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As a student learning a second language, I often create a study guide of the vocabulary that goes along with the particular upcoming exam. For conjugations of verbs, it is extremely helpful to present them as 2 by 3 charts.

As a very amateur LaTeX user, I have no clue how to program these charts into a document. How would I go about producing a chart with two columns and three rows?

Also, it would be of great help if I could get a title bar above each chart to state what the verb is (i.e. to put its infinitive there) and what tense it is.

This website's layout would be a very good example: http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/beber

What I'm looking for is simply a chart for the present tense conjugations with almost identical format. The only difference being that at the top of the chart, there is the infinitive (and its meaning in English).

share|improve this question
Would you be able to provide a link to an image of a "conjugation chart"? You can edit your post accordingly. Some people may think this refers to a tabular shape (without graphics), while others may see this as a chart, which is a graphic. – Werner Jan 23 '12 at 1:42
Perhaps my edit will help clarify precisely what I mean. I am essentially asking how I can construct a chart identical to the present tense conjugation of the verb, except that the chart has a title bar that can list the infinitive and its meaning in English. It may be more appropriate to classify this as a "tabular". – 000 Jan 23 '12 at 1:53
Just thought you should know: Using Werner's template, it is possible to make your life a lot easier if you're doing the same charts for many verbs (if they're regular, anyway) by putting the whole thing into a custom command. Then you will be able to just say something like \conjugate{beber} or \conjugate{comer} for any regular -er verb you want, and it'll produce the entire chart for you. – JohnJamesSmith Jan 23 '12 at 3:02
If you're doing this a lot, I would also recommend looking into ways of incorporating foreign languages in your documents without having to type \'e every time you mean "é". – JohnJamesSmith Jan 23 '12 at 3:03
Oh, I already figured out how to type Spanish characters from my computer directly onto the word editor. It'd be a good idea to define the conjugate command at a later time, since the manual labor of producing the chart helps me study. :) Thank you for the input. – 000 Jan 23 '12 at 3:40
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Here is a mock-up that duplicates one of the tables listed in your link. I'm sure you could modify this to suit based on your requirements:

Conjugate chart

\usepackage{booktabs}% http://ctan.org/pkg/booktabs
\usepackage{colortbl}% http://ctan.org/pkg/colortbl
\usepackage{xcolor}% http://ctan.org/pkg/xcolor

  \topheading{Indicative} \\
  \midheading{Present} \\
  bebo          & bebemos \\
  bebes         & beb\'eis \\
  bebe          & beben \\[\jot]
  \midheading{Preterit} \\
  beb\'{\i}     & bebimos \\
  bebiste       & bebisteis \\
  bebi\'o       & bebieron \\[\jot]
  \midheading{Imperfect} \\
  beb\'{\i}a    & beb\'{\i}amos \\
  beb\'{\i}as   & beb\'{\i}ais \\
  beb\'{\i}a    & beb\'{\i}an \\[\jot]
  \midheading{Conditional} \\
  beber\'{\i}a  & beber\'{\i}amos \\
  beber\'{\i}as & beber\'{\i}ais \\
  beber\'{\i}a  & beber\'{\i}an \\[\jot]
  \midheading{Future} \\
  beber\'e      & beberemos \\
  beber\'as     & beber\'eis \\
  beber\'a      & beber\'an \\

colortbl provides some row colour, while xcolor provides the colour interface (for example, black!5 is 5% black). booktabs provides the modified tabular layout, including the use of modified rules via \specialrule{<width>}{<above sep>}{<below sep>}.

Spacing between tense blocks is given by \\[\jot] which leaves an additional 3pt gap.

I've added an indent on the left of \quad (given by the first @{\quad} in the tabular column specification), as well as a space between the words of \quad (given by the second @{\quad} in the column specification). Main header is set via \topheading{<stuff>} while the tense headers are set via \midheading{<stuff>}. Since the tabular format is rigid - 2 columns - the commands conform to this setup by necessarily spreading its contents over 2 columns (via \multicolumn{2}{l}{...}). Again, this is just one way of doing it; there are plenty of other ways of doing it.

share|improve this answer
Wow, this is quite a fabulous table. Nice job. – 000 Jan 23 '12 at 2:28
@user22144: Thanks! – Werner Jan 23 '12 at 2:33
Here is the result of my work using your help: pastebin.com/E1QHQsAj Any suggestions would be great, if you like. Thanks for the help. – 000 Jan 23 '12 at 4:05

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