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Most frequently used words - problem?

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I've read that near-fluency in a language can be accomplished by learning ¨only¨ 2000 or so words. That is, focus on the words with the highest frequency of use, and you can achieve 80-90% fluency. I want to start doing this with Spanish, but I think there is a problem. How would I do this since Spanish has so many verb conjugations? Obviously, I would at least need the infinitive form of verbs. And gerund forms would be helpful. And then preterite, present, and future tenses. But that would quickly rack up word counts and I could see that 2000 words becoming 10,000+ words - most of them different forms of verbs. Should I focus on just the most frequent conjugations? But then, it would seem strange to learn some conjugations of verbs I know, but leave gaps, even if much less frequently used. Any ideas how I can do this without being overwhelmed?

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You could do the way the 2,000 words method is intended to be, then what would be the point?  Just focus on learning the most used verb conjugations and words, if you do that then kudos!  You can go on and learn more.  Believe me, I did the same with english and thanks to that I just kept on learning more and more words and verbs.

Try not to think too much about it and just do the things. Sometimes thinking too much about something instead of doing it can ruin it all.  Just make a run for it!

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  • 1 year later...

Why count the conjugations as part of the 2000 words?  Instead of thinking of the conjugations as separate words, why not think of them as different forms of one word?  If you are doing paperwork and there are subheadings, you don't consider them to be separate parts of the file.  Treat conjugations as subheadings.  That way it won't eat up your 2000 words. 

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