I am frequently asked “how can make my Spanish sound more natural?”
In the early days of learning Spanish, we spend a fair slice of time talking in the present tense, in order to learn the basic essentials of how the language "functions", as well as the "rules" of the language...
- Putting describing words after the subject
- Putting intonation into the voice when asking questions
- … and then there is all the verb related stuff
All these things provide a strong foundation in the language, but it’s only when we start weaving in some future and past tenses that the language really starts to come alive and, equally important, we understand more and more of what we are hearing.
A good place to start is with the FUTURE TENSE. Take a moment to think about how often we talk about upcoming stuff…
- "Where are you going at the weekend?"
- "Is he going to pay the bill?"
- "I am going to clean the car later"
- "They are going to work in the garden"
- "The new restaurant is going to open next month"
Note that each of these sentences contain the word "going". These activities are not yet happening and I want you to think of the word going as a trigger for a little 3-part formula that is going to help you…
The 1 2 3 GOING Trigger …
1 2 3
IR + A + FULL VERB
This little formula is going to help us talk about some future activity.
- take the line of the verb IR for who is doing this activity
- is always A
- is the full verb for that activity
Let’s go back to those previous sentences and add their Spanish version as per this trigger…
- Where are you going at the weekend? - ¿dónde vas a ir al fin de semana?
- Is he going to pay the bill? - ¿él va a pagar la cuenta?
- I am going to clean the car later – voy a limpiar el coche luego
- They are going to work in the garden – ellos van a trabajar en el jardin
- The new restaurant is going to open next month – el restaurante nuevo va a abrir el próximo mes
Just getting started on it is the key. Like everything it takes a bit of thinking about at the start. Something I recommend a lot is to practice with your self-chat .. start your day with...
- I am going to eat cereals for breakfast – voy a comer los cereales para el desayuno
- What am I going to do today? - ¿qué voy a hacer hoy?
- I am going to wear my white t-shirt – voy a llevar mi camiseta blanca
- Later I am going to go to the bank – luego voy a ir al banco
Give it a try!!!