularities
- Verb table Italian, highlighting irregularities
- Verb table Portuguese, highlighting irregularities
- Verb table Spanish, highlighting irregularities