1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Why not have a Grammar sectio…


Why not have a Grammar section alongside the Vocabulary section that shows you the grammar rules covered (implicitly) by the lessons so far?

December 11, 2012



Agreed, it would be easier to learn if we didn't have to deduce principles of grammar by trial and error.


It is very useful to go trial and error, but if you get stuck (which is easily seen by like three crying owls in a row) you should be offered a hint. Also after the section is completed, the proposal to view grammatic summary would be handy.


I agrre with that! Duolingo is very good but it lacks grammar rules wich is the most important thing when learning a new language...


Just click on the light bulb on the section and it gives you a lesson on grammar and vocabulary. It's next to the key to jump a level.


Not all lessons have tips option


I do not see a "light bulb section".... do they not have this for Danish? I don't even see a vocabulary section.


Vocabulary should be accessible from the three dots at the top of the screen when selecting the next lesson to do.


I don't get a 'lightbulb' but some chapters do have a 'tips' section. Which is more or less useful. Unfortunately, I've hit a chapter where it is less useful. I also get a lot of information from other websites where full conjugations of verbs are available.


I believe I would learn significantly better if I knew what the rules were.


Yes and also, the grammar pertinent to each lesson needs to be included in the notes option, which is not always the case now.


I would love to see a page of grammar tables and also easily accessible notes on the conjugation for different types of verbs (-ar and -ir) etc, plus a list of commonly used irregular verbs. I find that I learn the endings quickly as I go through the lessons but then once I've got into impreterite and future perfect etc, Duolingo hits me with past tense or just present tense and I've got all the endings mixed up in my head...It would be a lot easier for me to just memorise the regular endings for each conjugation and then deal with irregular verbs as they come up. In fact, a grammar test would be wonderful, just getting you to change a verb from present to past to future etc and remembering irregular verbs. It's such a massive part of the language I think it needs more specific focus.


Exactly, exactly, exactly. Grammar is vital and verb conjugation is key to learning a language. If all that is focused on is useful vocabulary, you won't get much anywhere just like Rosetta Stone (from my own experience). Have verb conjugation charts, introduce verb conjugation earlier on in a more friendly way, et cetera. Grammar sucks, but the fact of life is that you're not going to learn a language without tedious grammar. Sure, children learn languages without ever being taught grammar but they're surrounded by the language 24/7 and they absorb information more easily as an adolescent. I would much prefer this program to be a majority of grammar with frequent and consistent breaks of vocabulary and not the other way around.


As well it usually takes children at least a decade of full immersion before they really have a handle on the grammar.

[deactivated user]

    Sure, children learn languages without ever being taught grammar but they're surrounded by the language 24/7 and they absorb information more easily as an adolescent.

    Well, we still have to go to school, where we have to study the grammar of our native language. Heck, I still mess up sometimes.


    There's something called 'tips and notes' for German and Spanish that tells you some grammar rules, but they don't tell you everything, so it will be good if everything is put into this 'Grammar Section' and with other languages such as French


    I agree this is what I meant. You need to have all the grammar available when you do the lessons just like in a regular class room.


    Also, if you know grammar, you can do the exercices more easily because sometimes you have to guess what the answer is


    Exactly, I find that happening to me to. I do the lessons over and over until I make it just because I remembered the answer of the sentences in that lesson, not because I learned much grammar. Even though, I will pick up more grammar the more sentences I do, but it's really preferable to be able to fall back on comprehensive grammar notes so that have a chance of logically deducing the answer.


    This was ultimately one of the issues of Rosetta Stone, it taught you phrases and words but no grammar. In order to learn a language, you must understand the grammar or else all the vocabulary and phrases don't make since. You might be able to say "The man eats," but you won't be able to say "The man ate," without learning the phrase. Grammar and verbs conjugation in particular are key to learning any language.


    No, I don't know any English grammar whatsoever, but I do fine, have even worked as a writer. I like Duo because it doesn't make a big fuss about grammar. However, I do think a reference for grammar when we do want it would be useful.


    I really miss more grammar in the French course, parroting back sentences is nowhere near enough.


    This might help for those of you learning Spanish: http://www.studyspanish.com/tutorial.htm


    I too would like more guidance on grammar and verb conjugation, even with German where it seems like there are no rules sometimes ;-). It does start to make sense after a while, but not understanding the basic constructs makes it challenging at times. I'm guessing that the linguistic experts at Duolingo have considered this but have determined that the total immersion approach by trial and error is a more effective way to learn a language? We all learned to speak a language pretty well as young children without the need to understand grammar. Can one of the experts at Duolingo comment on this? I hate to see crying owls!!

    Absolutely love the app.


    sí thats a good question....


    I think that the grammar section would be really helpful. But, personally, my experince was that I picked up grammar rules by repeating, by doing these exercises (sometimes more than once) ... so somehow I learned and understood the grammar part much better than it was taught during classes. I think, this is Duolingo's point. Grammar rules will be conceived of in your head. In spite of this grammar section would be useful, too.


    Yes please. If I get something wrong, it gives me the right answer, but I still don't know why I am wrong, so I get it wrong again next time. I have never learnt any formal grammar, and don't understand terms like formative case and nomative case. I'm pretty close to giving up right now, because all I'm doing is learning words.


    Don't be upset! Sometimes, when I really needed a little grammar, charts or anything else, I just typed in the google browser something like this "French grammar, plurals" ...or whaterver I needed, and there are plenty of grammar lessons, charts and everything, which tell you the grammar rules. Beside this, it would be useful to have them in Duolingo, too. Don't give up!:)


    This is exactly what I do. I try to deduce verb conjugations myself, and check with Google to see whether I'm right, or to get the answer if I can't figure it out. You do have to do some extra work on your own to make the most out of what Duolingo offers -- but that's the same of any language course you ever take.


    I do the same, although I think one of the problems is that it's relatively easy, by deducing the very forms during the lesson, to get through that lesson and move on quickly. My main problem is that I have learned them all quickly but once I'm on another lesson with another verb form, the previous conjugations for a prior-learned verb form go out of my head entirely. I can deduce enough to pass the lessons easily but I think I need to memorise them methodically before they're actually going to go in. Now on modal verbs and my lack of memory for what I've done is showing, so I think I'm going to have to go copy conjugations out into a notebook and repeat and repeat and repeat.....not as much fun!


    I agree, having an easy tab or something to check all the grammar rules thus far explained would be nice. That way people don't have to go back to the initial basic lessons for conjugation tables and etc.


    Duolingo's great strength (it seems to me) is the early introduction of reading, especially with word and phrase translation feature. Verb conjugation tables at a touch (recently available?) are great. I'm only at level 7. Maybe a lesson with the diabolical pronouns is coming up? I've been trying to learn Spanish for a few years now. Duolingo is a terrific review tool and a fun way to practice skills. Use it as a practice resource and look for grammar basics elsewhere.


    Rules can help us a lot. I'm taking the German course and right now i'm looking for grammars to understand differences in some pronouns or determinants used (a capital letter changes everything).


    Indeed!!! I couldn't agree more. While Duolingo is fantastic in giving one a working knowledge of foreign language, and without charge(!), it fail's by not providing enough about the mechanics of grammar. So, once you get past the basics, you 'run into a wall,' so to speak as lessons move from basic to intermediate -- in my case learning French as a native English speaker. Many times I lose hearts when Duolingo's translations from French to English end up as incorrect English grammar. For example, the sentence: 'Elles sont tristes du depart de l'homme' I translated to mean 'They are saddened by the departure of the man.' I was marked wrong. The correct translation according to Duolingo was 'They are sad of the departure of the man.'

    Despite this, Duolingo is a very, very useful language-learning tool which should be used by everyone wishing to familiarize themselves with a foreign language!


    I want to say that i love this site. I took four years of high school Spanish, but that was 30 + years ago and I don't remember much. I does come back, however. One thing I have noticed is that some of the answers which I think are right come up wrong. Do you include idioms in the lessons? When I was in high school, we learned the phrase:Dar un paseo en coche means to take a drive not to give a walk in car. Imagine people trying to translate the phrase "to kick the bucket" or "to buy the farm"


    Agreed, such a good idea.


    It would be very helpful to learn. I also would like to know the answer to the question when it says that I ran out of hearts.


    I'm sad to see that this is an old topic and I don't think it was added...unless I'm missing it? Luckily, I'm taking an actual French class but still.


    I would really want to have some grammar rules in every section. Practice is good, but better when it's based on theory. Also when I study colors, day of the weeks, months, I'd like to have them listed all together, so that I can practice them when I have time, just looking at them and remembering. I really lack this part. I can guess the structure of the sentence but it's hard for me to remember new words without seeing them written in some structure or table.


    I agree with everyone here. But has Duolingo done anything in order to fix this problem?


    Oui. I am really bad at grammar and putting sentences together, however duolingo is very good at teaching the vocabulary.


    I agree that a grammar tab would be useful to access grammar notes easily, outside of the lessons. It would also be really useful to have a print button for grammar notes, to enable us to print off pages that we need to study further.


    A great idea! I'm familiar with Spanish so I hadn't even thought about this while practicing, but it would be very helpful for anyone using these lessons. Once I get past the basics I start forgetting things.


    First I would like to thank everyone at duolingo for doing such wonderful work, I usually dread learning new languages and so far now it feels like entertainment.

    A grammar section for everything you learned so far and one note for the current grammar section would be a great addition. I have tried to search for some staff commenting about this, anyone who heard something about their opinions?


    Yes please, I most certainly concur with this suggestion :-).


    Very useful also for intermediate speakers


    I like this idea!


    Amen. Duolingo is fabulous but would improve with a very concise grammar reference page (italian)


    Yes, I am completely new to French, and I have no mental framework in which to embed rules. I am not even sure what the rule is.


    Really great idea.


    i couldn't agree more. i feel like i'm trying to figure out the nuances of spanish grammar using a trial and error technique.


    Definitelly needed!!!


    I agree, this would be really helpful!!!


    Some things I would never have been able to grasp if it hadn`t been for other sources. DL is fantastic, but I think it would be greatly improved if there were some grammar explanations.


    Yeah, it would be great!


    Grammatical Rules!... available at a click from our mistakes?. WONDERFUL!


    Awesome Idea. This is the trouble that I am having. Ok, so why is it beben and not bebe, etc. Its pretty hard to reverse engineer every bit. I'm learning a lot, but having difficulty with this kind of thing.


    Definitely, it should be an embedded feature if not already. Though I've noticed that some lessons were gearing more towards an oral speak grammar than a prose focused one(in the early stages of the skills tree), which is more freestyle and far less stricter than the conventional grammar. I'm sure that there's a lot of grammar Nazis who want to perfect their syntax and this could become the cure to their dilemma.


    This a good point


    This is the one aspect that Duolingo needs to improve. I tried doing Duolingo purely by trial and error, but found that some of the answers were so simply explained elsewhere. For example, in French pronouns that are objects come before the verb. Such a simple explanation would have dramatically reduced frustration and confusion.


    I feel we are missing the grammar lessons and that it's an important part of the learning process. I agree, grammar should not be learned by trial and error. I'm getting confused...


    A free site that I find beneficial for my learning is http://www.audiofrench.com/ . It has many advantages - in that it also include audio. It is not all encompassing, but it does have high frequency and irregular verbs, as well as some regular ones. I have not yet found a good site for general grammar, although I am starting to compile my own reference guide - garnered from my various reference books. The three most useful and readable ones are: A quick reference guide that came with a computer learning package I purchased years ago "Learn to Speak French Deluxe" by Individual Software. However this does not seem to be available to buy now. and two books written by Gail Stein The complete Idiot's Guide to Learning French Very readable - and good for explanations - but not as a reference Countdown to French Not quite as readable - but very good for explanations and reference. Then my last resort is my Collins Dictionary.
    Now this idea of Grammar section incorporated into Duolingo would be fantastic - especially if tied in with there wonderful audio system. Also if this could be one that you could peruse and reference whenever you wanted. I imagine there would be a lot of work in it though, costing quite a bit to develop.


    I agree with this suggestion. It's been really fun learning a new language through Duolingo, but a grammar-dedicated section would certainly help, instead of just shooting in the dark (sometimes). Plus, once you get all the rules and conjugation and stuff, you can pretty much form your own sentences and stuff. Faster learning.


    I have noticed that is has this in other languages, I've also been brushing up on my High School German and there is a tips section that gives grammar lessons. So far with my Portuguese I have been able to deduce some of the grammatical rules but it can be a little frustrating.


    YEah some grammar rules missing that could be very helpful, its a great idea, anyways thanks to duolingo team is such a great tool


    that would be great thing.


    Agreed. I definitely would one day appreciate a Grammar section, more robust popups, and even grammar practice but I think the section / tree should be optional as not everyone is as enthusiastic as others. I'm one of those weird types that can't learn a language without trying to learn the grammar... but I know not everyone likes it. Yes, children learn without it early on but they're still taught basic grammar by the time they hit the early school grades (even if they're not interested) so that's a bit of a lie when anti-grammar folk use that phrase.

    For the people that need it. I think this is a good idea. It seems like TeamDuo meant well early on in the German course with the pop-ups but then they just stop coming. From hazy memory of the first section of the tree, you pretty much get a notice about nouns being masculine, feminine and neuter, and verbs needing to be conjugated and that's about it. I don't remember any other grammar pop-ups.

    You do on the odd occasion get multiple choice questions that deal with using the right conjugation but they only seem to pop up once in a blue moon for me. Most of the time the multiple choice questions just gets you to find the right translation which is more knowledge of vocabulary and trial-and-error.

    Eh, for a free app Duo definitely surpasses so many expectations for many people. I can't wait to see it grow and other languages get added. I'm interested in Indonesian, Chinese, Hindi, Greek, and Latin being added ;)

    One other thing annoying me at the moment? -- the fact I can't donate!


    As an aspiring English teacher, I myself could start adding these sections for languages I learn...


    I've found that sometimes a quick search will help me find an article that explains a particular grammar rule really well. About.com has some good pages for Spanish, French and German in particular. If you use Duolingo as a tool and not the end-all-be-all of your language education, you might find it easier to get a full picture of the language you are learning. Anyone else have free resources they like to use?


    Some of the information in french in about.com, I have found as incorrect. It is only a very small amount. Also I don't like some of how they explain things - and that is also why I use many resources, One of my favorite is audio.com. There is also this brilliant post just made by toussaintlou.
    And this here is a link to my reference page - that if you scroll down the link you will get links to other resources I find useful. If you click on the links at the top of my reference page, you will get into threads I am creating as I work through the tree. I hope this might be of interest to you.


    It does get confusing...


    This apparently exists, and has existed since the beginning of the app, but it's hidden and only available on the desktop.


    I have been thinking about this for a long time and I do believe it would be a great way to help monetize Duo. I would gladly pay a couple dollars to have a French grammar guide. It would help when I spend extended time away and also as a quick refresher. I too do not like just having to guess and hoping I got the prefix/suffix/gender/number correct. The only alternative is to go back and redo the lessons. Provide a grammar (or multiple) book(s) for Lingots or for a small fee $2-$5. I will buy!


    I totally with you all. I have used Duolingo to refresh my French but there were certain mistakes I would keep making, simply because the rule was never explained. I would just have to guess my way to the next lecture. I believe, when I do make a mistake, a little pop up should show me the grammar rule behind, so I can learn.


    I believe, when I do make a mistake, a little pop up should show me the grammar rule behind, so I can learn.

    That already happens in the French and Spanish courses.


    I keep a massive spreadsheet for grammar, and its most basic part is printed and laminated. I also have a folder of verb conjugations for the most difficult verbs. There are plenty of place on the web to get this information.

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