Welcome to Verbtrainers
A few years ago I was trying to learn Spanish and realized that I would not reach that goal until I learned how to use verbs properly. Like all the Romance languages, Spanish has a bunch of different forms for each verb infinitive (89, actually), and a fluent speaker of Spanish uses about two-thirds of them regularly. Not being able to use those forms correctly was going to prevent me from ever being good at speaking the language.
I tried everything -- flash cards, drills, books, web sites, but nothing really clicked. I decided that what I needed was a program that would drill me on the verbs, randomly picking an infinitive, a tense and a person/number and asking me to come up with an answer. I wrote a PC-based program that did that. My goal was not to memorize every form of every verb, but to get completely comfortable with the patterns, so that I could apply them to any verb.
It worked! After using my "Verbtrainer" for just a couple days, I was better at verbs, and after a couple months, I had gotten pretty darn good with them. Now, I drill myself for just 10 or 15 minutes each day to keep from getting rusty.
What Exactly Are Verbtrainers?
Verbtrainers are small apps that drill you on the verbforms of a language. You choose what tenses and types of verbforms you want to see, and the Verbtrainer randomly selects one and puts it on the screen. You can then say the answer to yourself or out loud, and touch the screen to see the answer. Touch the screen again and you get a new randomly-selected verbform
The goal of the Verbtrainer is not to help you memorize every form of every verb (that would be hard: there's over 60,000 verb forms in each Verbtrainer). You want to know the patterns so that you can apply that pattern to every new verb you learn. Verbtrainers drills you over and over so those patterns become second-nature. Then you can form the right verbform for any verb you know.
Over the years, Verbtrainers have grown. The first release focussed on drilling the user. Since then, a number of features have been added; Verbtrainers now offer:
- Tests: a user can set up three types of tests (timed, with an unlimitednumber of verbs; timed; or a combination of timed and number of verbs). During the test, the Verbtrainer presents a quiz, just like in Drill View, and after seeing the answer, the user scores the answer as right or wrong. When the test is complete, the user sees a summary of the results, and can save the test. The user can also see a history of all saved tests, so he or she can see the progress being made.
- Conjugations; users can see the conjugation of the infinitive and tense currently in the Quiz View, or the verb's entire conjugation.
- Verb Lists; users can create and save any number of verb lists, and drill only on verbs from those lists.
- An Auto Mode (iPad only) that allows a user to see Drill verbs and answers without touching a button to do so.