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Tips for using the Sentence Discussion forums

Sentence discussion forum

  • When using the sentence discussion forums, only discuss the sentence. Your comments are most helpful if they are questions or answers regarding the grammar, conjugation, and pronunciation. (Please do not leave comments about audio-quality in those forums unless you are a course builder who is informing people about the TTS.)

  • Before asking a question, read the questions and answers others have already posted to avoid repeating a question.

  • If someone has already said thank you, upvote that comment instead of making a new thank you comment.

  • Do not report errors, technical difficulties, or answers in the Sentence discussion forum. Report errors using the Report button.

  • Please remember to be respectful when interacting with others in the Sentence discussion forums.

  • In a sentence discussion forum, only use down votes for spam or comments not respecting the above points, never for relevant questions, even if they seem obvious to you. (If you see someone rapid spamming-filling a discussion with tons of spam, please report them.

  • Do not down vote a sentence. It doesn't make the errors get fixed sooner. Sometimes, the opposite can happen. More about that in course contributor comments here

Some of these can be altered slightly. But please keep in mind that if we multiply one person's impulse to post a joke or non-viable comment by 300,000,000 users, a lot of clutter can build up. So be considerate when using the Sentence discussion forums. The idea is, when people who have just encountered a sentence in the course and have a question about it, to post their relevant questions and receive relevant answers in a timely fashion, without a lot of extra scrolling through duplicate and off topic comments.

Have I missed anything?

December 7, 2015



I disagree with your suggestion to "only use down-votes for spam". We should also use downvotes for incorrect answers. That is, if person A asks a question, and person B gives an incorrect answer, said answer of B should be downvoted, to prevent other students from learning something incorrect by mistake.

I have seen this happen many many times, that non-native speakers, or new-learners of a given language give incorrect answers to new-learners questions.

Granted only a native speaker of person who has already studied the language to a high level can make such judgements correctly, but they are very valuable judgements when they are made.

Another instance when downvotes should be used is if the same question is asked repeatedly, which you allude to, so that all but one copy of said question will be deleted, de-cluttering the sentence discussions.

Also, I completely disagree with your suggestion to avoid tangential topics in sentence discussions (though perhaps I misunderstand what you mean by 'tangential'?). When I did the Irish course (which I already speak to a high level), I added in many examples of extra related vocabulary, cultural context etc., so that keen students could learn even more than the vocabulary offered. Most of these comments are quite highly upvoted, and I would like to think appreciated.

On the other hand, currently learning a brand new language, Russian, I am incredibly grateful to the number of native speakers populating the sentence discussions who are giving us addition vocabulary and cultural insight. I think these add enormously to the learning experience, and it would be a terrible shame to see them go.


I disagree with your suggestion to "only use down-votes for spam".

I agree with you, flint72!

@usagiboy7, I'd put the paragraph about downvotes at the bottom of the list and formulate it something like

In a sentence discussion forum, {@style=color:blue;}use down votes for example for {@style=color:red;}comments failing to respect one of the above points or those being {@style=color:red;}spam, never for {@style=color:green;}relevant questions ({@style=color:red;}except, again, if they {@style=color:red;}don't respect one of the above points).

For the cases not being one of the red one nor the green one, then up-/down-voting it up to the user discernment. (Here falls the "incorrect answers" case. ;))


I thought I fixed that one. Thanks for the follow up and the additional suggestions!


Ah, that is a good point I didn't address up above. I was focusing on the problem of questions being down voted, which is sinking some very good explanations.

As for multiple copies of the same question, yes extras are most often deleted, with a few left if very good, separate advice has been divided among them.

By tangential I mean off topic or leading further and further away from the main point as to lose contact with the topic. At a certain point too, these can become so overgrown as to take up the discussion and make for a lot of scrolling to get beyond the one question that sparked it all. These, while at times being severely amazing, can also cause a bottle neck in which people start asking the same questions over and over again because they would rather receive a notification of someone answering them rather than scroll through the nutrient rich jungles of a massive discussion. This is the hardest thing for which I am the least confident about in my advice. So, I appreciate your feedback.

As someone who is tasked with keeping the forums tidy and having to navigate them in order to do so (and not the only person), I feel that my suggestions make some sense. Without moderators to clean them, the sentence discussions would long since be useless by now. Making those forums viable relies on a partnership between general users and moderators to find a comfortable medium that make the forums cleanable without being too burdensome, and usable enough so as to still be informative. I hope my tips have made this medium ground possible.

I'm sure that your cultural insights have been a boon to the community. I am mainly hoping to instill good habits and awareness for people using those forums that the actions of one person multiplied by 100,000,000 users or however many actually active accounts there are makes keeping the forums viable quite the task.


Great job as always, Usagi! :) I'd stress people shouldn't engage a troll directly if they find someone spamming (just downvote to hide the post and call a mod if you feel some action needs to be taken about it), and make sure you're polite and respectful in your comments towards other users.


Thanks! I've added a note about that. :)


Don't leave comments saying "Yeah, I got this wrong as well" or responding to questions with "I don't know".


Thank you for your feedback! I think both of those kinds of comments are covered in what's already on list.


This is excellent, and much needed.

You have already said to only discuss the sentence, but it might be worth explicitly saying that if you want to talk about Duolingo, ask for friends/conversation practice, or engage in language related conversation NOT relevant to the sentence at hand, the place to do that is in the forums.

I see this is already in the Wiki and FAQ stickied post. Good job :)


I thought of something else.

What about discussing the audio/pronunciation of a word? On one hand a ton of "it's hard to understand" and "the audio sucks" are not helpful. On the other hand, discussing how a single word might be pronounced differently in various regions is helpful.

So, um, yeah, you might want to throw something in there about appropriate ways to discuss the audio. I'll leave the exact phrasing as an exercise for the author ;-)


Suggestions added. Thank you so much for your feedback!


What about questions about "Would this translation be accurate?" and "Why does the audio sound like this in this specific case?"


Would this translation be accurate?

Yes, that's fine.

Why does the audio sound like this in this specific case?

No, that would be an issue regarding the technology, not the sentence.


I appreciate this recommendation, however, we had much difficulty understanding the French female voice when we were relative newbies. (Not a problem with Spanish voices.) Knowing we were not alone, and having suggestions for coping, kept us from quitting. We didn't realize there was another place to discuss this at the time. (Guidelines about the various resources are hard to find when a Newbie.) Thanks.


I have wondered - some sentence discussions start with someone saying effectively Duo has got this wrong, these can get a lot of upvotes and therefore appear at the top of the list. Sometimes you have to scroll quite a way down before you find someone who really knows the language giving a decent explanation of why, in many cases, the original text is correct. Is it possible to use a sticky (in the sentence discussion) in a case like this to put a proper explanation at the top of the list to stop people being misled?


It'd indeed be great and has been suggested long ago by course volunteer contributors. We have to be patient... We've been said it's planned but Duo staff has a lot of things to implement/fix/etc. everywhere so we have no date nor even estimation of potential date. ;)


Thanks - good to know it's being considered.


How can I contribute to discussions that are not from my courses? My basic language here is English, I learn German and Italian, but I'm a native Ukrainian speaker. I would really love to help those learning Ukrainian. It would be helpful if I could see and contribute to English-Ukrainian sentences discussions.


Bookmark https://www.duolingo.com/topic/913 - that's the "Ukrainian for English speakers" forum.

Or https://www.duolingo.com/topic/913/sent , which is specifically the sentence discussions.

It's difficult to scroll very far back, so you probably won't be able to contribute much to older discussions because you can't discover them, but if you check for newly-created sentences discussions every day or so, you can be of help.

Depending on how much time you want to spend, you might wish to subscribe to every single new discussion you find, so that you will be notified of questions that come in the future. Because the sentence discussions feed only lists newly-created sentence discussions, not new comments on old sentence discussions -- and if someone has a new question on a 3-month-old discussion, you would never find it if you did not get a notification.

Alternatively to bookmarking, you can start the Ukrainian course (perhaps go up to level 2 or so) and then you should also be able to select to subscribe to the Ukrainian forum - then it will appear in the right-hand sidebar of the "Discussion" area in the website for you all the time and you won't have to remember the URL.


Thank you, I'll try to help when I have time.


To setup a fast access to any forum where you want to help, do the following:

  1. Switch to the course you want to help other with (for example "Ukrainian from English" course).
    Here about how to switch quickly. See method 2. in the link. (for example go to URL "www.duolingo.com/course/uk/en" for "Ukrainian from English" course)
  2. Go the the forum page here.
  3. Subscribe to the forum where you want to help ("Ukrainian from English" in our example).
  4. Switch back to the course you're taking yourself on Duolingo.

The forum where you want to help ("Ukrainian from English" in our example) will now be listed on the right when you are on the forums page.
Repeat the process for any forum you'd like to follow. The interest of this method is that you don't need to know what is the URL of this or that forum.


When learning I find that I often think DL may be wrong, but at least more likely I may be wrong in such things as audio or translation. If I report it I do not get teaching or feedback and can persist in my uncertainty or, worse my false belief that I am right and DL is wrong on a point.

Prior to reporting or as well as reporting I often would like confirmation from other users of the correct answer or audio.

Recently I posted about not hearing a liaison in a French exercise, and, having tried to say the words with a liaison and found it difficult with the liaison I decided to post to say I hadn't heard the liaison to see if people would tell me that this was an exception.

I have had very little, and always very delayed feedback from reporting, and only when DL has considered me correct. Never have I had anything back to tell me DL was correct and I was wrong and why, which I do get in the Discuss this Sentence.

Also I do think it helpful to find that others have considered a sentence wrong and then I will report it. I realise that many others may have made the same mistake and we all may be wrong, but if several have reported the same thing as wrong perhaps it makes it more likely that it is truly wrong, but not necessarily. However, the absence of correction of the comments does give added confidence.

I did see some graffiti on a toilet door many, many years ago that still helps me. Being graffiti, I cannot write it here as it is so there are some *s, but you will see the meaning. 'Eat st, 1000,000 flies can't be wrong.'

So, in summary, there is some value in my opinion to repeating some comments (but remove the repetitions once a valid answer has been given) as well as posting things on the 'discuss this sentence' to say that there may be a mistake rather than reporting immediately one thinks something is wrong.


There are millions of erroneous error reports being sent in. (Meaning people who sent the reports were wrong, not the sentence.) For example, in the beginning This Sentence was flooded with assertions that "行くis go, not come" (In fact that is also the top comment and it has been up voted 85 times as of now.) The people leaving such comments and up voting them are not native speakers and have simply not encountered this usage before. The usage itself is correct. Those giving that feedback are wrong.

So, I wouldn't rely on people saying they reported it as an indicator that something is wrong. Language and poop (re: your analogy) are not the same. In this case, the analogy is not consistently reliable. As someone who has cleaned sentence discussions for years, I've encountered a ton of newer language users confidently making assertions of errors were there aren't any.

Many repeated comments also make the forums less attractive to people who would come in and give an explanation of why it was wrong or right. Digging through so much clutter to find people's questions is more time consuming than not digging through clutter to find questions. Additionally, multiple reports on the same sentence clogs the reporting system and slows things down. So, if one person has commented "buggy/error", I hope that people will stop filing duplicate reports and commenting about it. It is a double whammy of not helpful on many levels.

Like everything else on Duolingo, there is a bit of a learning curve, and that includes the Sentence Discussion forums. I hope that people will realize that the list of tips I compiled up top is a very informed one. :)


I do appreciate all you have said, and thanks for your time and patience, but what to do when we learners don't know if something is wrong or not and so don't know if to report it? I appreciate that most of what is on DL is good and correct, but there are errors and I don't want to learn something that I suspect may be wrong.

What about some kind of searchable database of reported errors that have been shown not to be errors? I don't know. That would run into the millions probably and so not feasible.

I do agree repeated reports of errors time and time again also gives problems. Perhaps if one person makes the comment that there is a bug or error they should also state that it has been reported and then, when I see this I know I don't need to report it.

Re the graffiti, actually my point is that, yes, 1,000,000 flies CAN (emphasis, not shouting) be wrong. And that is how the graffiti helps me. I remember that truth remains truth no matter how many people say the opposite.

I don't have the confidence to say anything in French is an error, but sometimes I do know that something in English is an error and have argued my point on a forum and it has been changed. I'm not talking about something obscure or a special usage of a word, but something ordinary and everyday when in England we have totally adopted a particular French phrase into the language and the translation into English would mean nothing to anyone I know.

Please feel free to delete any of my posts here as most of this is now a conversation between yourself and me and I don't know how helpful it is to anyone else.

You really are appreciated! I am not trying to contradict your wisdom and experience, just trying to find a way forward for myself. Thanks again. :-)


No prob. It's what I'm here for. Also, I don't feel that you are trying to be confrontational at all. So, don't worry about that. From my perspective, you are trying to get a solid understanding of how to navigate Duolingo. That's part of the purpose of the discussion forums. :)

If someone isn't sure, they shouldn't report it. And if someone is sure, they should first read through the sentence discussion forum comments, just as a secondary precaution. If they are still sure after doing that, they should report it (unless they know that someone else already has. If it's a sentence with debate happening, chances are very high that several people have already hit the report button.)

Duolingo definitely isn't the whole package for language learning. Outside of total immersive exposure, I don't think there is a total package.) Questions won't always get answered, uncertainty will exist, even for adult native speakers! (I did not realize this so much until exposure to the Duolingo sentence discussions. And quite a bit of it is to do with regionalisms.)

Language proficiency comes with familiarity. If you learn something that isn't quite right, you'll adjust to how the people or sources around you are using the language in various situations. It can be frustrating, when learners are building a theory of language, especially if the learning is expected to be short term, or if there is a test waiting to be taken. If someone has a long term learning goal, hopefully, they will remember to breath and know that the course will correct as they go.

As a secondary option to the sentence discussion forum, there are the language specific forums if someone is just not getting the answers they need.


Usajiboy7, you wrote: "you are trying to get a solid understanding of how to navigate Duolingo." That is my biggest frustration with this program. It's extremely challenging to learn how. Guidelines are incomplete, and there are so many different places to look, that one gives up after a while. But thanks for this info.


Pamela, thanks for taking the time to give feedback.

I agree with you, the onboarding leaves much to be desired. I used to have a sticky called Duolingo FAQ & Wiki to try to help a very little bit towards that. On the last forum rearranging, it ended up at the top of the English Most Popular tab, rather than the Discussion Stream Popular.

When I create resource/faq type posts, my hope is that people who manage to find them, will kindly and warmly pass the information forward to those who are earlier in the learning curve. I saw that in another comment, you mentioned discussing the French TTS voice and how it helped that others mentioned having a difficult time with it. I read you there. Discussing pronunciation is certainly fine. It helps learners.

Unfortunately, some folks just say "the audio is wrong". things like that. The Sentences Discussion (SD) forums are not for giving contributors feedback. More often than not, contributors won't see their feedback and it will just cause a pile up for other learners, and for moderators (like myself who don't have access to the Incubator to fix things.) If people use the report button for the sentence, it will reach the contributor, who will fix the error if they can. If they do not fix it, either all of the volunteers are away at the moment because of offline life stuff and will return. Or, it's not something they can fix. They've put it on a list waiting for dev time because it is a bug in the structure. So, using the SDs to report errors is not helping. (In some of the courses with less traffic, the contributors generally have a lot more interaction with learners. They handle reports and then come and have one-on-one conversations. They are not dealing with 20 million learners but perhaps maybe a few hundred thousand to 3million. And we are so grateful that they are able to.

I want to show you a situation that I see more often than folks would expect. image description 270 comments are not deleted. 299 comments are deleted.

You won't see this because you don't have a mod console. But, this sentence has already had hundreds of comments deleted, and already several hundred have arrived again that will need to be cleaned. To put this into perspective for a moderator who cleans SDs, this is one sentence, each course has thousands of SDs. There are around 80-90 courses now. There are 300 million people with Duolingo accounts.

Yesterday, a moderator I know showed me a different sentence. It started with 123 comments. After it was cleaned, there were only 4 comments remaining. The other 119 commonts were complaints, spam, and repeated questions. This is what we call a "trainwreck" SD. What happens is that people enter, they see a few questions and answers, complaints, spam. Meanwhile, they haven't found the answer to the question they have. They get tired of scrolling pretty quickly, around 15 comments. Then, they decide to post their question. So does the person after them, and after them, and so on. Meanwhile more spam and more complaints are piling on top of those. This SD becomes ruined and needs cleaning. In the background, moderators see the deletion tally piling up along with the new comments. It creates so much work to try to keep these SDs helpful to folks who enter. But, it is always ahead of us. There will always be SDs that are collecting hundreds of comments while we are cleaning the others. It's an endless cycle. It is why I posted these tips, in the hopes that the community will learn the most effective way to use the SDs.

In the end, an SD will max out at around 20 (a rare one with more complex elements will max out around 40) high quality question/answer pairs and will only collect redundant questions and answers and spam after a while. Once we reach saturation point, we can lock the forums. But, first, we'll have to clean the SD hundreds of times before it reaches saturation. This is because of train wrecks. Those build up faster than the high quality Q&A can accumulate.

I'm a community member who uses the courses. It was eye openinging for me to go from general user to moderator user. I had no idea how busy everyone stays in the background trying to keep the space usable for learners. I made this Tips discussion after some years of experience on what produces the best results for learners using the SDs and moderators who clean them.

I see that you are level 13 in Spanish. Spanish is one of the busier courses. One of the moderators for that course cleans 50 sentence discussions per day. Even so, the Spanish SDs are messy. It is because there are so many people using the course and not being thoughtful about how approach those SDs impact the learning experience of others. They see themselves as 1 commenter, rather than 1 in 300,000,000 commenters. So, once a mod cleans a Spanish SD, the clutter/repeat/complaint comments begin piling up almost immediately. We do our best. But, we definitely need everyone's help to make this project work and thrive. :)


Thanks. I think it is clear to me (for now!)


You are welcome to ask follow up questions, if need be. There is always the chance for me to learn something I hadn't considered too, of course. :)


If the jokes get forbidden, then learning gets boring and duolingo loses both customers and money. Let the jokes stay and don't transform this awesome learning platform into some politically correct fascist place. Thank you in advance.


There are plenty of strange sentences for people to enjoy. Too politically correct is another way of saying "too respectful". What we are discussing here is keeping the forums useful. If they become useless, Duolingo will remove them. If they are removed, there are not only no jokes, but also none of the helpful comments that people place there...

Some jokes remain here and there. There are some things that take priority over clearing 100% of the jokes. Hopefully, people won't abuse this.


I have lived in a former dictatorship where freedom of speech was non-existent and people could get deported to the forced labor camps or killed by the secret police for telling jokes (Communist Romania). I just hoped that here in the free world of internet it will be different and we could tell a joke without disappearing overnight.


If you go to someone's house and they ask you to remove your shoes before stepping onto the carpet, are they a fascist? If they ask you to leave their house when you refuse, do you equate their actions to murder? These are rhetorical questions.

If you have concerns about the philosophies governing Duolingo, you are welcome to contact staff.


I like how you think. You put reason before everything. That's awesome.


I don't like how you were treated. It sounds like you went through scary things. I am now reading about Romania's history. Sadly, I can't converse more, because it is off topic. But, I at least wanted to say, I wish you had been treated better.


I fully understand the pressing need to avoid clutter but I really enjoyed reading this very humane exchange of ideas. I upvoted you both for the refreshing demonstration of candor and civility. Kudos to Duolingo for allowing us to have this forum!


You should sticky this so more people see it. And there's no other comment saying thank you, so...

Thank you! :D


We have to use the Sticky very sparingly, but a few of these public service announcement posts will be bumped from time to time to bring them back around. :) Also, yvw.


I do agree with you. We should be very grateful to Duolingo and try to learn as many languages as we possible can. It's amazing how we can learn multiple languages at such a speedy rate. A big hug to all of you.


i agree . duolingo is a great medium to learn multiple languages


Is this the sentence discussion forum or Just a permanent post of the rules? Thank you.


This is one discussion, in the General (English) forum, and is a permanent post giving Tips.

A sentence discussion is a discussion having as original post (the one above the field "Leave a new comment") an exercise of a specific course: see screenshot as the very beginning of the original post of this discussion.
Sentence discussions can be accessed (on web version, not apps) either during a lesson or in the "sentences" tab of any course forum.


Having only recently begun using DL, and doing so exclusively (until even more recently) on mobile apps, I'll take the liberty of reporting that Sentence Discussions are now live on apps - at least for Android and iPhone. However, SDs in the apps are deficient in features compared to SDs on the Web.

2019-08-13 rich739183


This is possibly the most informative discussion on the how it all works I have read to date. ( I am sure there are others but my one problem is to find these gems in the hundreds. ) I only have one nagging issue that I dont know how to address right now. A short time ago my voice recog. q's have started to become marked wrong consistently. Sometimes before I even start a reply. Other I know I am pronouncing correctly. I have simply started to rport as AUDIO is wrong but that doesnt seem to be the best solution. Likewise If I question if I possibly have the stress on the wrng part of the word I dont report. Has there been a change in the application possibly.


This discussion may offer a solution in the comment section. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27406132

As for finding lots of information outside of the official Help page, try http://duolingo.wikia.com :)

Ps also, this page on streak freezes https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/24771557


Well . . . i've been misusing these, eek. My bad, folks. I'll do better from here on out.

I find 'use the Report button' a little bit unhelpful, though. Because, yeah, obviously that's the first thing i'd try. But sometimes the error isn't something you can easily report. One i've had a few times is when i've written something that's more than a minor mistake, and it's been accepted. There is no 'my answer should not have been accepted' report option!

Like flint72, i have tried to provide useful context and examples of what i think are interesting exceptions or rare usages not covered by the course. I hope that these might be of interest to language learners, and i hope these are not deemed inappropriate.


Thanks for removing the one post recently. I made a mistake publishing it.

The only problem is that I can't even get to the duscussion where I posted it. Sometimes the system seems to have "hiccups" and the page doesn't get to activate the "Follow Discussion" button.


Hi F4V9XR,

Can you give me more specific details? Unfortunately, I get a ton of notifications and see to many situations. So, keeping them all in my head is not possible.

Which post of yours was removed? Do you recall the title or what the post was about and when about you posted it? This would help me try to locate it. Next, if I am able to locate it, what are you hoping I can do?



No problem now. I plan to eliminate my account and stop using Duolingo. Not because of this specific issue...but still, Would you be able to help me figure out why the confirmation email isn't sent to my email account when I try to eliminate my Duolingo account?


I would add "There are often many ways to say the same thing in English, varying from a literal translation of the target language to colloquial phrases that you and your friends might use. Duo leans towards literal translation whenever that make sense in English. Possibly because that helps your learning leverage these words when understanding other phrases, possibly because popular colloquial phrases change with location and time" If people accepted that it might remove 90% of the "I said X, why is that wrong?" posts


So long as when they say "I said X, why is that wrong?" doesn't ask a question that has already been answered in that forum, it's fine. The SD forums are for helping to answer these sorts of questions. :)


Fair point, it's when they start saying "It should be accepted", "That's how me and my friends would express it", "In my country we say....", that seems like a waste of our time to me. I'm reading the forums to learn about French, not local dialects of Fnglish.


It would be nice to have a little How-To about how to post something on the activity stream of someone, and a link to that in every post that suggests it.

Posting on someone's activity stream is suggested as an alternative to several sorts of things considered spamming, and it's pretty straightforward if you know what to look for and where to look. Though when I was new to Duolingo, I'd have been completely nonplussed if someone had told me to do that. So maybe it would make sense to tell people how to do it, if you want them to do it.


I have a great idea for them. They have a chatty comment section, and then another that pertains to the sentence, so we can all get what we want.


That might be a good option.

  • 1352

May I suggest that duo auto-sorts the discussions in some defined orders, such as

  • per time,

  • per alphabetic,

  • per voting rates,

  • etc


Hi CSA_GW, I recommend making that discussion in the main forum, not in this discussion. I'm not staff. So, me seeing it won't boost the suggestion. ^_^


So-- should I downvote a comment underneath "boys will be boys" (translation for a French sentence) saying that it's sexist? Or should I just leave it be? I've always wondered about it. On one hand, it seems off topic, but also I think it's a little useless, really, to downvote it since those discussions get so many upvotes.


Mira, I would focus on just upvoting the really valuable comments that help people understand the grammar and pronunciation. Those comments will rise to the top without any need for down voting and incidentally, the other stuff will end up at the bottom without a single down vote given. :)

If, by some chance, someone posts something pornographic or hateful down vote that stuff and report it to staff using the bug report form in the Help pages. Otherwise, let the mods go through and remove the things that the company considers spam.


Thanks, Usagi! :)


By the sounds of it you are talking about a sentence discussion that is in one of the courses for learning French from English.

Sentence Discussion are different from forum discussion. And whether you up vote or down vote the "header post" of a sentence, at least to the best of my knowledge it does not affect the system one way or another. Both the system, and the people accessing and maintaining and also moderating Sentence Discussions do not pay attention to the votes on the header post of Sentence Discussions.

Of course you can do whatever you like. However it is not effective to either up or down vote the "header post" of a sentence discussion.

However it is effective to report a sentence where you see persecution and inappropriate comments. Such as what you mention here.

To report, please check out :
- https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/205101500-How-do-I-report-abuse-



I believe the sentence in question you are raising an issue with is: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/1272910 .

And I also agree with your assessment. And I will file a report. However - if you feel also that this sentence is inappropriate, I recommend you do so also. But first read the advice in those help support pages.
Your report will be evaluated of similar value as mine is, and taken on its merits.

I imagine that the sentence has survived until now, as it is a valid grammatical sentence. In fact it is a point of view that is held even today by a segment of the population. Even though by expressing this view it detrimental to people who are not boys and is used to justify persecuting people who are not boys, and justify abuse of others who are not the boy/man in question. Please note - this is IMO.

Again - I would like to encourage people to write in a report about issues with individual sentences I hope you will choose to :

  1. Not just down vote the header post of the sentence
  2. Not comment on and start a dispute within the sentence about its cultural inappropriateness and how a sentence perpetrates abuse by another, or a group of others against a group they seek to persecute and denigrate. Instead that you will choose to down vote comments that are not concerned with issues of grammar. Your vote does count. And votes to the same value as mine. And - yes - your vote does count !

p.s. I have now submitted the report, as mentioned above. And recommend others, if they feel it appropriate, to do so also in regards to this sentence, as well as to others that they see is detrimental to us as a global and inclusive community, both for now, and for the future of as as ... well ... as a living community where each of us matter.


At the same time, IF this sentence is removed from the course, I will be sad to lose all the great grammatical comment that this sentence has created.

It is a double edged sword at times.
Though often a huge multi dimensional edged sword.

Gosh human interaction is soooooo varied and often soooooo beautiful.

yet - in large - I still see it more positive on the whole - when it is we choose to strive for more than us as an individual.

Yet , I also agree - at some times - ever so dark and destructive.


Meep! Roo, I just realized I mentioned -5 in my last reply to you and you had actually already said the same thing! This is because I was multi-tasking in my brain and skim reading. So sorry about that! I've removed my comment. Thank you for your hard work answering questions and helping people in the forums!


Yeah-- I've always thought that "boys will be boys" is a little sexist, but it never made sense to me to have a whole argument about it in the comments section. Often I just report and move on if I have a problem with the sentence or someone's discussion-- I just wondered if the discussion ABOUT the sentence was worth downvoting or if I should just ignore it? Or if it was even worth reporting?


I also misunderstood what you were talking about initially. Sorry about that. That was my fault in not reading and really thinking.

Ok - so rather than the header of the sentence discussion you are asking for advice on the "Replies" people make to a Sentence Discussion.

First off - how you vote up and down is of course your right to decide.

I just wondered if the discussion ABOUT the sentence was worth downvoting or if I should just ignore it?

I can only really tell you what I do, regarding voting, and from the perspective of someone who is passionate about language learning, and making a safe and welcoming environment for all to learn.

If people are making good questions and answers about language learning on any sentence that I read, I always try to take the time to give those questions and responses up votes.

If people are making jokes, and off topic comments that are NOT about language learning, in forums where I am not a moderator, I down vote them. If they are particularly inappropriate and discrediting and unwelcoming and caustic to any other community, such as crossing our guidelines I take the time to report abuse.

To say this another way :

Any reply to any header post, and especially in Sentence Discussion forums that are about language learning, and that have not been asked in the same way in that discussion, I up vote.

I up vote things that assist with language learning. Though they need to be for questions that have not been asked before in that particular Sentence discussion.


For example, in the sentence discussion you have drawn my attention to, there are some EXCELLENT questions and responses concerning grammar/language learning that people have discussed.

And I will be very sad for that reason if it is that Duolingo does rule to remove that sentence.

Yet I will be glad that we are not teaching that sentence within the course, as it is an idea that I see is very divisive and alienating and condoning and encouraging of inappropriate behavior to the detriment of others.


I have an issue with your saying only report errors with the error buttons. In Chinese I find many errors are not addressed after six or even 12 months. I find the discussion in the sentence discussion vital to understanding if my "error" is really an error. Of course I need to determine if I believe the advice I am getting in the discussions but reading them and making that judgement is far better than waiting months and months for someone in duolingo to respond. There is a notorious example in Chinese for the sentence in English "where is my passport?" where the Chinese is My passport is there. This has been reported numerous times for about a year with no correction. If I did not read the sentence discussions i might conclude that my understanding of the Chinese words was wrong. This is the most egregious example but there are many many more.


The Incubator, where courses are created, is not 100% compatible with Hanzi. This causes some issues with the course. When the Incubator gets a bugged out sentence (in any course), contributors cannot fix that sentence until the staff tech team can fix the bug. And in some cases, there is not yet a way to fix the bug due to the incompatibility issues. Some bugged out sentences can be deleted. Others get stuck. Contributors look at reports and fix errors in sentences that aren't bugged out so long as there are volunteer available. If there aren't volunteers available, not following instructions still only results in creating obstacles for other learners.

This guide exists to teach learners how to not create a mess for each other and to help reduce the amount of time it takes volunteers to clean up the Sentence Discussions so people can more quickly find valuable comments both for sentences without errors, and critically also in cases like the one you pointed out, where there was a an error and you wouldn't have realized it without finding that comment.

The thing about fixing the Incubator: It's expensive. Duolingo doesn't have a huge budget. And, if people aren't careful when recoding and fixing bugs in the Incubator, the courses can be lost. So, it doesn't get updated super frequently. Some bugs have to sit for a while. Previously, the Vietnamese course got erased on accident while it was being built. That's a lot of time and effort gone. Fortunately, they were able to get most of that course back instead of starting from scratch. But, it could have gone differently.

There are a lot of details in the background that learners are not aware of. It's time consuming to respond each time when someone assumes everything is obvious and uncomplicated. Please follow the instructions. They are written as they are for a reason. Thank you. :)


I don't think you understood my point. I get valuable information with discussion of what people see as errors in the sentence discussion. If they only hit the report button I would not see the discussion and I would be left in the dark and my language learning would suffer. I do not see how a discussion of what people think should be correct answers or correct alternatives in the sentence discussion should be any burden to duolingo.other than some storage space of servers which can't be a big issue. I typically see only 5 to say 40 comments so it does not seem to be out of hand.


But then you're not 100% sure that the error is really an error and you want to know the opinion of others. Then it is technically a question that belongs in the sentence discussion. Please make sure to phrase it as such, so that it cannot be misunderstood as yet another complaint about a missing translation. It is vital that others - fellow users and contribs/mods - can differentiate between complaints and questions. And mere complaints about missing alternatives do not have a place in the SD's - they may be deleted without further notice.

And only look at the number of comments and reports coming in, if all those complaints would be reports I wouldn't have to open x+1 SD's to find a new question to answer, because the other x are spam, complaints or questions already answered in the same SD. Multiply that with the loading time for an SD on bad mobile connection and you know why we ask to use the report functionality and to read earlier comments first ;-)



300,000,000 million people generate a lot of comments. When you see 5-40 comments, moderators have likely removed thousands so that you can easily get to those 5-40. Multiply that by all of the courses on Duolingo and every sentence or exercise in every skill in all of those courses. It's a never-ending, exhausting amount of work that is 100% unnecessary if people would use those spaces as outlined in the tips above.

Edit: Here is a screenshot of a sentence in the Spanish for English speakers course. This is one of the easier ones to clean because people don't comment on it very often.


Let me be clear. I report everything I think is highly likely an error. In the English answers I am generally very confident as it is my native language. In Chinese I only report things where I am 80% confident and then usually go to comments and see if anyone has commented on the issue and indicated they also think there is an error. That gives me some indication that I am not in left field although of course depending on the number of comments and who they are from and any thread about them your mileage may vary. The reports I make are clearly my contribution to duolingo in return for the free service but do not actually help me learn. The reading the comments section is what helps me learn. If everyone did as you suggest - just send in a report when they think there is an error and not raise it in the comment section I would lose that learning. I am not defending the complaints - although when obvious errors are not corrected after six months or a year I think you must expect that. When you have to give a wrong answer to move forward in duolingo that is bad.

I have some questions about the the moderators/contributors. You describe massive work in cleaning up the discussion section. Are the same people not involved in responding to reports? It seems like if the reports were responded to more promptly that would cut down greatly the amount of sentence comments. Also note that I am only sharing my experience in the Chinese from English course. It seems that there are insufficient contributors to respond to the reports. Some lessons appear to have had no responses for months as basic corrections are reported from close to a year ago that still are not corrected/accepted.

Are the moderators/contributors indicated in any way in the sentence discussions? It would be nice to know who they were so I could give more weight to their comments.

Thanks for any clarifications.


Can anyone let me know how to post a question or response for a specific sentence on the Duolingo app? After I click submit for any question I see the “Report” or “Discuss” option. When I click Discuss I can see other’s comments/questions but there is nowhere for me to type my own question nor is there a way for me to respond to a comment. I’ve searched the Duolingo help page and looked in forums but cant seem to find my exact issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


At the moment, you can't post to a discussion from the iOS app. You can post from the Android app. The most flexible way to use the discussion forums is through the web interface. On the web, you can search for discussions as well as accessing them while you are doing exercises


I realise this is an older threat, but I would like to ask a related question about using the SD from the Android app:

If I post a question on a SD I cannot follow that discussion. There's just no button "follow discussion". This means that it's very hard for me to find my question, which is a shame if someone took the time to answer it. Is there any other way than to go to my laptop, open Duolingo in the browser and try to find the SD via the search option?


OK Susan, Steffi's answer, below, is a quick one-time setting change; if you need a "how-to", here are the steps:
1. open Duolingo in your laptop's browser;
2. point to your profile picture in the upper-right, to open a drop-down menu;
3. click on Settings;
4. click on Notifications, which may already be near your mouse pointer on the right side of the page;
5. on the left side of the page, under the heading Email me when, click on Somebody responds to a discussion I'm following, which puts a check mark next to it;
6. at the top of the page, click on the SAVE CHANGES button.

From now on you should receive an email when someone else posts to a page that you are Following.

Also, you may find that you are already Following all the pages on which you've commented. From Duolingo in a browser, you can view a list of all pages that you are Following; it takes just 2 clicks:
(a) Click on the DISCUSS link at the top of most Duolingo pages.
(b) Click on the FOLLOWED link below the DISCUSS link.
You can even do that from a browser on your phone, except that in step (a) the link is an icon of 2 cartoon speech bubbles at the bottom of the page.

2020-07-26 rich739183


Susan, how is it easier for you to find your question again when you use the "follow discussion" button on the Web, than if you post it in the Android app?

Whenever I post a comment, I'm automatically "following" that discussion, regardless of whether I post it on the Web (without even using the button) or in the Android app.

2020-07-23 rich739183


This depends on your notification settings, "Somebody responds to a discussion I'm following" needs to be enabled. Then you automatically follow discussions you comment on.

The android app does not have a follow discussion button.

So, what Susan describes is correct and I do not know an easier way, sorry.


Well shoot - that’s crazy we can’t post directly from the app! Thanks for the quick response and work around - much appreciated!


Usagiboy7: If you do get a horse, then you can rightly (perhaps?) be called a "caballero." Haha.


A horse boy instead of a bunny boy? lol.
That took me longer to get it than I'd like to admit.


Totally agrre, and maybe a "Lingot fine" for persistent offenders might be in order.


Thank you so much for such a great site! I am finding it so much easier to learn a language than I did at school! (And that was over 40 years ago) dizzychem

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I would say a good joke is good for the process. If you're doing 20 minutes or more of language learning, a good laugh can refresh you and give you the energy to keep going.

I think users do a good job of policing the jokes. The good ones get upvoted, and the bad ones get downvoted out of the way (and you can delete them when they get far enough down).


One would hope. But, it is not the reality. Not often. I don't have an example on hand. Though, I've certainly cleaned up funny sentences that were just clogged with everyone being a comedian. What you will find, is that some course teams, usually those with the lightest traffic, are more lenient in letting the jokes stick around for a while. What I've posted here is recommendations for users of how they can be the least burdensome to volunteers who clean the SDs. Even those teams that are more lenient, eventually they will need to clean thousands of SDs of the repetitive comments made by millions of users. So, anything outside of the tips up above they are cleared to delete. It is just so much nicer, if the community helps us by reducing their footprint in creating future clutter. In the courses with much heavier traffic, a mod is more likely to clean very thoroughly each time they visit the discussion for the purpose of cleaning, because it will fill up again much faster and easily run away to 200-1000 comments. (If I am doing a lesson, I might skim if my time is limited and just delete a few things and move on to the next question in my lesson.)


Why can’t I post in sentence discussions


Thanks. I can see the discussion, and can up or down vote, but cant see a way to post a comment. I am using the app on iOS and the web program on an ipad. Can anyone help. Thanks so much


I can see the discussion, and can up or down vote, but cant see a way to post a comment. I am using the app on iOS

That's a restriction of the iOS app.

(Rumour has it that this restriction is imposed by Apple, but I don't know the details.)

I would recommend using the website on a computer if at all possible.


Carole, I know that the iOS app doesn't allow commenting, but you should be able to do so in your browser. I just posted this from an iPhone using Apple's Safari browser.
And now I’ve edited it, also from the Safari browser on the iPhone.

2021-02-14 rich739183


I can't seem to follow the link in the last bullet, so I'll ask here: is "downvoting sentence discussion hides the sentence" still a problem? I ask because of stuff like this Russian sentence, which as of this post is at -38, which I think is the worst score I've seen on a sentence discussion.

EDIT: -40

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