"I just want to understand some of the basics so when I watch a tutorial, I can understand what they are saying."
If this tutorial involves modifying code, then you should learn HTML, but if this tutorial involves Dreamweaver specifically, you don't have to. My advice would be to learn some HTML, because then regardless of what editor you use, code is code and if you can modify it, you can do anything. Also if you know code and can logically put it together, you can often apply the same logic to other coding languages... it comes all down to syntax. This knowledge can only benefit you