Verbs and Memory

Over the next two weeks, I will introduce mnemonics for learning a French verb tense, once every two days. I will not cover present tense, because we should all have no problem with normal present verb tenses at this point. When we are done with the seven mnemonics, we should be able to fill out this grid, if it was blank, and we were on a desert island. Both the French and the English translation. This exercise is designed for those taking standardized language tests, but please note, I have never taken one outside of the Internet, so I do not know if they give you a blank piece of scrap paper like many other tests do.

The mnemonics were created by me, so they work for me. They may not work perfectly for others, but at least you can see the method and may feel compelled to create your own memory cues. As I mentioned before in other memory posts, your mind will not remember something beyond a few hours unless you have given yourself a mnemonic or have repeatedly attempted to retain the information enough times to impress your memory with its need to retain the information. If you construct your own mnemonic, please leave a comment on your technique, so that others may learn from your work.

This feat of memorization will conclude my year of learning French, and in my opinion, solidify my B2 test taking ability, which became my final goal. I doubt I will ever take a standardized certification test, but you never know. I will return to the beginning of the blog and work forward in time, to check for typos, add links to videos/websites, and insert the occasional study tip.

Originally I had wanted to learn enough French to travel in France outside of a tour group, and be able to comfortably speak with locals, should I drink enough Bordeaux. I then decided to attain A2 level French after I had completed Duolingo, which forced me to create a verb cheat sheet so that I could visualize the French tenses, and moods. As a result, I learned a lot about grammar and language construction, and what allows a polyglot to process a language so quickly.


Surprisingly, the cheat sheet I created (above) became extremely popular, judging from search engine results, which prompted me to just get crazy with it, and attempt to test out at B2. Recently I’ve taken numerous tests, and will continue to do so, while enjoying my new found ability to read books in French, listen to music and not only understand the lyrics of the song, but also to successfully sing off-key with the artist in real-time. I enjoy Zazie, Yelle, Zaho, and many of the older songs (Hardy), as well as cursing in French, without being reprimanded.

I will continue to spend at least an hour per day listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos, translating French news stories, and reviewing those areas where English speakers make French errors.



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