Duolingo is very good, but I have some things to say.
When you are just starting out, in the very basics you're getting thrown variations of words like Nous sommes, sont. There are multiple examples of this and I imagine it only gets harder and harder as you go through the skills learning each different thing.
This is good, it gets you used to basic plurals and conjugatives. But my issue is it doesn't explain it. It doesn't explain why you shouldn't use et with vous or various differences. When you first start out, you want things to be reasonably easy to understand.
So far I've had to trawl the forums or google 6-7 times to figure out a question I've had about masculine, feminine, singular, plural and conjugations. I know this stuff comes up later, but what exactly is the point in putting it at the start with no explanation and then making me learn it later.
It needs to be more descriptive about words that get thrown in and for what reason in my opinion.
I just came across an issue where I was asked to repeat the phrase.
"Les garcons sont calmes"
So I typed
"Le garcon sont calme"
They sound the same but I'm learning now that sont only gets used in the plural sense. But I did not learn that from duolingo. It took me a while to understand it. I just think others would really benefit from a little extra information.
And, before you start a lesson you should study. So you know the plurals and nouns and pronouns and all of that. When you click a lesson there's start and a light bulb. Click the light bulb and it will tell you all of that. Good luck! Any other questions let me know. Also welcome to Duolingo! Here's a link that should help you with other questions as well! It's a new users guide. Enjoy! :https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26977271 :
Thank-you for the tip, I didn't realise there was a light-bulb I should be clicking to gain extra notes. Although I would point out that the problems I had here were not really addressed in the notes on that page.
I'm using duolingo as my primary way of studying, I don't want to go off elsewhere and do things there. Although I could. Seemed counter-intuitive to learn from multiple sources, but if the platform isn't meant to be used as a whole package, I understand.
I'll take a look at that link in a second and see what I can gain from it, thank-you!
No actually, it's not very hard when you first start. It shows you a picture and it has a word under it. You pick the one with the correct word. Easy still so far. Then when words are golden that means that you haven't learned it it. Also, you can put your mouse over a word and it will say the meaning. That's a big help! So you shouldn't have to go to google. Is there something I am missing?
Yeah, sometimes it gives "you used the feminine adjective instead of masculine" or "you need the article des here" but sometimes it just says "you used the wrong word." I think that's the default code when none of their other conditions apply. Also, sometimes none of the "report" pop-up options are quite appropriate.
Still, I think you'll find that the little light bulbs get more informative as you work down the list. I completed the "skill tree" but when it changed over it gave me a level 2 in everything, so I'm working down the list to get 3 on all of them, then I'll do 4, etc. Right now I'm on "Verbs: Infinitive 2." It's pretty detailed. Unfortunately, not all of them have the lightbulbs. (e.g., Past Conditional) You might get more since you have the Plus version.
The duolingo grammar notes are helpful, but often not enough. I highly recommend Lawlessfrench.com for amazing, clear and easy to understand grammar explanations. I think might possible to learn some languages without studying grammar, but not French, as French has too many irregularities and exceptions. Also, reading the sentence discussions is very helpful!