My son can tell the time ! There is no "the" in the options if one says "my son can tell time" where i am from people would think my son is Nostradamus and could predict the lottery results next week !
Yea, in my area i don't think we say "tell the time" it's always been "tell time"
And if we ask for the time we usually ask "what time is it?" or "can you tell me what time it is?" with the 'it' not a 'the' noting a specific time.
It was quite difficult for me since in Spanish the phrase is "leer la hora" = ("read the hour"), another possible literal translation for "die Uhr lesen"
I've learnt something today. Some people "tell time", a construction I have never seen before. It does not appear to be a UK form, so I imagine it is predominantly an American one.
It is 'the time' not just 'time'. Dislike American tendancy to drop articles. 'In branch' shudder
Well I do know it is common to say "My son can tell time." But I've never heard "In branch." instead of "In the branch."I am from Missouri, but I'm not to far down south so maybe it is common down there :)
Well, I'm personally not too fond of dropping the subject or misspellings: (Tell me, WHO? "dislikes American tend
ency to . . . ")
Likewise, it drives me mad. I've heard expressions such as "write me" and "you got mail". Write you what? Is that "write to me", "write me a letter", "write me an email" or something else entirely? As for "you got mail", my reply would be "yes, I know, I have received a lot of it throughout my life. I expect you ate food and you drank water at some point too."
Language is a code, which, when applied correctly can be used to communicate thoughts, ideas and information from one being to another, but used incorrectly can lead to all sorts of confusions and potential trouble, even danger. I do hope that when the president finally gets around to making "America great again" he includes a total reform of their current educational system...
well it should not be accepted, because it's a kind of nonsense. I am not native English speaker, but i doubt that anyone would speak in that manner. I reported that anyway as a wrong translation
Care to elaborate?
As a native English speaker, I find it makes perfect sense. It's not like it's an idiomatic sentence that loses a lot of information in the translation. "Reading a clock" is synonymous with "telling time".
Could you make an argument that the use of "telling time" is more colloquial than "reading a clock"? Probably. Does it invalidate the above translation and make it incorrect. Nope.
As i said, i am not native English speaker, so i did not claim specifically that it was wrong. I just said, that i had never heard anyone saying it in everyday speech. I have found this source and since you claim it has perfect sense i must admit i was wrong, although i still think it's better, or if I must to say more natural, to stick with sentence provided by DL... http://www.wikihow.com/Read-a-Clock
"Tell time" is idiom. To be verbose: "My son is able to ascertain the time from reading the face of a clock or watch."
No, "tell the time" is not an idiom, it is a straightforward sentence.
The word "time" has more than one definition, (see https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/tell if you are unsure of this). The most commonly used is "Communicate information to someone in spoken or written words", but it can also be used to mean "Decide or determine correctly or with certainty", for example "I could tell by his face that he was not having a good day" etc.
So you see that "tell the time" simply means "to be able to know or perceive, by observation, what the time is."
In this particular sentence, we will generally infer that the speaker is referring to a young child who has learned to read a clock face but this combination of words could also be expanded to something like "my son is the chief navigator on board a ship and he can tell the time by the position of the stars and the moon."
"Tell" can also be used as a noun to describe an unconscious physical reaction, often on the face of a poker player, that reveals their attempted deception.
"Tell time", however, is not an idiom. It's just wrong, end of story.
In English, at a certain point, common usage becomes "correct" usage; "tell time" is more common than "tell the time":
But that's not really the point. You have correctly identified the definition of "tell" that pertains to "tell time". But all idioms do not have to be divorced from the plain meaning of the component words. "Idiom" per the Oxford Dictionary can also mean:
A form of expression natural to a language, person, or group of people.
What you seem to be hung up on is the use (or disuse) of "the". But "time" can be uncountable and thus if my son can ascertain the time in general--and not just at this particular moment--then he can "tell time". Just as one can "see water" as well as "see the water" or "eat food" as well as "eat the food". Subtle differences between the two, but omitting the "the" does not make it wrong.
Personally, I believe that as Duolingo is a language learning programme then, the most 'correct' form of English language ought to be practiced. Therefore, ''My son can tell the time.'', should be the translation.
"Tell time" or "Tell the time" is the normal / usual way to say in English that one is able to determine what time it is.