Practice repeats the same phrases over and over

It's a topic I've seen mentioned on the forum various times over the years and it seems to be a problem again.

I do Spanish from English, I have my tree golden and I just use the practice to refresh weak words. It used to be fine up to a few days, when it mostly decided to start throwing at me what feels about 20-30 or so stock phrases over and over and over and over again, even though I don't get them wrong.

It's not rare to see a practice lesson consisting of 3-4 of them given in all variations, i.e., Spanish to English, English to Spanish, transcribing what I hear and choosing the correct translation out of a set of options. If I'm lucky, I'll then get some old word to practice for 2-4 examples left. In some extreme cases, these words are words I've refreshed in the last few days, even as recently as 48 hours ago. I've opened another tab to my Words list when these words come up for the first time since my last (recent) practice and I see they're still maxed out. So, it's not even a case of a word that decays soon after you come across with it.

Once you have satisfied DL, it'll move on to another few for the next lesson, but eventually they'll be rotated. I do 10-12 practice lessons per day to have a positive net gain against word decay and I see these phrases every day.


  • Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.
  • Donde fuego se hace, humo sale.
  • Mis amigos me dieron otra oportunidad.
  • No todos tienen estas oportunidades.
  • Yo quería que mi hijo hiciera su tarea antes de jugar.
  • Él quería que su amigo hiciera todos los planes para el viaje.
  • En la calle no había un alma.
  • ¿Te lo tengo que explicar con detalle?
  • Él me dio todos los detalles.
  • Ella tiene muchas riquezas pero no se ve feliz.

I've been seeing these and maaany others on a weekly basis for quite some time now and the frequency, while obvious, didn't bother me as much. However, it feels broken now and I suspect it coincides with a possible recent change in the way words are marked as revised. Even so, these phrases seem to be recycled for the sake of repeating the phrase and not because any single word in that phrase needs refreshing.

September 5, 2017


I have my tree golden and I just use the practice to refresh weak words.
I do 10-12 practice lessons per day to have a positive net gain against word decay and I see these phrases every day.

Try this for at least a week

  • Don't use the "General strengthening" button
  • Use only the "Individual Skill strenthening" button and do only the difficult skills"

Here is the link to "Best Way to Make Your Tree Turn Gold and Stay Gold"

In level 23, I think it is so annoying to only strengthen. Here are some tips to improve your Spanish in other ways:

  • The reverse tree, the course English for Spanish speakers, is very useful. There you have to translate much more from English to Spanish.
    Here is the link to the Duolingo Help Center for
    "How do I switch my Duolingo course language?"

  • Use the web version of Duolingo ( instead of the App. The web version works also fine on a tablet or phone, when WIFI is available (or 4G/LTE in an internet bundle)

  • Try to read and write in Duolingo's Spanish discussion forums. There you will find the daily used words, sentences and idiom.

Apart from that

  • read a newspaper article every day and try to learn its new words
  • listen to podcasts, watch movies with or without subtitles
  • converse with a native speaker as much as possible
  • write smaller texts, upload them on and let them be corrected by native speakers a.s.o.
  • try "Duolingo stories" in the tab "Duolingo Labs"
  • more resources for Spanish in Knud van Eeden's:
    ""Can you give some links about Spanish?"

There are numerous possibilities. Duolingo will only bring you to an A2/B1 skill level in reading/writing and A1 (maybe A2) in listening/talking.

Info about language levels:
Read from "Common reference levels".

Good luck.

September 5, 2017

I have indeed branched into other options for improving my Spanish and I have extracted all of the usefulness that Duolingo seems to offer. Your advice is still appreciated though.

Maybe I should have been more clear that the reason I still use Duolingo is because I'd like to eventually reach level 25 just for the sake of it. Besides, the tree itself has remained gold for quite some time. I referred to decay about the Words tab.

The reason I prefer general strengthening is because it can feature more complex sentences than specific lessons. In my experience the latter mostly uses sentences like "I like strawberries", "he is the mayor" and "I come from the west", which are the most simplistic sentences one can form as an excuse to introduce a single new word. On the other hand, in general strengthening you frequently come across sentences which involve recursion. It's just that it seems to have turned into a useless broken record recently.

One may argue that I shouldn't care since I have more important ways to study a language, or that all of this is in vain since everything will eventually decay to oblivion if I ever stop using service. I mostly mentioned it in case the developers aren't aware of it.

September 5, 2017

I mostly mentioned it in case the developers aren't aware of it.

Please, send a bug report via the Duolingo Help Center web page:

September 5, 2017
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