https://www.duolingo.com/hckoenig

Strange sentence; or: How does Duolingo work?

hckoenig
  • 19
  • 19
  • 16
  • 10
  • 8
  • 5
  • 4

I am learning Spanish through English. Today I repeated the indefinido (past tense) skill. One of the sentences I was asked to write down was "Di hola a tus amigos" - "Say hello to your friends".

What does this sentence do in a lesson on the Spanish past tense? I have the following theory: The sentences Duolingo shows us for our practice are not organized by lesson. Instead, all sentences are in one database. What looks like a lesson to us is just a set of keywords. When we start a lesson, the server in the background selects sentences from the database matching the keywords (randomly, or maybe preferring those that we have failed before).

Now "di" is not only the imperative of "decir", it is also the indefinido of "dar" of the 1. person singular: "di" - "I gave". As such it could well have been one of the keywords for the lesson I was working on. But the selection mechanism is dumb. It can't distinguish between "di" from "decir" and "di" from "dar"...

So that's why, when I should practise the indefinido of "venir", of which "vino" - "he/she came" is a form, I get a sentence like "√Čl les sirve vino a las mujeres." Hilarious!

4 years ago

3 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/crlight
crlightPlus
  • 23
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

Looks like you have figured it out all on your own. This is probably the case. And I too think this is kind of funny.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AraDavies
AraDavies
  • 14
  • 14
  • 8
  • 6

I'm pretty sure it's intentional. It's showing you that although, say, vino is a verb form and is what you are studying in that section, you might also encounter that word form as a noun, so you need to remember to recognize the difference.

If it isn't intentional, it should be, because noting the different uses for a particular word form is pretty important!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pmm123
pmm123
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 24
  • 23
  • 19
  • 19
  • 18
  • 17
  • 12
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 1689

That's what I thought when I have seen similar cases. They want to reinforce the idea that words that are spelled and often pronounced the same, can have different meanings and functions.

Plus, it's good to include review items that are not directly related to the topic of the lesson, just to keep us alert.

I agree: If it's unintentional, it should be baked in.

4 years ago
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.