I have more tips than you would believe! The first thing to analyze is what type of learner you are.
1. visual = you need to SEE what you want to learn. What will not stick in your memory easily, color-code with bilious yellow, orange, green, etc.
2. aural = you need to HEAR what you want to learn. A hand-held tape recorder is good, putting the word/words on the tape, leaving a space, etc. At first you only listen (called passive listening) and in that blank space you mentally try say it. In fact, repetition is a key to learning. Repeat. The next step is to write it down. (Of course, you do NOT do this until you have seen it, copied, learned to spell it. The last step is to listen and in that empty space write it down (like dictation.) In other words, SAY it, SING it, etc. to make the repetition more fun .
3. kinesthetic = you must be involved PHYSICALLY. This is the most difficult learning style (and it happens to be what I am) so it takes longer to learn it but it will stay with you longer! You can TRACE it, LABEL things in the house (for vocabulary.) It is no longer the chair, but LA CHAISE, when you see it, sit on it, move it, etc. That is like TPR (total physical response).
4. Many people are a combination of the 3 styles above. You need to experiment if you do not yet know. Once you DO know what type of learner you are, you know how to ATTACK what you need to learn.
Now, let's get to the "nitty-gritty." There is no verb VINIR in French. You probably mean VENIR = to come. I'll walk you through that verb.
Why not begin with the Present Indicative, the first tense you learned:
je viens = I come, I DO come, I AM comING
(a mneumonic or memory trick is look at the endings. . .s-s-t (super sonic transport) to help remember)
See a pattern for this "ir" verb? The stem changes: ien, ien, ien, ven, ven, vien = for the stem (the reason is pronunciation - on first or second syllable)
The endings = s, s, t, ons, ez, nent
Passé Composé (verbs of "coming and going" use être as the helping verb with the past participle. Regular verbs use avoir. When you are ready for using EITHER être or avoir, let me know for some handy "tricks."
je suis venu(e) = I came, I DID come
(note the past participle reflects the gender of the subject, masculine = masculine but feminine = feminine and so on in the plural
(4 forms of this past participle: venu, venue, venus, venues)
tu es venu(e)
il est venu / elle est venue / on est venu
nous sommes venus (masc. or masc, fem. together) BUT venues (feminine plural)
vous êtes venu (e) (s)
ils sont venus / elles sont venues
About your getting discouraged at memorizing, the "levels of learning" are =learn a block, forget most of it, relearn the block, forget less of it, relearn again, forget still less. You may NEVER remember ALL of it, but that's how it goes! Don't try to study too much at once nor cram. Neither works. Begin in plenty of time, be aware of your attention span. Let no one or nothing disturb you! (no phone calls, visitors, etc.!)
Before a text/exam, be sure you have a good breakfast (but not so much that you fall asleep!) and water helps wake the brain up. (Just before the test, visit the rest room so you are not uncomfortable during the test!)
How to attack a test? Let me tell you about a final I will never forget. I opened the booklet, went totally blank. Looked through it, understood something at the end, did that and worked backwards! The next day the professor said: "I hope you do as well on the exam in X" and I thought she was being sarcastic! Believe it or not, A on the first (Spanish) and A on the second (French.) A total surprise to me, let me tell you!
je venais = I WAS comING, I USED TO come, I CAME (overlapping with one meaning of the passé composé in English)
Look at the infinitive again and then the stems for each of the 3 tenses:
venir = vien or ven (Present)
venu (e) (e) (s) = Past Participle for le passé composé
Hopefully this will help you. Feel free to ask any more questions. Lots more tips, but this is a LOT for you to grasp so break up your time between now and Monday, doing a bit at a time. You can not overstudy!
bonne chance et à tout à l'heure.
Sra (aka Mme)
oh! thank you soooo much, i am a visual learner...and my teacher does all talking and none visual...i acn learn this...thank you VERY much Madame.
oopps! haha i spelled can as acn...my bad