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ABSTRACT: Foreign language teachers have long recognized that it is neither possible nor necessary to teach a complete grammar of Spanish in a course designed to develop communicative competence. Studies of colloquial usage show that even a native-like command of the grammar can consist of far fewer verb forms than are traditionally thought necessary. Basing himself on these studies, the author proposes a minimal grammar of verb forms for correct active use. More tentative suggestions are made for the development of an easily expressed and understood simplified Spanish for beginners. The paper considers briefly the order of presentation of grammatical forms and concludes with a review of some other aspects of a communicative course in Spanish.