Spanish Bescherelle Review - an Essential Tool for Anyone Studying Spanish

The Spanish Bescherelle - Spanish Verbs Conjugation Tables is an invaluable tool for any student studying Spanish language, and wanting to really improve their Spanish speaking. This book covers all the groups of 89 Spanish verb patterns. Most verbs are AR verbs, with smaller numbers of ER verbs and IR verbs.

Like the French Bescherelle it does take a little getting used to in terms of learning how to navigate through it... however there are ...

Differences in Layout to the French Bescherelle

It is laid out differently to the French Bescherelle too, so people familiar with that Bescherelle will need to spend a bit of time familiarising themselves with the differences.

The French Bescherelle groups all the ER verbs in one section, the IR verbs in the next, and the RE verbs in the next. The Spanish Bescherelle gives a different verb for each of the 89 patterns but the AR verbs are not grouped separately from the Spanish ER and IR verbs. So in other words it might give an AR verb, and the next verb is an ER verb, then the next an IR, and the next could be another ER verb. This grouping is much less 'logical' than the French Bescherelle.

12,000 Spanish Verbs Conjugated

While my Spanish Bescherelle's back-cover says that it is a guide to conjugating 12,000 Spanish verbs, it however only lists just under 10,000 verbs according to my count. This is because many entries in the book serve as 'model verbs', or 'typical verbs' upon which others are based.

The Spanish Bescherelle consists of four parts:

  1. A detailed description of the principles of Spanish verb conjugation covering voice, moods, tenses, persons, number and aspect.
  2. Eighty-nine Spanish verb tables showing the different patterns of conjugation, covering regulars, auxiliary verbs, irregular verbs, defective verbs, passive verbs, pronominals and the impersonal verbs.
  3. Main prepositional phrases that verbs use with different prepositions.
  4. A list of 10,000 Spanish verbs with their English translations.

Four Sections of the Spanish Bescherelle

Spanish Bescherelle Part 1: Grammar of the Verb

The first dozen pages talk about the general construction and grammar of Spanish verbs. It covers the voice, moods, tenses, persons, number and aspect. Conjugation of regular verbs, their stems and endings; conjugations of auxiliary verbs - haber, ser, estar; and irregulars - looking at verbs with irregulars in the present, preterit, future and conditional; verbs with spelling changes; the use of ser and estar; regular verbs with irregular past participles, verbs with double past participles.

Pocket Bescherelle of Spanish Verbs Section 2: Tables of Conjugation of Spanish Verbs

The second section gives examples of each of the 89 patterns of verb endings in Spanish, each one being represented by a fully conjugated 'typical' verb. As explained above the AR, ER and IR verbs are not grouped together like the French Bescherelle, whose layout I prefer.

Spanish Language Bescherelle Section 3: Standard Use of Spanish Prepositional Verbs

Spanish prepositions are often determined by the preceding verb. This section covers the main prepositions, and the main prepositional phrases. a, con,de ,desde, en, entre, para, por.

It shows various verbs with various prepositions. Many verbs can of course be followed by several different prepositions. For example here is the extract for abrir:
abrir: al público;
con fuerza;
de arriva, abajo;
desde la torre;
al canal;
hacia afuera;
sin precaución;

Español Bescherelle Section 4: Spanish Verbs Index

Pages 289 onwards of my Spanish Bescherelle list the 10,000 verbs, BUT unlike the French Bescherelle their English meanings/translations are NOT included.

This is one big annoying drawback, which annoys me when I use it... So in terms of user-friendliness the Spanish Bescherelle is not as good as the French one. I cannot find any other Spanish Bescherelle published by anyone else other than Langenscheidts Pocket Bescherelle. I cannot find a 'non-pocket' version. If anyone out there can help please contact us.

A useful feature is that the more irregular verbs are highlighted with a ♦ in bold font making them easy to identify. But a feature sadly missing (which is in the French Bescherelle) is the highlighting of common verbs. This would be a useful addition to future editions.

Practising Spanish Verbs

A very effective way to practice your Spanish verb conjugating is to recite aloud a verb table in full every day. Check out our Daily Spanish Lesson Verb Tables where you can practise verbs like those in the Spanish Bescherelle. Recite one a day of these for 30 days of one of the verb families and you will be impressed at your progress. Reading them by row and by column will take about 3 minutes. Do them at spaced intervals. One when you get out of bed, one in the shower (from memory), one before each meal etc.

You can also get our Weekly Spanish Newsletter by email which includes a link to a fully conjugated Spanish verb every week.

Click here to add this Free Daily Spanish Lesson to your website. A new page will open with instructions on how to do this by copying and pasting some code onto your website.

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