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https://www.duolingo.com/tineeblusher

Is it really possible to learn another language without sufficient knowledge in grammar?

tineeblusher
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I wonder other people's thought on the matter. I want to learn another language at a comfortable level that I will be understood and able to express my thoughts competently. So far I have enjoyed learning with duolingo but some of the word orders and structures are confusing. I haven't thought about grammar since I was in secondary school, and so when I ask questions of why words end up different when it is in different parts of the sentence, the help I get back is great but then I spend time googling the grammar terminologies they used to explain... do you think it would be better to take a grammar course before attempting to learn another language, or not?

1 year ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/KevanSF
KevanSF
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You have to consider the billions of people in the world who are competent speakers of their native languages who have never gone to school, never studied anything about grammar.

In fact, virtually everyone on Earth becomes a competent speaker of their native language(s) before ever studying grammar at school.

Any five year old (English speaking) kid can say: "I am, you are, he is." But I doubt any of them (very very few at least) could explain what a pronoun is, much less the difference between first, second, and third person pronoun, or what a verb is, much less what it means to conjugate a verb according to person or tense or mood, etc etc.

That said, learning grammar can help, but usually it makes more sense once you've already learned some patterns (sentences and phrases) on which to hang the grammar. In other words, if the grammar you're learning is totally abstract, it's hard to understand or remember. If the grammar explains things you're more familiar with, and tells you why things are said the way they're said, it's a little more helpful.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xaghtaersis
xaghtaersis
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Actually, yeah it is. I actually do it myself. You gotta be good at recognizing patterns and be fine with making a lot of mistakes though. It also requires a lot of patience because there will be times when you find yourself not understanding anything. The only way to deal with that is by taking it slow and do a bit every day.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
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You definitely can learn another language without a knowledge of grammar terms. I have had students who speak fluent English that they learned on the street, who have trouble reading and writing it even though they're literate in their mother tongue, and never spent time discussing the grammar. It's helpful to know the basics (verb, noun, adjective, adverb, subject, object), in order to discuss it, it makes it easier to explain the "rules" , but beyond that, reading the tips and notes (where they exist) is enough. You can really get too deep into the weeds if you stop to analyze the grammar of every sentence you speak or write.

If you're really interested, look for a grammar book or series of books in the languages you're studying. I like the Practice makes Perfect series - their explanations are simple and they have a lot of good exercises. I've gotten spoiled by Duo, though. Books can't mix up the types the way Duo does, and I find that a lot more interesting and educational.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AKicsiMacska
AKicsiMacska
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You can, but it is SO much easier if you know a lot about grammar

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JensBu
JensBuPlus
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In the beginning you can learn to speak comfortably without knowing the grammar but there is a point towards advanced or even at intermediate level where you might want to start learning the grammar. In the beginning it helps less than when you have already discovered the grammatical features of the language by immersion.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fire-ergens
Fire-ergens
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Dutch doesn't have the easiest grammar and it would certainly be handy to know some grammar terms. Personally I think that the Dutch grammar terms are easier to learn than the English ones as they often describe the function of that part of grammar.

  • Dimunitive: Verkleinwoordje. Literally: Word that makes things smaller

  • Verb: Werkwoord. Literally: Working word

  • Pronoun: Voornaamwoord. Literally: First name word. (word that can be used instead of someone's first name)

Summary:It is not neseccary to learn grammar terms, but in some situations it may be handy.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tineeblusher
tineeblusher
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Thank you for everyone's comments~ I think I will continue to immerse myself in this language. I'm OK with making mistakes as I go... it will only make it more rewarding when I understand more as time goes by (^_^)v

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rutger_W
Rutger_W
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You can't really compare it to the way children learn their native language, because the adult brain works very differently from that of a child. Also this really requires a lot of immersion, time, and people constantly correcting mistakes. It does depend on the language though and the level you want to achieve. With Dutch one might be able to get away with it but there is no way to learn a grammar heavy language like German without some understanding of the basic concepts.

1 year ago