1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Multiple-choice questions


Multiple-choice questions

Do you guys like them? I don't. They are either:

  • too obvious to be challenging


  • too ambiguous to be fair.

Very often there is one answer that is definitely correct and one answer that can be both right or wrong. In one question I lose a heart for choosing an extra answer without the article, in the other I lose a heart for failing to do so.

Example? No problem. "I speak about my children" and "I speak of my children". Strictly speaking, the German preposition means "about", but English "of" means the same in this case. I never know if it is accepted until I try.

Another example:

My brother has been sick since yesterday.

  • Mein Bruder ist seit gestern krank (this is what seems the most adequate answer)

  • Mein Bruder ist seit gestern krank gewesen (this looks like English present perfect, but I heard that Germans use simple present tense where English people use "have been ... since". Note that past tense has not even been introduced at this level)

How do I know for sure if I should choose the first answer or both of them? I chose the first and lost a heart.

Why not make us choose ONE answer that is positively correct? In that case we would choose the most correct one.

March 15, 2013



By the way, we had a bug that was fixed a couple of hours ago, in which some of the options in the multiple choice questions were very badly chosen. It has now been fixed. Let us know if you still get things that you find very unhelpful.


I just had a Spanish multiple choice case I found very annoying. I don't know enough Spanish to make a strong case, but would be willing to argue that it was a real stretch to require the 2nd version. On this matter I agree very much with the original statement by olimo. You can't win. I think that your basic scoring approach should change here. Except maybe in cases where one language has genders and the other doesn't and there are two identical translations except fore gender, I think you should point out that another translation is correct but don't remove a heart. You seem to be somewhat more relaxed about minor spelling errors and accents. I don't think that making your student feel he/she was cheated improves learning.


I agree that there is some ambiguity but I think the multiple choice questions provides a pause for each unit. For the examples that are confusing that causes me to lose a heart, I read the discussions. Some of the complaints provide good insight and the explanations help me get it correct the next them.

I don't mind the mix of really easy multiple choice questions and the ones that produce a discussion with 10+ comments. Some times the system is lenient, so I guess I can forgive.


I don't mind questions with definitely correct or incorrect answers even if I lose hearts on them. But some are really meaningless. "I want pasta without cheese" and "I want a pasta without cheese"—should I choose the first one or both? Is it an English test on articles? I have to memorize the answers, not the grammar or vocabulary that lies underneath, and this is disappointing...


Yes they're annoying, hopefully those bugs Luis mentioned are gone.

  • 2560

I'm learning German too, and I tend to translate every word - so if it says 'a pasta' then I translate a pasta. And now I just read the end of your comment, and I agree: "I have to memorize the answers, not the grammar or vocabulary that lies underneath, and this is disappointing..." I have beside me my dictionary and I believe that practice makes perfect (and with time understanding will come too).

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