https://www.duolingo.com/Johnny__R

Constructive criticism of Spanish Verbs: Past module.

I think the Spanish Verbs: Past module is bit of a shambles and could be improved just by reordering when the words and rules are introduced. At the moment, all the -ar, -ir and -er verbs are thrown together and far too many new verbs are introduced. New vocabulary and new conjugations should be introduced separately. It's just too much to take in all at once, especially without the vocabulary feature to refer to.

It would be much easier to learn the rules if it was reorganised like this:

Lesson one: Just various conjugations of one -ar verb that we've already seen, like hablar.

Lesson two: Introduce a few new -ar verbs that we can use our knowledge from lesson one on.

Lesson three: Just various conjugations of one -ir verb that we've already seen, like escribir.

Lesson four: Introduce a few new -ir verbs that we can use our knowledge from lesson three on.

Lesson five: Just various conjugations of one -er verb that we've already seen, like comer.

Lesson six: Introduce a few new -er verbs that we can use our knowledge from lesson five on.

Lessons seven and eight: Introduce some irregular verbs.

Lessons nine and ten: Mixed bag of all previous lessons.

My progress has ground to halt since I did past tense, and I honestly think I would've mastered it by now if only it was organised a little better. It's just too much to absorb when it's all thrown together, especially when you're introducing so many new verbs too.

4 years ago

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/kristinemc

Appreciate you sharing your feedback. We're going to take a look at how the module is organized and also check what the data shows.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CattleRustler

I recall that being introduced to Preterit Indicative using verbs never previously introduced in Present Indicative was very painful.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
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I couldn't cope with learning all three regular verb conjugations at the same time, so that was the first unit that caused me to go to another site to learn the topic first. I wonder if there is some way to detect that kind of behaviour in the data. (Repeated failure to pass a lesson, followed by lower-than-usual participation in Duolingo, followed by a marked improvement in ability.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theunis
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Two years later, has anything changed? It's still a very confusing lesson (way too many new verbs).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/quriousking
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There should be 2 additional verb hubs at least; one for difficult English verbs and one for difficult Spanish verbs. Examples of difficult English verbs are to get and to become, Depending on context, the verb to get can mean entender, recibir, escuchar, conseguir, llegar, buscar, coger, persuadir, ganar, etc. If you include idioms, then the list becomes very, very long indeed. Spanish has it's complex verbs too like quedar(se) and tener (which is found in many idioms).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BobbieL
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Verb lessons are always pretty painful. While Duolingo is supposed to be spaced repetition, it doesn't seem to handle that particular ideal nearly so well as stuff like Memrise, Anki, Brainscape, and others.

When you hit a verb lesson and Duolingo suddenly gives you a large number of forms of a large number of different vocabulary words that don't really have a thematic relationship to each other, it gets dizzying fast. I'd have given up a long time ago if I weren't using other websites and tools to supplement the vocabulary practice, and treating Duolingo basically as a way to practice putting things into context.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maggimunro
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Couldn't agree more! I've almost just given up trying several times because I feel I am just going into meltdown.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alipaulam
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I totally agree. I'm ok with the endings of the verbs but there are hundreds of verbs - well, lots anyway - that were all introduced at once that I STILL can't remember what they MEAN, or when to use them - several seem to have lots of different meanings - despite keeping the verb skills golden for over a month ever since.

I got to the verbs just when the vocabulary was removed and I was going to take time to really bottom them out with the vocab section, but I was too late, and I am still hopeless at them. :(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexalittle

Agreed!

Also, if those four units (V Past, V Pres 3, V Inf 1, V. Future Phr) could be spread out slightly, it would really help! I've been on those grammar points for nearly a week now and it's hard to get so much to stick at once. Four separate grammar points and over 50 verbs is a lot... :'(

Thanks for all you do, Duo staff!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/quriousking
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The verb modules were just time consuming at best, time wasting at worse. Now, I'm still working on my Spanish skill tree, and who knows, it might get better; but, I doubt it. There were just too many new verbs been thrown at me too quickly (even more if you consider idioms and reflexive verbs), some of which were never introduced in the present tense section. There is also not enough focus on verb + preposition constructions in Spanish like estar por and estar para; you have to learn them by failing a lot.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mercutio

I totally agree with the original poster, also I've posted before that the object pronouns lesson was totally confusing to me and I've see many posts stating that object pronouns in the Spanish tree is really really hard to understand.

I would also add re verbs that separating regular and irregular verbs would be great idea

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Johnny__R

Yep, Object Pronouns is another one that could do with being broken up to make it easier to absorb.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mercutio

maybe this thread could be a constructive criticism of how grammar is introduced on duo and maybe everyones collected thoughts could bring a positive re structure of the way grammar is introduced

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
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I personally like the verb skill hubs. But, I would like more vocab placed between the separate skills. After a while, the tree is just verb skill hub after verb skill hub. I need more time to digest. I do like how I'm currently able to go into a skill hub and hit the practice button and get to concentrate on that set. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mercutio

i failed five times when practising today to refresh skills, and it was the object pronouns again stopping me, i literally have to guess as i don't understand them at all

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CattleRustler

Start here: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/oppro.htm and then do the lessons below that (In Unit Four) and it should really help. I failed the first DL Object Pronoun lesson twice, then the second one three times, then I studied what I linked you to, and came back and flew the rest of the sections. Once the formula clicks it becomes fun.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mercutio

that one doesn't seem to be the right sort of object pronouns, its missing "le" for example....so i think the duo ones must be a different sort

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CattleRustler

No, below it is Object Pronouns (4 lessons) then it shows direct/indirect mixed. That first one is just Basic Pronouns - check again

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
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The spanishdict lessons are also very helpful. http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/15 and http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/16. I like to just jump right in and do all the quizzes for the lesson rather than read the lesson material - it seems more Duolingo-ish that way. And they explain the specific rule that applies to each question whether you get the question right or wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HardyCleo

Problem with conjugation of verbs. When new verb is introduced, conjugation of that verb should be introduced also. I agree, too much thrown together causing confusion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/schilde
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i agree 100%

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nihowdy

I have been singing this tune since I suffered through that module the first time.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FourFatherTy

I strongly agree. (I just googled "duolingo why introduce new vocabulary past tense" and found your question, ha).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jay_Wolverine

Agree. It took me a month to come out of past tense lessons with a decent control over them.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
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Duolingo is really in its infancy. I am sure that the sentences and the lessons are going to improve and change in the coming year.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mercutio

the object pronoun issue rises again this week i see someone has started another onehttps://www.duolingo.com/comment/2087400

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zatuo
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Coming across verbs in past tense (preterit) wasn't easy for me. So I started preparing all the verbs to an excel, sorted to sheets according to a lesson. I got all the conjugations from here http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugation.

Then I went through the verbs for the lesson before I started it (6-7 verbs for a lesson and about half of them regular). Because I learned rules for regular verbs (-ar and -er verbs), I didn't have to study half of these verbs. And I realised that the irregular verbs are not so bad either (usually you just need to learn irregular form of the verb for 1st person and the other persons are similar).

But one thing I really hated about these preterit lessons is that for every verb, Duo teaches you the form of it just in one person. The worst was the last 10th lesson, where almost all the forms were just in 3rd person (alcanzó, sacó,...) and you couldn't practice other person forms...

But thanks to my preparation, I learned it quite nicely ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
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Hi Zatuo, have you tried the "Strengthen skill" feature attached to preterites? You can do Timed or Untimed practice. This is so once you are familiar with a verb form through the lesson, you can practice it mixed in with the others :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zatuo
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I tried "Strengthen skill" and this is what I had in one and a half lesson (in brackets you can see the form of the verb, which was in description of lessons): cayó (the same form) empezó (the same form) tomó (tomaste) logró (the same form) pidió (the same form) obtuvo (obtuvieron) dio (da) cayó (the same form) apareció (the same form) dio (da) apareció (the same form) dio (da) apareció (the same form) cayó (the same form) siquiera (not a verb) pidió (the same form)

seguiste (siguió) probablemente muy poco (nothing to do with preterit) oyó (oí) insistió (the same form) occurió (the same form) estuviste (estuvimos) dijiste (dije) llegaron (the same form) pensó (pensaste) dijiste (dije)

As you can see, out of 24 verbs, 13 used the same form. Out of these 24, 19 had a form of 3rd singular person. Of these remaining 13, almost all of them are not in my "Words" vocabulary. One interesting thing: verb dar was not taught in preterit lessons, but in V. Pres. 2 (which is kinda nice that it teaches preterit from earlier learned verbs in present :)).

As you can see more of half didn't practice different form and 19/24 used 3rd singular person!!! (that's what I was talking about!)

If you look into your vocabulary, there are not all the forms as well. So far it looks like you come across 1 or 2 forms for each verb. But maybe Duo teaches you slowly other forms, who knows..., that would be nice :)

I haven't tried timed practice, but I will try, thanks for the tip :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rmurowchick

My frustration with verbs has also been that only one or a couple forms are introduced in any given set of lessons. I've been looking up the infinitive verbs on spanishdict and writing out the conjugations by hand because I just. can't. keep. them. straight. I like that duolingo has the conjugations available if you click on the "more info" button in the words list, but I would LOVE if that included the infinitive verb as well.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Herriejette

Yes! I started with past tenses yesterday and all I could think of is that I could do it if I just knew the verbs. Now I'm just confused and want to learn the verbs first and then take the lesson again. (was googling for the verbs, that's how I got at a one years old thread if you're curious haha)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Domi_Nico

May 2017-I have been using the site for one month. Thank you for this awesome free service. Though, I do have to agree that the object pronouns were a lot to take in at once, and my progress has really come to a halt with the past tense lessons. I would rather have "past tense 1" with verbs we already know and another round of "present tense" verbs that are new.

1 year ago
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