I was thinking that a lot of these words like "jedoch" and "sonst" would be easier to learn in a broader context, like reading a story, because they all seem to reference implied earlier sentences or ideas...I find it hard to learn them in isolation.
DuoLingo I think offers a great improvement on word-by-word learning systems, but I think these words are words that really need a broader context. I'm wondering if DuoLingo could accomplish this by either having exercises with two brief sentences together (I've seen some very long sentences, I think this could be done and still be shorter than some of the huge ones I've seen), or perhaps by having a "cue" or "context" sentence for the exercise, which is not part of the translation, but could be showed in light gray or something, before the sentence.
I think this would help me to really learn these words more deeply and intuitively.
I've finished the whole German tree but I notice I still stumble heavily on this section and I think I'm getting a deep idea of why. I think it's a limitation with the sentence-by-sentence way of learning that DuoLingo has.
Yeah, it would be nice if duolingo had a sentence or paragraph first, maybe in english, just to give the sentence context, and then the german sentence that they actually want you to learn in bold. So it would say something like, "She has a little money and a change of clothes." Then in bold, "Sonst hat sie nichts."
I think the best translation of sonst is something like "otherwise". So if you said, "Strange, otherwise she has nothing", otherwise has the meaning of "the rest of the time". which is similar to the meaning of ~usually. Just like "otherwise", sonst can sometimes mean "or else", "usually", or "other than that", depending on context. Hope that helps.
Er... It seems that "sonst" only means "usually" in the sense "at all times. but not right now". I.e. when something is different than usual. For example, a man who never drinks comes to the work drunk. Then "sonst" may be used to indicate than "otherwise" he is a sober man.
Am I right in this assumption?
I reported it Aug 16th 2014. Too bad the dates and times of the comments here aren't displayed (would be interesting to see how long it stays uncorrected). Didn't know how to react upon writing a correct translation and seeing it marked as incorrect because of... you know. Lol at this ****.
…because ‘sonst’ doesn't mean “besides”.
The adverb “besides” would be usually translated as ‘außerdem’, as in “Besides, she has nothing.” = ‘Außerdem hat sie nichts.’.
The preposition “besides” would usually be translated as ‘außer’, as in “Besides that, she has nothing.” = “Außer dem hat sie nichts.’.
That would be “She has nothing else”. At the beginning of a sentence or independent clause, the adverb modifies the entire sentence, where this type of adverb acts a conjunction connecting it to the previous sentence or independent clause. Elsewhere, it modifies just the phrase it's in.