Doubles of Supermemo items

Achab   Tuesday, November 16, 2004, 18:01 GMT

This is a question for experienced Supermemo users, I’m quite new to the software.

How do you deal with “doubles”? I mean, let’s say I’m reading a book and I find a word that I don’t know. I add it to my Supermemo collection. 37 pages later I found the same word that I don’t know. Maybe I remember I added it to my collection, so I go ahead with my reading but... what if I don’t remember I already encountered this word and added it to Supermemo?

I could directly add it to my collection, but that way I would create the double of a word that is already there, which is annoying.

I could check if the word is already among my items (is there a way to check this?), but wouldn’t it be time-consuming and boring to do this all the time?

Does this make sense?

Best wishes,
Jacob   Tuesday, November 16, 2004, 18:53 GMT
I make items that include the words in context so I never truly get a double... the two items reinforce the same word, but they give connections of that word to other, different words. Having the same word in a few different contexts makes super strong, useful memories for me, and I can practice using the right form of the word, too.

For instance Hungarian I might (I do!) have two separate items:

1. (He pours) magabol a szitkot.


2. A tobbi osztalyok (poured) magukbol a fiukat.

I get to practice deducing the right form of the word from the context and I know that both "fiu" and "szitok" are objects this verb can be legitimately applied to.
Maek   Tuesday, November 16, 2004, 18:59 GMT
In that case I rather always add a word once more even if I have it in my SM collection.

It's simple, the word appears often enough so it's an important word and if you don't remember its meaning you should meet it more often :)
So, I don't mind 'double or more entries' in my SM Collection - that's even better for my English.
Tom   Wednesday, November 17, 2004, 02:33 GMT
In practice, I normally knew if I already had a word in my SuperMemo collection. Occasionally, I'd do a quick search to make sure.

Sentence items eliminate this problem for the reasons described by Jacob.

You shouldn't add the same item twice. It confuses the SuperMemo algorithm.