https://www.duolingo.com/NiamhR

Why is there no summary of past tense verbs here?

NiamhR
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Why is there no summary of past tense verbs here? It would really help to look them over before attempting the lessons.

6 years ago

64 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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Thanks! We'll work on this.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jhoogs
jhoogs
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Thanks for working on this I mean 10 months has passed. (that was sarcasm) Sorry i know you guys are busy and all.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pamec
pamec
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As they say in Spanish "Más vale tarde que nunca" (Better late than never). We have now added a brief summary in the Tips section of the Verbs: Past skill :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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When will you make a special discussion in Spanish, that gives links to many different explanations? It has been done for other languages and is very helpful.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jayce535632

As you would know, taking 25 languages. :D

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v.d.w.willems

one of the most difficult aspects of the verbs, the two different simple pasts and how they work, should be explained indeed, so thank you

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Goim
Goim
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One year later...whoops ;D

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/porquepuedo
porquepuedo
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It's here now.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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For now, this should be helpful for many of you: http://www.studyspanish.com/verbs/lessons/pretreg.htm

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/laxris
laxris
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Still working on it?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/porquepuedo
porquepuedo
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Thanks Duolingo team for adding it! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zzravizz
zzravizz
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Has anyone heard of GOOGLE? Try googling it instead of complaining about Duolingo. Duolingo is AWESOME and teaches a lot! Just because there is no chart, does not mean it is the end of your spanish journey. Use OTHER sources too!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zacharyctrs

I wish I could vote you up several times!:-)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeteBerardi

i did one for you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevinp2k13

Although Duolingo is not without its flaws, I really liked it up until this point. Since January 1st, I practiced on a daily basis (with only a couple of days off) because I had the feeling that the interactive part had something more to offer than books have.. but seriously: how can there not be at least the basic three charts (for the -er, ir- and -ar verbs) for the form of the past that we are supposed to translate here displayed? It was half a year ago that Luis said that they'll work on it (and this is not meant to badmouth Luis - one can easily see that he puts a lot of effort in helping people), still nothing has happened. I know that Duolingo is free and put together by private people, but this is something that could be fixed within minutes and, at least in my opinion, drags the whole (otherwise enjoyable) experience down and has killed it for me.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/judithamsterdam

I'm not saying you are wrong, mind, but you could try http://www.conjugation.org/cgi-bin/conj.php to find all conjugations for all verbs. It would be nice if they did offer such charts here, but the strong point of this site is the practice, not the book-learning, and the charts can be found elsewhere - practice is harder to come by.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wio_La
Wio_La
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Thank you very much for sharing :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/judithamsterdam

If you click on one of to the words learned this lesson (on the right of the lessons page on the website) and choose one, you get a lovely overview of the use of the word, including the conjugations.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Resonance2001

If it's the preterite tense you want, maybe this article may be of interest to you: http://spanishplus.tripod.com/Preterite.htm#TopOfPage Also I remember that Michel Thomas pointed out on one of his CDs that you can remember the yo and él / ella / usted endings by saying a sort of tango to yourself: é and ó... í and ió é and ó and í and ió

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jecauril

I've been been doing a few minutes of Duolingo every day, and enjoyed it a lot until this point. I see it's been about a year since it was noted that this section just dumps you into the past tense forms. No explanation, no taking it little bit at a time. Now it takes longer to get though the exercises and I'm not sure what I'm doing without going outside Duolingo, which wasn't necessary earlier. This is nothing that has not already been noted, but hopefully adding this to the thread will bump up the issue a bit. I hope the lessons from here on out are more like the first half!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johnarnold
johnarnold
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I made more mistakes in the first couple lessons, than any other set. Yes it would have been nice of Duolingo to put an introduction summary for the past tense.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Krogers26
Krogers26
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I agree that there should be at least a tiny lesson here explaining past tense verbs. I very much enjoy when the lessons have explanations and find them very helpful.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevmo314

This lesson definitely needs a summary or some other context. I've been stuck on it for over a week now failing the same lesson over and over again as the sentence explanations are hardly sufficient...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/erlend_sh

I know all about getting sidetracked, but one year to put up a grammar brief? Maybe you guys need to look at getting a better internal issue tracker ^^ Trello ftw!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pjreads

There's a CONJUGATE link in the drop down translation box when a new verb from is introduced.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bluemarimba

This link is always very helpful. I haven't been able to see a pattern for when it does and doesn't appear. If DL always included the Conjugation or "C" button on the drop down box for a verb it might help placate users here that are wanting the general charts. It would be very convenient also if it were included in the drop down boxes on the summary verb chart on the Lessons page. When I am reviewing those word lists I usually open another tab where I look up needed conjugation charts on other sites that people have recommended as good Spanish resources.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/penningtonc

It's there on all verbs (so I can see). Because I'm sad, I have made a spreadsheet containing everything I've ever written in Duolingo so it's not lost and have created tabs for the verbs. Here, I copy the small conjugation tables provided by Duolingo (by clicking on 'Conjugate') and keep them so I can regularly go back and refer to them. Here's a screenshot:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/73327346/Verbs.JPG

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
jfGor
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no there isn't

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/peteyfas
peteyfas
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I agree with some of the users in this discussion in how it would be a great asset to have a short primer before jumping into the past tense. That being said, I did find some pretty good resources that could serve many learners as a supplement to the DL lessons. http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/pretimp1.htm for the preterit and much more, and http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugation as a resource for verb conjugations as well as usage scenarios. Hopefully these can help out some people.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yosoyken
yosoyken
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I must agree, I made steady - albeit slowing - progress til here... I am following the recommendation and using other web resources to get my head around past tense conjugation ( printed out tables for "regular verbs", "Ser", and "Estar" .... will study these and come back to duolingo when i think i am ready. < I do think duolingo is an incredible resource, and at the price I have few complaints >

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SteffanieS
SteffanieS
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I came to this discussion because I wondered if I had missed something. Past tense popped up without warning in the middle of a practice session before I had even started the past tense brick. Now I understand. I like the "practice until you figure it out model." But, to continue without much frustration I'm going to pull out my old Spanish verbs book. I'm still enjoying duolingo, but see the need for additional resources.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonathan--
Jonathan--
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Just noticed that there is now a summary. Good work Owl.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mattpi

well, they don't have any summary below the button where you start the lesson. i think that would be very useful.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Romans8_31

I found really good summaries for stuff like past tense verbs and all sorts of stuff in the grammar section of spanishdict.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annhg

Good question! It's a major defect

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StiNgXIII
StiNgXIII
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I'm really surprised reading some of the comments here. It feels like you have someone knocking your door giving you a FREE pizza and your response is "!@#$ you forgot ketchup!". Stop being mean people and behave, you are getting this load of content and this whole service for free. I, like all of you was disappointed finding there was no explanation for this section and was more disappointed when I found it's an old issue so likely it won't be solved soon but what ruined my day really was reading these mean comments! Thanks to Duoling, I won't be anywhere near my current level in Spanish "which I started from the scratch using duolingo" without this nice service or without paying hundreds or even thousands!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jheavner724
jheavner724
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For anyone struggling with this just go to a website like studyspanish or spanishdict and look at their more explicit overview of the past tense in Spanish (first familiarize yourself with the preterit, then the imperfect and when to use it, then later on you can get into the more complicated stuff like the imperfect in the subjunctive mood and the past perfect aspect).

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RedRobin

My feedback tab on the left has NEVER worked...it goes nowhere...is anyone else having this problem? Can you suggest a "fix" for it, or could someone with a working feedback button , please forward this? thanks alot!

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sasha_Cn

It is really something that might discourage people learning Spanish. Good explanation is needed here. Particularly because it is simpler than it seems.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonathan--
Jonathan--
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I agree it is ridiculous that 10 months in they have not provided a simple introduction to preterite conjugation here. Also, there are many more places I needed to click "my answer is correct" in this section. It's as if duoLingo assumes most people won't get this far, and decided to stop maintaining this section.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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No need to be mean :(

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
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I agree with you, no need to be mean. But nonetheless, I don't understand why duo doesn't put more resources into improving the lesson notes. It's just a few paragraphs of well-written text that could be tremendously helpful for learners (and moderators for that matter as our workload of answering the same questions again and again would probably decrease considerably). It certainly can't be done during a lunch break, but it shouldn't be an insurmountable problem either.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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We're working on many things at once, and I personally do not believe this is a very high priority task. We know from our own data that an overwhelming majority of the people do not like to read grammar explanations (nor do they even attempt to do so!). We're trying to find the best way to teach a language, and so far our data shows we should not spend much time concentrating on grammar.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
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Sorry, but this argument is not very convincing. You can't (as an adult) learn a language without learning its grammar. I understand that duolingo prefers an immersion approach. It's great that duo searches for new (and data-driven) ways to teach languages. And what you have done so far is amazing. But you shouldn't simply put away decades (centuries) of experience with professional language teaching just because people don't like reading grammar intros. I'm sure they don't. They didn't for the last 100 years either, but everyone who seriously studies a language will sooner or later find out that grammar is important.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
christian
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I don't believe that you can't (as an adult) learn a language without learning it's grammar.

I suppose you haven't studied a language that has a complex case system like German or Russian. You can't learn these languages without studying their grammar. It just can't be done, unless you're happy with a "Me Tarzan, you Jane" sort of level.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/djmartingtl

I agree that Luis's argument is not very convincing. People that are on duolingo for more than a week actually want to learn a language and are willing to put forth the effort to learn it. I have taken up to Spanish 3 in college going over the past tense preterit and imperfect and feel an introduction of the past tenses would be very helpful. I couldn't imagine a person without past experience trying to learn the past tense with no grammar introduction

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vikukunta
vikukunta
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I second that. I used to learn from Pimsleur which doesn't explain grammar but uses a real-life approach instead to simulate how children learn a language. OK, it is very effective at memorizing words and phrases on the long term, as well as at providing you with a self-confidence with the speaking, but understanding all the aspects of the underlying grammar that way is too much for an adult brain.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Idzi
Idzi
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Though I agree that these optional grammar explanations are very useful and ultimately important, I don't believe that you can't (as an adult) learn a language without learning it's grammar. Or more to the point, without learning it's grammar through a technical explanation. Even for adults the most natural way of learning a language is through use and immersion, seeing it used properly and correcting your mistakes as you go along. DuoLingo is trying something old rather than new. And since they do agree that some explanation should still be added here at some point, I understand that they aren't prioritizing that implementation.

(In response to Christian, reply won't work) As I said in the sentence following the one you quoted, It's not that DuoLingo is not offering us grammar. They are simply teaching it to us in a manner that may seem roundabout, but might be more natural. As opposed to a more common technical study of rules and exceptions. Basically a variation on the way you'd pick it up as a kid, which should get you far beyond the 'Me Tarzan, you Jane' level. And though I think adding grammar explanations etc here would be greatly beneficial, as long as we have the sentences I don't consider them absolutely necessary, so understand the delay on DuoLingo's part. And yes I studied German during some lovely years in high school.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
christian
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You're basically outsourcing grammar to the comments. This is not what I'd expect from a language course. Honestly, I increasingly feel used when I answer a question that has been asked a gazillion times and could easily have been answered through a grammar explanation within the actual lessons. At this point, explaining grammar should be one of your priorities.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Senor_dan
Senor_dan
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I would look at this data again. My hunch is that users do in fact consult grammatical explanations when the material does not fit into a readily understandable pattern. I can say from personal experience that this unit felt like a landmine of unexpected endings (" -o in third person? Where did that come from?") which interrupted the momentum I felt from the earlier units. And the presence of grammatical explanations earlier on established an expectation on the part of your users, who have by this point expended considerable time on this program. Leaving us hanging just when the going gets tough makes it difficult for me to unreservedly recommend this course to adult students of Spanish. Which is truly a pity, since the earlier units are superb.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonathan--
Jonathan--
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Not being mean, but factual. By your own account, your "data shows" this isn't so important, so you neglected it. Or, if you prefer a more positive spin, you assigned it a low priority and focused on higher priorities. To me, it comes across as neglect. If if you should not spend much time on grammar, where by "grammar" we are talking about illustrating the basic past tense of a language, duoLingo is conceding that it only for those who want to learn the bare minimum of a language. Moreover, neglecting basic grammar would seem to undermine the site's apparent business model, translating texts. But whatever, we get what we pay for.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/volleyballDVM16

I don't think it is neglect. I have to study actual Spanish grammar from a book so I can test out of Spanish and French for college, and I would much rather do DL than study my grammar points from a book. I have been able to review what I already know and learn new things through DL. I think we need to leave the subject at rest before someone's feelings get hurt. Luis and the team put lots of effort into making DL possible for everyone.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MartinG86
MartinG86
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Perhaps your data is mostly true for the basic lessons with present tense. It might be that people become increasingly interested in grammar theory once they get to a more advanced level.

I personally have plenty of other resources for learning Spanish that I can use in combination with Duolingo, but I can understand it if some people would like to have such information integrated in the whole Duolingo learning platform.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mugginsx

I agree with Luis. I tried a variety of methods of learning French, all involving these highly sought after charts. I could never remember verb tenses this way and have never found them useful. As someone else has pointed out, these types of charts are very easily available (for free!) many other places. Memorising by rote works for some people, and it has it's places, but I think Duoling is right to prioritise other methods of learning over this. I probably would struggle to write out a a verb tense chart for even basic -er French verbs, but through Duo I've developed an intuitive grasp of how they work, which is the same way most people come to understand a language, even their native tongue.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/praer

I think I understand both sides of the argument.. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think DL tries to teach grammar through examples (so we "work out" the rules ourselves)? I think this does make it easier to get a feel of what's right rather than just remembering what's right, but I would definitely check if the rules really are the way I understood them.. so for me, some kind of a summary within DL would definitely be more convenient..

I hope the DL team is also looking out for biases in your data.. In this case, maybe people don't read the grammar explanations and don't find even it useful because asking other, more experienced users is easier and gives more specific answers.

On the other hand, maybe next time more experienced users are asked to answer a silly question, you could politely point out that this question has been answered in a previous discussion? (and not give an answer, so they're forced to search for it :P)

Thanks to both the DL team and experienced users for making it easier for us beginners to learn :) :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankReese

You're teaching people a language, and so far they've just learned the present verb. all of a sudden you now teach a past tense, the second tense they are learning. And it's "not a high priority task"?

It's not a very long task, and not a very deep task, but it's an important task, This answer is indicative a flawed management style.

I have a word "bebo" now how do I convert that to past tense? You'll teach me that word? Well now how do I do EVERY OTHER VERB? You shouldn't be teaching every verb in every tense, you should be teaching the rules if people choose to learn that way.

If you don't want to teach the rule, that's one thing, but you said "we'll get on that" and haven't done anything for a year. All in all this is a real problem.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VerissimoFeijoo

You are right. Everybody thinks they can teach Languages. But... Even if you learn extremely well everything they teach here, you will not be able to speak Spanish and you will be very far away from keeping a normal conversation in Spanish. But... Everything helps. After you learn all of this here, you can get a real course in real Spanish somewhere else. And what you have learnt here, will help you a lot in the new course.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jcmurphy77
Jcmurphy77
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I appreciate what you're offering on this app, but I strongly disagree with your logic. Yes,the Iimmersion technique works, but only to an extent. I need to look over the rules sometimes, especially as the complexity increases. Look at how many peopke can't even speak their native language properly -partly because they nev er learned some of the more comples rules. If I am going to learn a language, I would like to sound somewhat educated. Additionally, you initially informed your users that the supoort team was working on the issue, but now you say that you personally don't think it's very important, which (correctly or not)comes across as not caring about your users' opinions. I do enjoy this app, and will continue using it (I'd still like to see Japanese offered :-D), but wanted to add my two cents. Thank you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Yeah, like Steve Jobs said: Nobody backs up computers. Luis says Nobody reads grammar explanations.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pepe0001

Any verbs from the lessons are shown on the right of the main lessons page. If you click one you can see the conjugation.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JanHebborn1
JanHebborn1
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There's no need for any assumptions, duolingo knows exactly how many people go to what level. But even without having the data, I guess that (relatively to the number of people that start learning) few learners complete the tree. Everybody starts at the bottom, the further you move through the lessons the less people are left. Naturally, that means that it'll take longer for additional correct answers to end up in the database. I noticed this on the French and German lessons, too. It's annyoing from a learner's perspective, but it's not hard to understand why the phenomenon exists.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
jfGor
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well, it is two months later and still no conjugation tables. I have to go else where to find the verb ending and to see if it is regular or not.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/catwomanmlm

I would love an understanding of the rules before getting into tenses and such. I find I'm just getting confused now that I'm at the verbs section. I don't even understand which verb the tense is coming from in the first place. When I go to guess the verb sometimes I'm guessing a complete different verb and then getting them confused. Too bad, I was having a wonderful time on Duolingo and was feeling quite dedicated to learning a language this way. Thanks for what you are doing Duolingo...but I'm just getting too confused! :(

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maria_321-

Here are four books for anyone who wants to explore these topics more:

1 English Grammar for Students of Spanish by Emily Spinelli Very simple, easy to understand grammar rules

2 The Big Red Book of Spanish Verbs: 555 Fully Conjugated Verbs I don’t know how anyone could learn a language without one of these; all the charts you want, although yes, it is also online in other places

3 Correct Your Spanish Blunders: How to Avoid 99% of the Common Mistakes made by Learners of Spanish by Jean Yates, PhD

4 Breaking Out of Beginner’s Spanish by Joseph J. Keenan

and if you want even more: 5 Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget it by Gabriel Wyner

1 year ago
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