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 I needed a program to 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. You can select what tenses to drill on, what person/numbers, what infinitive types, whether to use all verbs or just irregular or stem-changeing, etc. You can also make lists of verbs and drill on the verbs in that list.

The goal of the Verbtrainer is not to help you memorize every form of every verb (that would be hard: there's over 90,000 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 focused on drilling the user. Since then, a number of features have been added; Verbtrainers now offer: