I think you are trying to force something that isn't ready to happen yet. It's reminding me of some recent posts in Bex's log (starting here) on difficult grammar areas and leaving them alone for a while when they seem too challenging. Sometimes leaving the tricky bit alone while you continue to work with the language in other ways lets the trouble area loosen up a bit and you're able to make noticeable dents in it at a later time.StringerBell wrote:While working on dopełniarz/genitive case this morning, I got hit by a very big "OMG that's it, I can NOT learnt these f*!&ing case endings, I give up!" Had I attempted to start out with grammar in the beginning, I would be 100% giving up right now. But having invested so much time and energy into this language, I don't want to give up that easily. I can deal with biernik/accusative and narzędnik/instrumental, but dopełniarz/genitive just might just be the nail in the coffin.
For anyone reading this, what was the most frustrating/difficult/impossible grammar concept you had to learn in a foreign language and how did you deal with it?
I would suspect some more exposure (reading/listening) while trying to "notice" the genitive might help the problem get easier, too. Although you've had a lot of exposure already, you haven't had it while equipped with deeper grammar knowledge at the same time.
As for your final question, not just in languages but in any subject area in university or anywhere, when I hit upon a really tricky part that my brain was just not able to solve, I'd get frustrated, feel stupid, but then move on to the next question or reading or subject and come back to the problem the next day or the next (depending on what kind of deadlines I had) or I'd ask people who knew more than I did about it in the hope that they could explain it in a way that would make sense. Sometimes none of that helped, but it usually did. In the cases where it didn't help... leaving it alone for even longer eventually got the problem to seemingly work itself out.
One example with languages that I can think of are possessive pronouns in Swedish: they use a different pronoun in the third person for "his/her" depending on whether the thing that is his or hers is part of the subject or not. If I say, "She and her sister went to the aquarium on Friday" I'd use one pronoun for "her," but if I say "She went to the aquarium with her sister on Friday" now it's a different pronoun for "her." And for the longest time it was like chance whether I'd get it right in my grammar exercises. I was like "...ok " but I moved on to the next lesson and eventually another course and months later when I revisited the topic, it had more or less resolved on its own. I just understood it at that point. And it wasn't about the pronouns: it was about understanding sentence structure, subclauses, subject vs. object, etc. that I'm convinced I could only acquire via more exposure, more work on the language overall.
I guarantee you're going to understand this genitive business at some point, but it'll probably largely happen while you're not explicitly working on it.