https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

Strange strength behavior of some words

I noticed that three very common Spanish verbs decay very strangely for me: beber, comer and leer. All the forms have perfect strength, but the whole verb seems to be very weak, and unless I remove these verbs from practice, I get them every time I practice weakest words. Why is that?

I noticed that for "beber" there was also one very weak form: beberemos. That's curious because it is future tense that has not been "officially" introduced to me yet. I somehow got it in some lesson, and then it decayed and never got a chance to be strengthened.

I tried to practice "beber" separately to check if I can make this verb strong. I immediately got the sentence with "beberemos" and then Duo began to throw in forms that I have not seen yet in any lesson, like "beberás", "bebieron", "beberé" and so on. I only started to learn Preterite this morning and did one lesson of it, so I'm pretty sure I could not have gotten all the Preterite forms yet. And, of course, I have not yet done any lessons on Future tense.

Now I'm a little afraid to continue practicing this word: it does not strengthen (the full verb has 2 strength bars now), but I continue to get new forms. I'm worried that those forms will decay soon and I won't be able to get them in regular practice because I have not "officially" learned them (especially Future tense). This may lead to "beber" decaying again, and then Duolingo will again give me too much sentences with "officially" known forms of "beber", trying in vain to make me strengthen the whole verb.

Is it possible to remove the Future forms from "beber" for me until I finally get to learn this skill? I'd also appreciate some explanation of a verb being weak while all its forms are strong.

Here are screenshots from my Vocabulary:

beber: http://i.imgur.com/djtSEJB.png

comer: http://i.imgur.com/1M4maVw.png

leer: http://i.imgur.com/CbJZVoC.png

Also, rignt now "leer" and "comer" are on top of the list if I sort Vocabulary by strength in ascending order: http://i.imgur.com/uGDOUmg.png

I've just checked some of my other verbs, and they also have 1 bar for the full verb while having 4 bars for every form.

November 7, 2013

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/tatou

This is actually a bug in the display code of the vocabulary section of the site, which has been described elsewhere. The word does in fact have 4 bars (all forms), but the vocab page displays it as decayed for some reason. I'm sure it has to do with the way we "collapse" all forms together into the root form, and the math is getting messed up somehow.

I have looked at this a few times, and have not been able to figure out yet what is going on (the vocab page code was written by someone else before I joined Duolingo). Since fewer than 2% of our users even ever click on the vocab page, I've had to spend my time fixing higher-priority bugs. :(

I know that's not much of an answer (and that's annoying), but we are working on it.

November 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

Thanks anyway! I would not bother about 1 strength bar if these particular three verbs behaved the same as other ones, i.e. appeared once in a while or got strengthened automatically when appearing in sentences with other words that are scheduled to practice. I don't mind getting "beber" when I have to practice "agua" or "jugo", but surely there is enough of "beber" to make it appear in practice separately (colored in blue).

What about future tense? Is it possible to remove it from my vocabulary now?

November 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/tatou

Is it that you think these words are showing up too much in practice?

There was a bug several months ago that would accidentally add certain word forms to hadn't been taught your vocab, if you saw it in other contexts (like immersion/translations, or a "bad" practice session that was forced to give you future tense). I think that might be what happened with "beberemos." Unfortunately, there's no easy way to remove it from your vocab.

November 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

Yes, they show up often enough to be annoying. These are very frequent verbs, so I don't think they should be practiced specifically - there is a lot of them in sentences meant to practice other words. I have to admit that sometimes I make mistakes in these words - mostly because of inattentiveness and being annoyed - I answer too quickly and then realize I typed nonsense... too late :-)

As for future tense, I believe it came from practice because I have never done any Spanish Immersion. Hope this will be fixed some day.

November 7, 2013
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