Hi, I've had a little trouble grasping the correct way to use the mnemonic tool. For example, I've been using the same mnemonic tool mentioned in the book of masculine gender nouns exploding and feminine nouns burning. The problem is, when I study my cards, many words I'll know the gender for some other reason, such as learning the word in the past (I'm learning french after forgetting a lot) and having a vague memory of the gender... or the gender simply seems to make some kind of sense to me for some reason (I think I do this most and often try to look for some kind of logic when learning the new word). I've noticed that I only occasionally think of the idea of a masculin noun exploding and I've noticed it's only been for certain words - words that don't fit into any of my other easier memory methods, which has made the tool inconsistent and over more and more cards, I seem to be using the tool less. Should I be thinking, therefore remembering, the mnemonic idea every time I encounter a word with this tool? Also, not knowing how to apply the idea of the mnemonic has made my flashcard creation a little slow, since I've thought that I need to add the concept to each card that uses the concept. For example, every time I make a masculine word flashcard, I take the time to stick a little explosion image on the card and the phrase, "Gender: M", which is then highlighted in blue (pink for feminine). All these little steps can get tedious and time consuming. Thanks for the help!

* Originally posted by Tim Fleming.

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  • From my understanding you do not need to have any images of explosions or the color thing you are doing. I am not hundred percent sure though. Before you guess a card, think of the answer and also the mnemonic real quickly. So if I get a card that says "gato". I try to think of the picture of a cat, and imagine that(or a ) cat on fire. When I was doing Latin, and before I officially starting the FF method, I still did the mnemonics without any flashcards. I was surprised that I often remembered the gender by doing that. However, I would be curious to hear other opinions on the subject.

    * Originally posted by MichaelTrum.
  • It would certainly save a bit of time to skip the image and highlighting. Having the colored words and image certainly helps with the visual side of what to remember, but I guess I simply need to establish the habit of thinking of the mnemonic as you mentioned more consistently. Thanks for the input.

    * Originally posted by Tim Fleming.
  • Also, I am hoping Gabe will give his two cents. He seems pretty helpful, and it looks like he makes rounds around the forums every once in a while.

    * Originally posted by MichaelTrum.
  • Hi Tim!

    The mnemonics are designed to be helpful tools that you can use *whenever they're actually helpful* - by that I mean if you're not having trouble with the gender because of previous memories of French, or because the gender is obvious from the spelling, or because the gender is obvious to you for some other reason, then don't use mnemonics in those cases.

    Personally, I generally don't think about gender mnemonics until I review a card and fail to properly remember the gender. That's when I'll come up with the story of the exploding dog.

    Hope that clarifies stuff!

    Best regards

    * Originally posted by Gabriel Wyner.
  • That's great - thanks for the input!

    * Originally posted by Tim Fleming.
  • Follow up question about this: I seem to have gone through exactly what Tim has gone through re this. I've read this whole thread including Gabe's response.

    My additional problem is: I keep forgetting to even check if I know the gender of my words. (Re-learning French.)

    Wondering: Should I just build the m/f article into my word cards and spelling drills?

    Doing this seems like an obvious fix to build the habit of checking gender? Bonus question: Wondering if Gabe and others reading this think always including articles in word learning would be good to incorporate into the FF method, in general, or if it's inadvisable, in some cases.


    * Originally posted by court74.

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