Clarification of the effect of "ignoring" a question needed

This is indirectly tied to the proposed point system changes, but I’ll leave my thoughts about that separately. Before that, there is an issue that I need clarification on.

When you elect to “Ignore” a sentence you get the following warning message:

Ignoring a sentence removes it from your queue.

OK, that’s clear.

You’ll no longer see it

Also clear.

and it won’t count towards your progress.

Wait, what??

This is my question; does “won’t count toward your progress” just mean in relation to that specific answer (though I can’t see why you should be penalised in ANY way if you elect to ignore a question, since you had to answer it correctly to get to the Ignore option in the first place), or does it mean that “you lose any points that you ever acquired from the question”? (Not to mention “what is the impact on your sentences played and mastered counts?”)

Where am I going with this?

To date the only questions I’ve ignored are ones which elevate crudeness to a new level. This isn’t out of prudishness (in fact I like that CM doesn’t overly censor things), but I sometimes work through some CM questions with a retired teacher on Skype. She is a refined lady of a certain age, and I don’t want to expose her to questions regarding, for example - how shall I put this - physical interpersonal relations which are conducted via a rear entrance. Questions like those I dump as soon as I see them and I could not care less if I lose 8 points as a result.

However there are other questions that I WANT to ignore, specifically ones which I’ve really “done to death” and which there is no possibility of me ever forgetting. But not if it’s going to penalise me a couple of hundred points (depending on how many times I’ve seen them in the last couple of years) every time I do it.

For example, a simple one word sentence like Perché? in Italian or Warum? in German. (To be clear, I’m not just talking about “one-worders”; there are also (for example) common expressions that I use myself on a regular basis when using the language.) At some point those sentences don’t add any value and I would like to add them to my “Ignore” stack not because they are bad sentences, just because unless I develop complete amnesia about the language I’ll never forget them. I therefore don’t need to see them in 180 days, 365 days, or 1000 days. Nor do I need them cluttering up my review stack 3 years from now (or whenever). However I obviously want to do that without penalty for the work that I did in the past to learn them.

If I can safely ignore the sentences without penalty (and that includes to my “Sentences Played” and “Sentences Mastered” count), then eventually my review stack will be refined down to words that I either have a problem with, or rarely use and need reminding of.


I’m not sure what happens with your cumulative points for those sentences, but I know ignored sentences disappear from your number of sentences played. I didn’t like that at all since I aim to play all the sentences available in my main languages, so I stopped using the Ignored function. Like you I’d prefer to use it for very simple sentences there’s no value in ever seeing again.

To me ignored shouldn’t equal “never played”, just “never see again”.


I just sacrificed one sentence of French to check what happened. My points didn’t go down, so it looks like you’re safe there, but my sentences played and mastered did. If no historical stats changed, I’d use that function much more often.


I need to break the quote in two to stop it from being auto-removed, since it’s all relevant:

Agreed. I didn’t do the sort of test that you did mainly because I know that the numbers are always out of whack; the dashboard, language leaderboard and profile points counts all tend to be out of sync in my experience. That’s an observation rather than a criticism; I suspect that the underlying tables are denormalised because real time calculation would kill the server. That being the case there is probably a “true-up” process that runs periodically to bring the numbers into line.

(If I’m correct about that it will most likely run at midnight UTC, which means that I never see it. I generally do my first set of questions when I get up around 4am my time and will pick away at it when I have a spare moment or need a refresher break from work right up until I go to bed at 9pm local. Midnight UTC sits in between there so my numbers are ALWAYS out of sync.)

My concern is the possibility that we may cop the hit in that true-up (so we’d never see it coming before it hit), but that’s probably one we’ll have to leave for Mike to look at.

I agree completely that this is a bar to the use of it; like you I’ve avoided it for that reason. (Or more precisely because of my concern about the potential of that reason. It’s a question that has been on my mind for a while now.) If anyone used it the way I want to, and it doesn’t change to a “no penalty” model, then they could in theory end up a few years down the line with several million points from 3,500 sentences played. This would not at all reflect the reality of their time here.

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You don’t lose any points, but it is removed from your queue, so your “sentences played”, “sentences mastered” (if it’s mastered), and “total sentences” counts for that collection will change.

The rationale is that if it wasn’t removed from your queue and it wasn’t mastered, you’d end up with 99/100 sentences mastered (as an example if the collection had 100 sentences and you ignored one sentence that wasn’t yet mastered). This scenario seemed like it’d be frustrating and unclear what was happening, so we opted to remove the sentence from your queue altogether.

This is a good point - we’ll have to give it some more consideration. And thanks for all the feedback / letting us know how you’re using the ignore button. It was originally intended for sentences you didn’t want to play at all, as opposed to sentences you’ve played through but are now too easy. Perhaps for 100% Mastered sentences we can add a button like “Punt” or similar that sets the next review to 10 years or something like that in the future so it stays in your queue but won’t be coming up for review anytime soon.

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I like that idea! Had to look up “punt” :wink:

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