Yes, please report it. For some reason DL seem to persistently refuse to accept that many collective nouns can be treated as plurals in British English.
Those not familiar with this fact might like to read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_and_British_English#Formal_and_notional_agreement
If anyone is interested, there is a discussion on the word "family" in American and Commonwealth English here: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1105624
TLDR - British English considers "the family" a plural noun (the family, they, send), but American English considers it only as a singular noun (the family, it, sends).
Just for the sake of some relevant trivia, in English there is an archaic verb "to manumit" which means "to hand over" or "to transfer in person". It seems obvious that "mandare" and "manumit" come from the same source, but the meaning of "mandare" has been widely expanded while "manumit" is no longer used.
It does not seem obvious to me. Manumission refers to the freeing of slaves, and come from the Latin verb 'mittere', to send, and the noun 'manus', meaning 'hand'. I would have thought that 'mandare', on the other hand, derived from the Latin verb 'mando', which gives us such English words as 'command' and 'mandatory'.
In Latin, "mando" is the 1st person singular indicative of "mandare", literally "to give into hand", which is the root of both Mandate/mandatory and command. Thus, it's not a different verb at all, but the same verb which is the root for the Italian "mandare" (to send).
At the root level, "Transmit" means "to send across". At the root level, "manumit" means "to send by hand", and "mandare" means "to give by hand".
"Manumit" comes from Latin "manus" (hand) and "mittere" (to send OR to set free).
"Mandare" comes from Latin "manus" (hand) and "dare" (to give).
So, "to send by hand" and "to give by hand", both with the root "manus". Seems like an obvious connection to me, but you have to look at the precise roots to make that assessment.
Also, I have seen usages of "manumit" other than in reference to slavery, such as "the manumission of documents of lading (shipping)", which means the handing over of documents by hand from one person to the next and nothing else.
While "manumission" came to be synonymous with "the freeing of slave(s)", it is not etymologically limited to that definition, but has become so interconnected with it that the original other meaning is lost and clearly not worth using because of the evil connotation. But then, we're discussion word roots, not current or recent meaning.
I believe, but am not certain, that the "manu" part of manumitting of slaves had to do with the signing of a document given into hand by the slaver to the freeman as evidence of freedom. Literally, the sending by hand of a document of freedom.
On collective nouns in British English: They can be considered as either singular or plural, according to the meaning and context. If acting as a single body, then the verb should be singular (eg "The government has decided"); if acting as individuals, then the verb should be plural (eg "Parliament are debating . . .").
As a native English speaker (from UK) I think this is a bit debatable. In English the family can be considered as both a unit (singluar) and as a collection of individuals (plural). Therefore the translation 'the family send' would be acceptable.... However, I accept that, in Italian, it is singular and that the only truly correct translation is 'send'. I've fallen foul of this one before. Case of not learning very fast from my mistakes. Ho hum!
Absolutely right. I put 'the family send' and got it marked wrong. They were correcting my English not my Italian and I'm a native speaker. I don't care if someone can quote a rule from a grammar book, 'family'' can be treated as plural or singular and to my English ear plural sounds way more natural
That is not correct. As you will see from the discussion above, collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural in English. In American English it is more common to treat them as singular and in British/Commonwealth English it is more common to treat them as plural but there are exceptions in both dialects, often depending on the context. To be consistent with their general policy of accepting both British and American answers DL should therefore accept both.
For some reason they refuse to do this, which is really annoying for native BE speakers, who regularly find their, perfectly correct, answers marked wrong.
"is sending" is not a gerund and does not contain a gerund, but rather it is a form or mood of the present tense.
Gerunds are essentially verbs which are turned into nouns by adding "-ing" to the verb, and are distinguish by the context of the sentence. A gerund does not have an actual or implied "subject" - it's a noun, and thus grammatically can't have a subject.
Verb example: "I am sending cookies to him" Gerund: "Sending him cookies is a good idea." Here, "sending" is the "good idea".
Languages other than English seem to use the infinitive where English speakers usually but not always use gerunds. There is an English phrase, "To give is better than to receive." In gerund form, that would be "Giving is better than receiving."
Use of the infinitive in English is a more formal way of speaking/writing, so that thoughts which are deemed more important or more profound sometimes use the infinitive to give the phrase a greater sense of significance.
But in english, you'd say "the family send their love", and not the family sends its love. Or, the family were all asking after you, and not the family was asking after you. You might say: the whole family was up in arms, but you've qualified "family" with a singular word, "whole".
My translation of the above was "The family send the cookies" and DL rejected it giving the "correct" answer "The family mails the cookies". It is true postal services can offer this "sending" but they are not unique in this. There are other methods of "sending". The importance of the action is the "sending" not the means of doing it in my view. Any suggestions?
Note this from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/collective_noun A collective noun can be used with either a singular verb (my family was always hard-working) or a plural verb (his family were disappointed in him). Generally speaking, in Britain it is more usual for collective nouns to be followed by a plural verb, while in the US the opposite is true. I have reported "The family send the biscuits" as a correct translation
Unfortunately, I find Duolingo caters to American ways of spelling etc.. Why does it first opt for this? Us Britons spell or say things differently & this should be respected & always allowed. If I spell or say things the way British people do & it is accepted (it is sometimes not) it gives another correct solution spelt the way Americans do, this is completely unnecessary. It does not do the same if I spell it the American way. America is not the only place on planet earth.
Yes indeed, hardly appropriate for two packets of Oreos or similar.
PS I am singularly impressed by your progress in Welsh. I am really struggling with it as not being a Romantic or Germanic based language I can find nothing to hook the new vocabulary onto. I am also not spending enough time which is entirely my and my Italian tutor's fault.
No. Please look at other posts here on the subject. In British English collective nouns, such as 'family' are often treated as plural. This is a well-documented difference between the two dialects of English that Duolongo seems to consistently ignore. See for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_grammatical_differences#Subject-verb_agreement
'Families' is, of course, plural.
As a British born english speaking person. I should perhaps have said that 'the family' is more likely to be treated as singular in spoken english and as you say 'the families' you agree is plural. This in itself differentiates between the two otherwise we would only need the word family if it is the same singular and plural. So my answer treating it as singular was correct 'send'. I have reported it.
I said, 'are often treated as plural'. In British English both the plural and singular treatment are correct. I am not trying to say that the singular treatment is wrong.
I am sure you will have heard things like, 'The family ARE coming to stay', where 'family' is treated as a plural. You might well also hear, 'My family IS well respected', where 'family' is treated as a singular. Both treatments are correct in BrE.
The in Italian, 'famiglia' is always treated as a singular and in AmE the plural treatment of most collective nouns is considered incorrect.
The problem is that DL marks the plural treatment of collective nouns, like 'family' as incorrect English. This is extremely annoying to BrE speakers.
Well, strictly the noun is just "singular", but the verb is third person singular, which requires -s or -es ending in present simple:
- I send
- you send
- he/she/it send
- we send
- you send
- they send
This is the general rule. For collective nouns like "family", some varieties of English and some contexts require/allow third person plural verbs. For this reason it might also be used as "The family send". But this is contrary to the general rule, as collective nouns also have plural forms such as "families".