"He ordered the players to wait."
Translation:Li ordonis al la ludantoj atendi.
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First of all, ordoni is transitive verb, i.e. it can have a direct object. So you ask for an accusative: Kion li ordonis? This position is taken by an infinitive (atendi). Thus the receiver of the order has to be the indirect object. In Esperanto this is realised with the preposition al, other languages may use the dative case here.
The preposition al can be used with nearly every verb where it does make sense that the action is directed to someone or to something.
More useful than "what Duolingo 'also' accepts" is, what are the example phrases in PIV. That's not always the end of the discussion, but in this case, it's a good next step.
- la kuracisto ordonis al mi ripozon,
- ordonis min al la lito;
- li ordonis al la malpura spirito eliri;
- ordonu al li, ke li ne babilu;
So the person receiving the order is often, but not always, marked by al.