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https://www.duolingo.com/aegray

When to report / English strictness

aegray
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As I go through this course, there are some things that are obvious to report (my answer was purely a rephrasing of an accepted answer), but I've run into another type of answer.

This is when the accepted answer reveals small problems I have with my English (embarrassing to admit this). For example, one problem had something like "the book is lying on the table" and I put "the book is laying on the table." This has happened a few times, where I mentally know exactly what the Russian sentence means, but I make a small error on the English side. My question is - would the course creators prefer these still be reported? Or should the answers only accept strictly correct English?

So far I've only been reporting ones that are more ambiguous, like when the grammar rule is open to interpretation or there is not fixed agreement on it, but wasn't sure.

2 years ago

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/buenotc
buenotc
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@aegray, at least you're honest to admit your limitations. One of the mods did mentioned that people do submit suggestions that are grammatically incorrect. I think accepting incorrect grammar does a disservice to everyone because it gives people the false sense of success.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tom_Adams101
Tom_Adams101Plus
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That's a super interesting case, actually. And it alls comes down to whether Duo wants to be prescriptive (take languages as people say is should be spoken/written) or descriptive (takes language as it actually is spoken/written.

I hear sentences like "It was laying on the table" on a daily basis, in normal conversation. Native speakers say it, and natives understand it, which is basically makes it acceptable English by definition, where the purpose of language is to communicate.

I say if "gotten" (which I've seen in several exercises) can be considered acceptable enough for inclusion, you should definitely fight for "laying".

Of course, if this were a English for Russophones course, I'd argue the opposite, since it's always best to learn the standards first and the regional variants later!

2 years ago