Agreed very much. Gamifiation is nice, but I really like to learn how a system works. And grammar is too complex to learn, without knowing the system behind it.
Of course children learn grammar through "gamification" or by just speaking, listening, trying and being corrected.
But, from what I know, children only learn how to properly apply their mother language around the age of five to six (...minus 2 years leaning to speak at all). I did not plan to be learning italian at such a slow pace...
But of course google is your (and my ;-) ) friend and the internet is full of resources on italian grammar.
Translating from one language to another sometimes means having to adjust verb tenses as well. When you see present tense + da + time, keep in mind that it indicates an action that has been going on until now.
- Ci scriviamo da anni/We have been writing to each other for years
- Le ragazze guardano la tv da tre ore/The girls have been watching tv for three hours
- L'acqua bolle da qualche minuto/The water has been boiling for a few minutes
I copied what I learned from another question for your reference:
"Aspetto da un decennio." https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/219854
A comment from: mark6w
Not sure if this has been answered or not, but my instructor explained to me that one uses 'da' for time periods up to and including the present and you use 'per' for time periods from the present and continuing into the future.
I get what you're trying to say, but it should be noted that "aspettiamo" by itself doesn't mean "we have been waiting", but rather "we are waiting" (or "we wait"). It's when aspettiamo appears with this specific construction: verb + da + time that it becomes "have been waiting". You probably know this, but wanted to be clear for new learners who might be reading. And yes, thinking of it that way--as something that started at another time and is still happening in the present--is a good way to clarify why it uses present tense.
Yes, waited is entirely in the past (eg. we waited for decades and then we waited another two years before anything happened). As explained above "present tense aspettare + da + time" means the waiting was up until this moment in present time. Ie. We have been waiting for 2 years now.
I think you have to buy a grammar book and read it if you want to get the grammar system(s) behind these little nitpicky things. It is too frustrating if you don't have another resource to explain all this. That is not how duolingo works. It just tests you over it and doesn't explain much of anything. But the practice is a good thing and other people's comments who have already learned how it works from some other source.