Our daughters had been free riders all their lives, and we had given up hope that they would change. Were we in for a surprise! We went to the diner on Saturday, the day they had gotten their very first paycheck. That day we saw my daughters paying (for the very first time)
It's not that difficult to translate, but very difficult to comprehend the sense. I often get the correct answers in my head straight away. But when I think over the meaning, I start to doubt and wonder if that could possibly be correct. I'm not sure that's an effective way to learn a language.
Well, I tend to think of these goofy sentences as DUO's way of challenging us. The idea is that if you make it harder to do now and can actually do it that way then the normal way becomes simple and easy. I actually use this technique all the time on all sorts of things.
People do have different ways of learning that suit them. But as a language teacher, that's not one I'd personally use to teach, nor recommend, except perhaps at the most advanced levels when learners are already familiar with basic concepts. And DL's approach doesn't fit into that level for me.
anomalousjack...... I would appreciate more on your thoughts about teaching/learning techniques. I think there is a 'wall' that hinders orderly learning beyond basics. So many paths diverge that I feel a bit 'stuck'. The diversity in these discussions is like fruit on a tree for me.
Well that's a huge field, but with regard to my previous comment, the further you get 'beyond basics' as an independent learner, the trickier it's going to get. So then, you're going to need some guidance along the way to get you over those 'walls'.
But that is something DL does not give. But DL will too often stretch what could be considered the reasonable limitations of it's platform by setting complex grammar puzzles, some that clearly even it's contributors struggle to establish a firm answer for. As for the discussions, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's the blind leading the blind and everyone is always very well-intentioned, but we are all learners: there's so much fruit here, but how does a learner know which fruit to pick and which to leave on the tree?
This would be a more effective sentence if DL added a prepositional phrase for "pagando," such as "por los elefantes."
Doubly effective is: "Ese día vimos a mis hijas pagando por la leche para los patos y los elefantes."
And they laughed when I said I could learn conversational Spanish on Duolingo.
without prepositional context, the mind wanders into awful awful things...
ill leave it there
What's wrong with "That day we saw my daughters pay."? If it is valid English at all, is there any difference between "I see her pay" and "I see her paying"?
EDIT: Reported 22.04.2014.
EDIT: No response so far. Reported again 02.05.2014.
Your observation is valid.
I think the Spanish sentence is non-standard.
This needs further explanation. I will be back.
gerund is the ing form in English, the difference maybe negligible in this one but they are trying teach you the gerund in this lesson so just use the English ing when you see Spanish ando/iendo
I am sorry, but that does not answer my question. I don't want to mechanically replace one grammatical construction by another in the target language. I want to understand actual usage.
I checked this in Swan, Practical English Usage, and found the following:
"Hear, see, watch, notice and similar verbs of perception can be followed by object + infinitive (without to) or object + ing form. ... There is often a difference of meaning. After these verbs, an infinitive suggests that we hear or see the whole of an action or event; an -ing for suggests that we here or see something in progress, going on." (Some examples follow.)
That anwers my question. Once again, a grammar book beats the Duolingo community.
Thank you hckoenig. Glad to find this knowledge nugget via the Duolingo community.
Why do I keep wasting my time trying to figure out this stuff? This does NOT mean ANYTHING in English. Can someone explain?
Zeus... admittedly this is one of the most abstract sentences I've found on DUO. You'll find that someone can always come up with a context for even though most obscure sentence (see bj2010's post at the top). That said, try not to worry too much about context. (Yes, I know context is a huge part of actual communication.) DUO is more a vocab and grammar program so instead, think of it like a challenge. If the resulting sentence is out in left field somewhere... and you've still managed to translate the words and grammar correctly... then you really know your stuff. Also... remember you can always down vote or report the really screwy ones. This helps improve DUO for all users. Buena suerte!
Ok. first, let me say that I fully understand the reasons behind using unusual sentence construction to focus the mind on the grammar in a particular situation - it can be helpful. However, as 95% of this module is presented in this manner & quite a lot of DL has such surreal english tranlations which don't make any sense in the real world, I question their value. I am not doing this for an abstract ideal. I want to be able to talk to real people about real life, so maybe DL is not for me.
Very well reasoned point Zeuss. You can't really argue with that, and 95% is a reasonable guestimate too. Communication is the primary purpose of language after all and a lot of this stuff is deviating from and complicating that process.
lol... okay. I didn't mean to imply anything. There are a lot of DUO users who also use other apps in conjunction. Usually, something more conversationally oriented. This can be a very effective strategy. That said, DUO has what they call DUO EVENTS in the Labs section. I haven't tried it yet but there you can have conversations with other DUO users. Not sure if there are native speakers there or not. Regardless of whether or not you continue in DUO, try to find a combination that works for you and stick to it. Otra vez mi amigo... buena suerte!