How to be fluent in Spanish? Forget grammar!
Forget grammar, yes, you just read that right! if you haven’t achieved fluency in Spanish, you need to forget grammar!
Before you keep reading, I want you to watch the following video:
When I was learning English, I hated grammar because it was very difficult for me to understand the ideas, rules, and exceptions that English has.
Well, grammar has a structure in every language and you need to analyze it, memorize the rules and do exercises in order to learn it.
Now, let us think of Spanish grammar for a second: prefixes and suffixes, absolute superlatives, relative pronouns, accents, intermediate h, compound words, quantifiers, verbs and their conjugations, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, the subjunctive … Oh, God!
Everything becomes so complicated that not even regular native speakers know all those rules, yet they speak perfectly!
It’s a language, not mathematics!
Understand that Spanish is not an academic subject like mathematics, that you have to sit down to memorize formulas and complicated things, No!
Spanish is about communicating ideas, feelings, thoughts and a lot more! It is totally creative. What does this mean? ….
You see, grammar tells us that there is only one correct answer and that errors are unforgivable, which is completely wrong because, as I said before, language is creative.
New things are appearing all the time, even children create words all the time!
For example, when I was a child, I had a secret language with my sister that was to put the word “Chu” before any syllable. So, to say “Hola”, we said something like “Chu Ho, Chu La” and who told us it was wrong? … Nobody! Because Spanish is completely creative.
Actually, most of my Spanish students who focus on grammar, have a lot of trouble to develop fluency. However, this is not a surprise for me.
Let me tell you why…
Think about it, in real speaking, there’s just no time to think about conjugations, tenses, first or third person. Real and natural conversations go really fast!
In fact, native Spanish speakers make grammar mistakes all the time. In real conversations, nobody ever takes into account the subjunctive or the imperfect preterite, nobody knows anything about these things and yet … we speak Spanish perfectly!
Now, read the next paragraph carefully because that’s exactly what I want you to do from this moment on.
STOP studying grammar, this is only slowing down your learning.
This happens because when you study grammar, you start concentrating on saying things correctly, which is unrealistic and kills your fluency, and you don’t want that!
So, from now on, what you have to do is to forget grammar. Say goodbye to your textbooks, do not memorize more grammar rules, forget about all these things!
I’m not saying that grammar is wrong. It is very important for someone to use the language correctly.
Without grammar rules, writing a document would be impossible, or public speaking wouldn’t be so clear as it should be.
Grammar is good, but it’s not good when you’re just learning to speak Spanish. Actually, if you want to learn grammar, fine, go ahead and open your textbook, but do it after you achieve fluency in Spanish.