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Any tips for my reverse trees for my 1st Romance Portuguese language / studying grammar?

Hello all,

any tricks I should follow for my reverse trees?

What "tips and notes" should I focus on and try to read/understand (for English/German targets) in Portuguese as the base language of my 1st Romance language?

What should I better overread / ignore to focus on practice writing (translating) in Portuguese?

Is it possible to successfully study grammar in a Romance language (e.g Portuguese) and to match each other if I do not even know all this grammar stuff well for my own native language German? :-)


  • in English: "I have been studying Portuguese since October last year": started in the past, still doing it: use the ing-form (can't even remember it's correct tense name right now, present perfect continuous???)

  • in German: "Ich lerne Portugiesisch seit Oktober letzten Jahres".

  • Portuguese: PT uses the "present perfect ing" for recently started activities and has different grammar rules if a sentence contains since! (please correct me if I am wrong)

  • Three different concepts in three languages!!

I have already completed my English-Portuguese forward tree and several Memrise courses (had started the PT-EN for the first three skills a while ago but had it stopped).

However, I have not finished / deeply reviewed the "grammar skills" from the German-English and English-German trees; just started these trees (including test-out) for fun.

I want to start this thread because of Territrades's explanation about his joke "Was ist der Unterschied zwischen einem Comedian und einem Kabarettisten? Der Eine macht es wegen dem Geld, der Andere wegen des Geldes" from his "Joke for German learners" thread: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/25328808$comment_id=25339262

Quote territrades: German has four cases (Nominativ, Genetiv, Dativ und Akkusativ), but the Genetiv is in the process of slowly being replaced by the Dativ.

It might get really funny once I start my Portuguese reverse trees for English and German....
.........and having "tips and notes" written in Portuguese by contributors trying to explain me unknown German grammar rules, where I surely will be having my difficulties trying to understand both :-)
I only partly remember grammar for my 2nd English language: Some English grammar books are of course lying around in my cupboard for years.

Q: Should I try to strengthen some skills on the DE-EN/EN-DE trees first?

Q: With some English books behind me (not completely worked through all chapters!!) should the PT-EN reverse tree be my first try?

Q: Would you do both reverse trees (PT to EN/DE) in parallel, with some little delay of skills of 1-2 weeks or just one after one sequentially?
Thanks for all your tips and insides how you successfully improved thinking and writing in a Romance - your target - language (could also be Spanish, French, Italian!).

Viele Grüße / Best regards from Germany


November 26, 2017



Close the grammar books. But keep them in reach. Give it a try and be patient. You will experience moments when things just fall into place and moments when you are totally confused. On those occasions, pick up your books and read the corresponding explanations. Take it easy :)
I learned French at school and then started with Spanish here. Once I moved on to the trees Spanisch from / to French I had a lot of delighting moments where Spanish was similar - or even easier than French :) Maybe I should have started learning Spanish from French instead of Spanish from German...
Although this also depends on the language combinations.
Good luck!
*Edit: don't be fooled by my levels, this is my second account and I've reset all progress on my first one for some inexplicable reasons only known to myself.


Hi Steffi,

thanks for your suggestion.

Sorry to hear about your 1st account tree resets.

lusófono started adding some courses on Memrise about chapters from the book "Modern Brazilian Portuguese grammar - a practical guide": https://www.memrise.com/user/lus%C3%B3fono/courses/teaching/

Honestly, I have not even started reading the Portuguese summary / FAQ threads put here in the DuoLingo discussion PT forum.

I may just give the PT-EN reverse tree a go and see where the wind blows me ;)

I wrote I had stopped it after three skills because I was trying do it in parallel (delayed/shifted) early this year after just ~3-4 months of learning Portuguese.
The vocabulary and order was different and not 100% the reverse...

It is IMHO much more than a simple 1:1 clone/reverse course of EN-PT which you might be able to use in parallel to re-strengthen on topics.
Because of this difficulty, I stopped it....

Another reason was that it is not that easy to focus on doing XP in more than one DuoLingo tree in one's early "DuoLingo career", so I re-focused on the forward EN-PT tree and pushing it forward.

Thanks again for your grammar suggestions and insides.


Gern geschehen. Die Umkehrbäume sind nie 1:1 Kopien, da ja unterschiedliche grammatikalische Konzepte gelehrt werden und die Skills entsprechend aufgebaut sind. Aber als Training sind sie gut, bevor man sich ins echte Leben stürzt :)


I think for a grammar resource as you tackle this well-chosen task you'll probably get more value out of the Portuguese tree you've been working on.

The English from Portuguese tree's grammar tips are going to be talking about things you obviously already know perfectly well. I think you've got a perfectly good handle on English possessives, word order, etc. And of course for German even better yet. I'm sure they spend a lot of time on cases, which you obviously don't need to worry about in the slightest.

But by and large I think SteffiBookworm's point is the right one to highlight: don't overly fret about the grammar. Just start on the tree, and get typing in Portuguese. That's going to be the biggest source of improvement. If you come across a grammar point that you're not getting, then you can look it up. I think Wiktionary for Portuguese is by and large sufficiently developed that if you put in any conjugated verb form, it will give you the infinitive and tell you what tense, mood, etc the conjugated form is in. Since the vast majority of difficulties are going to involve verbs in some way or other, just having that resource will get you on the path to resolving a lot of problems.

I don't have a strong view on whether you're better picking one of the two potential reverse trees or just concentrating on one.


had started the PT-EN for the first three skills a while ago but had it stopped).

I'm trying to understand what it is exactly you are asking, but if your main goal is Portuguese, then just pick up the PT-EN again. Or do another course with Portuguese as base language, if you're interested in learning yet another language. I'm not really convinced that the EN-DE/DE-EN trees will actually add anything new to your understanding of these two languages and Portuguese.



thanks for your time.

Quote: I'm trying to understand what it is exactly you are asking

Good question! I am not 100% sure myself :-)

Yes, main goal should be Portuguese, because of writing/speaking abilities in 2nd year.

Quote: Or do another course with Portuguese as base language, if you're interested in learning yet another language

If e.g Colombia could be a new (parallel) goal for Q1 or H1 / 2018 (well, there is no concrete opportunity right now - the same like with Brazil; with the big big difference that I actually know someone living in Salvador/BR from Germany), then:

I would probably just try to start the laddering tree PT-SP to learn about similarities, differences, vocabulary and Spanish grammar, as you have suggested.

But without (very) concrete opportunities for any country (besides some countries listed on bstoked.net as Kitesurfing spots)....honestly, it does not really matter what way I keep walking.

Of course, I don't want to confuse my current PT level with learning Spanish at this time, even the available resources might be better :(

Sometimes it is:

  • so hard to fight for 250-350XP+/week on DuoLingo
  • additionally water all completed Memrise PT BR Memrise courses regularly

......that I am almost sure, that learning a NEW language at this time won't probably be doing good for my current learning process....I still need to optimize it in my 2nd year.

Maybe I even need to go back to "multiple-choice" reviews for PT1-7 on Memrise, which would help me water all items faster and more regular, but "all typing" is a big challenge for the offical "non-single-word courses" which I do not want to give up that fast.
IMHO you don't really learn that much using "multiple-choice" challenges (which you just quickly click through), either on Memrise, neither on DuoLingo.

But knowing how many errors you are going to make with typing (missing alternatives, guessing what vocabulary they want in a sentence), it often is (too) hard to start this blue review button and finish the 100 words lessons 2-3x times :(
I am almost convinced that I need to contact Coolingle about some script improvement ideas to be able to tackle back and forth typing, tapping and multiple-choice...

...OR: Maybe just trying to add a SKIP button when I am fed up having to type the sentence the 3rd/5th time in a single review session.
All is missing right now...

Q: Would you guys think different about it? What is your experience with "multiple-choice" challenges/exercise-types?

DuoLingo Android app tapping support is even easier....

My goals:

  • 1) think and write (RECALL) in Portuguese: This would do the PT-EN tree (just one) for sure.

  • 2) find the "big grammar picture" and differences between DE-EN, EN-PT and DE-PT, so I can correctly do typing in Portuguese and translating those English and German DuoLingo sentences (or do translation from DE->EN->PT in my head)

  • 3) trying to read in Portuguese:

    • 3a) Maybe DuoLingo "tips and notes" are not the best for this at this stage
    • 3b) I started the www.lingvist.com ~5000 words PT-EN course (EN-PT is not available!) and I just found out, that you can even show the longer "Portuguese source sentence" above the grey panel, not only the single PT word(s) below; now they only need to activate the Portuguese audio before reading out loud the completed English sentence and I am happy.
    • 3c) Lingvist Portuguese e-mails are a real challenge for me.


On Memrise I have a certain appreciation for the multiple choice questions (which, when it comes to review, I use the app to be able to get) because, for the words I really don't know, being asked to come up with them out of thin air repeatedly is just annoying. But if I see them among the multiple choice selections, they do eventually get into my memory, and I come to be able to recall them actively.


Quote Usagiboy7:
There is the reverse course.
I am always curious if people plan to do reverse and ladder trees
Source: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29156220$comment_id=29165506

Starting a course from French/Spanish/Portuguese on the web portal = writing / translating into French/Spanish/Portuguese (on the right hand side) on a higher (better) ratio even on lower crown L0-L2 (L3) levels

(My) Tips and audio tricks for reverse and laddering trees

How do you do a reverse tree / The reverse tree helps - how to be able to listen to the target language audio:
- https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29266026$comment_id=29267079
- https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29262469$comment_id=29266698

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