Pronouns: how to learn them
it may sound silly but i really can't handle the pronouns. i don't have any idea when to use nada, algo, alguno, ningun, nadie etc... and ESPECIALLY, when to use de, a, para, por with them... i don't think duolingo is really useful either. any suggestion will be appreciated.
I can't handle pronouns myself but here's what I did to get getter. I read SpanishDict's explanation once or twice. I still try their exercises. I watched some videos on YouTube that explains indirect and direct pronouns. I also continue to practice nada, alguno, etc. I understand nadie because I hear it often in songs that I like. Try to learn the words in context.
de, a, para, por . . . well you can try a number of things. You can browse the aforementioned resourses and studyspanish.com. You can also try to read a bunch childrens' books en español like http://www.childrenslibrary.org. You can access the English and Spanish versions.
Note, Duolingo does not teach you languages didactic manner. If you're having problems with a specific issue and you don't feel the Owl is helping, seek other resources.
Let me break out your question a little.
- You speak of pronoun problems, and you refer to nada, algo, etc. So can I assume that you are fine on the personal pronouns, él, lo, le, se, etc?
- por & para. These get confusing because there are two Spanish words for one English word. There is logic to them, and the difference comes into focus if you can think like a Spanish speaker. That's the tricky part. Go to one of the grammar sites, find the rules for each, and makes silly sentences for each. Maybe jam several usages into one sentence, like I did for ser & estar http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/spangestar.htm . You should be able to improve your "batting average" on those.
- Those nasty old prepositions, a, de, en, etc. I hate to break it to you, but often there is simply no rhyme nor reason. You just have to learn what goes with what. English learners have the same problem. Have you ever tried to explain why we ride in a car, but on a bus and on a train? Or why arriving at (not to) a meeting at 2:00 makes you on time?
thanks for tips, really useful.
i'm not actually a native speaker of english, so i am probably using them wrong, at least the ones i haven't memorized yet... but i got your point.
i think pronouns lessons are really hardest one i faced in here. while i easily complete the other ones, i really felt stupid at pronouns. i just wanted people to know they're not the only one :)