Spanish Study Tips Using Your Learning Style

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Memorizing Spanish Nouns

Spanish nouns are different from English nouns because they are characterized as being either "male" or "female." It is important to understand noun gender from the start because the gender of a noun will determine the gender of other words that appear in sentences.

For instance, the article "the" will be either male (el) or female (la) in Spanish, depending on the gender of the noun. Similarly, the gender of a noun determines the form of many adjectives that describe it.

Example: la puerta blanca

For this reason, it is important to recognize the gender of nouns as you first learn them. One way to do this is to use color-coded flashcards to indicate the gender of the nouns as you learn them.

In the image above, you can see that the feminine word taza is accompanied by the female article la, and it is printed in pink. This method of creating flashcards is useful for visual learning.

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Spanish Pronunciation

Unlike many languages, Spanish is pronounced the way it's spelled. All you have to do is learn the basic rules of pronunciation and you'll be able to read Spanish, even if you don't know what you're saying!

If a Spanish word ends in a hard consonant like "d", the last syllable of a word is spoken loudest or emphasized.

Example: oportunidad

You will find, however, that most words end in a vowel or a soft consonant like "n" or "s." For those words, the next-to-last syllable is emphasized.

Any word that deviates from that rule will contain an accent mark to show the correct pronunciation.

Example: rápido

Make a pronunciation chart to help you remember how certain vowels and consonants are pronounced.

Spanish sounds are created toward the front of your mouth (as opposed to the back, as in many English words).

Try to avoid exhaling too much air as you pronounce Spanish words. Hold a piece of paper in front of your lips and try to reduce the movement of the paper as you speak. This feels funny at first, but it helps you pronounce words more accurately. It is also a good tactile learning method.

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Practice Speaking Spanish

Sound Recorder.

One of the best ways to improve your Spanish is to practice out loud and then listen to yourself.

If you are using a PC with Windows, you probably have a handy built-in recording device to make this easy. All you need is an inexpensive microphone!

Simply click on the START button on your menu and go to:


This recorder is easy to use. Just speak into the microphone and play back your words! It's fun to do and it's a great way to practice and learn.

You can also record brief conversations with a friend. This is a great tool for auditory learners.

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Spanish Words That Sound Alike

Some Spanish words sound just like other words, and they're spelled pretty much the same, too. The only difference is that an accent distinguishes one from the other. The image above shows a list of these words. To memorize them, just print up a list of words without accents.

Then, write in your own accent marks in freehand, as you say the meaning out loud. This is a good combination of visual, auditory, and tactile learning.