Flash cards for verbs and abstract words

Hi, I am an absolute beginner, who is just starting to learn italian. I would like to make some flashcards, and I can understand the advice on trying not to translate with the flashcards (i.e. Italian on the front, English on the back). However what do you do for the very common but simple words that do not have an obvious graphical representation? i.e. words like "the, it, says, was, is, has, yours, mine, i" etc. These seem very simple words, but very important when you are starting out in a language. However I cannot think of an easy way to do flashcards for these, without translating to English on the back. Do you have exceptions for these sort of cards, and translate from Italian to English (in my case)? Or do you still persevere with trying to keep entirely within the language you're learning? You could have sentences with the blank in for these words, but then if you are an absolute beginner then you need to have an understanding of the whole sentence to get the missing word. Any help would be appreciated.

* Originally posted by andrewrimmer.

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  • Hi Andrew,
    In his book I think Gabriel talks about how to learn abstract words in chapter 5. The first few flashcards you make should be concrete things that you can recognise (or at least strongly remind you of the thing...), its all about building connections in your brain.

    There is a page on this site where Gabriel put up useful images for learning pronouns and prepositions:


    He also put together a video tutorial series that walks you through the process of installing Anki all the way up to making flash cards and even designing your own flashcards. Abstract words are covered in the grammar video:


    A lot of the words you spoke of belong in this section, I think.

    Best of luck!
    Buona notte
    - Ciarán

    * Originally posted by CiaranByrne.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC12tluKB3U

    Sorry, I don't know why that second link didn't show up

    * Originally posted by CiaranByrne.
  • Okay,
    I don't think I can post youtube links, the same content is available on the fluent-forever site:


    * Originally posted by CiaranByrne.
  • This is where the 625 word list comes in. They are easy to picture, so if you make cards for them first you won't have to worry about anything abstract or grammatical. Then when you start with all these abstract words, word forms, articles, and things like this you'll already have a vocabulary base to work with.

    This means you can find or create example sentences that you actually understand and use them to learn grammar rules. It's way easier to memorize grammar using "The dog ate my homework" if you already know the words "dog", "eat", and "homework". If you know zero or very few Italian words, I'd focus on vocabulary for now. Don't worry too much about grammar until you have a solid base of words to use for examples.

    * Originally posted by taomustbeturtle.
  • As others said, most of the words in the first 625 are fairly straightforward. (I just finished making my flashcards for these, and I'm also learning Italian.) For days of the week, prepositions, and pronouns, Gabriel does have some image resources on his website: https://fluent-forever.com/appendix5/#.VNU4GXVGjUY

    But I would also say that Italian is fairly straightforward for a lot of grammar, especially if you have any previous language-learning experience (particularly a Romance language). For some basic things like possessive adjectives (mine/yours/his) you might find it pretty easy to just look it up online or look in a grammar book and learn it that way. And if you wait until after you've finished the 625 words, Gabriel's next step is to go through your grammar book and make flashcards for new information, so you'd probably end up learning this kind of stuff at that point anyway.

    I think resisting the temptation to put English on your cards will pay off, so try to avoid it if at all possible!

    * Originally posted by EmilyC.

  • You can also take a look at Italian verbs and abstracts flash cards available in market. I recently bought QuickStudy flash cards and I really found it useful.
    For more details visit: http://www.quickstudy.com/flash-cards/

    * Originally posted by patriciarrobinson.

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