@okpeery - re: kittens does not fit?
Hola okpeery. I was reading the comments for this exercise sentence and I noticed that your question started a pretty long thread.
Lisagnipura & yarjka make good cases that kittens is not a good choice for interpreting "gatas".
I often mention one of our fellow duo users by the name of lago. lago often makes the case that we should not add meaning to our target language interpretations by adding words with meaning that are not present in the root language exercise sentence.
In this case, the root sentence is a question which specifically ask "Do you have small cats?"
One of the techniques of critical thinking can quickly show us that kittens is not the correct choice for interpreting the Spanish phrase "gatas pequeña".
Critical thinking demands that we determine the answers to the two following questions;
Q1: Is it true that kittens are all small cats?
A1: Yes. It is true.
Q2: Is it true that all small cats are kittens?
A2: No. It is not true that all small cats are kitten. Some mature cats are just small.
Because the answes to both questions are not true, then it becomes obvious that using the word kitten in our translation would add a restriction on the description of the cats that was not present in the root language question.
We could point out that some information has in fact been lost in the translation "Do you have small cats?" because we knew that the root was asking about small female cats, which gets dropped in the target.
But the reason I feel so compelled to comment on this question is because of user EmuLampen reply which is as follows:
"I used kittens on a whim and it was accepted. Aug 8 2014"
This brings up an issue that I see as a fundamental problem with duo as a learning platform. Although we can see that not all small cats are kittens, this poor translation has become accepted as a correct answer. And that is bad for learning.
I believe the reason that wrong answers can eventually become regarded as correct answers by Duolingo is a byproduct of the machine learning algorithm which Duo uses.
My guess is that Duolingo accumulates all answers (right or wrong, reported or not) and then uses a statical algorithm on them.
Them algorithm is eritten in such a way that can eventually lead to a wrong answer being graded as correct after a critical number of user have inputed it into the database.
The logic behind the algorithm is that the majority of users can't all be wrong.
But since the vast majority of us users are just learning Spanish, the truth is that sometimes a lot of us just are.
It would seem that the curiousity that leads us to just check if duo actually accepts wrong answers can influence duo in a manner that can increase the likelihood that it will.
And I've been guilty of this plenty of times. It's just human nature.
Hey WilsonLisa. :-)
I'm not real sure how to begin addressing this issue... I hope "Ç" is not the "Spanish question mark" you're talking about. It's actually a "C" with some kind of accent mark. I think it's used in French, but I've never seen it used in Spanish.
I use proper punctuation all the time and never get marked wrong for it. Actually, my own experience suggests that DuoLingo ignores punctuation marks altogether. But I would definitely encourage you to continue practicing with punctuation. :-) I've included an example conversation below so anyone else can see what it should look like.
- Hola, señor. Buenos días.
- Buenos días, niño. ¿Cómo te llamas?
- Me llamo Juan Pablo.
- Mucho gusto, Juan Pablo. ¿Cuántos años tienes?
- Tengo cinco años. Hoy es mi cumpleaños.
- ¡Feliz cumpleaños, mi amiguito! Aquí, tengo un regalo para ti.
- ¡Cien pesos mexicanos! ¡Gracias, señor!
- ¡De nada! ... Tengo que ir ahora, pero espero que tengas un buen día.
- Gracias, señor. ¡Adiós!
Edit: I'll be happy to give a lingot to the first person who correctly translates the entire conversation. ;-) Hint: "Tengo cinco años" should not be translated as "I have five years" because that's not really what we say in English.
Hi, sir. Good day. Good day, child (or son). What is your name? My name is Jan Pablo. Pleased to meet you Juan Pablo. How old are you? I am five years old. Today is my birthday. Happy birthday, my little friend! Here, I have a gift for you. One hundred Mexican pesos! Thank you, sir! You are welcome! I have to go now, but I hope you have a good day. Thank you, sir. Goodbye!
So, "tengo," is used, just like in English, for, "I have <some item>," and, "I have to <perform some action>?" If so, that is really weird, to me. I was assuming that, "tener," was only used for having some item or condition. I suppose it does make sense if you allow for an implied meaning of, "I have (a need) to <perform some action>." Of course it never really occured to me to question this strange construction in English because it just was that way all my life.
Kama410 yes. Don't try to translate word for word. The construction: conjugated form of tener+que+infinitive will mean to have to/must do something. There's also hay+que, which means generally one must. For example, one (or we sometimes say you meaning a person in general) one must study in order to learn= hay que estudiar para aprender.
"I have to do the homework= tengo que hacer la tarea"
It looks like that would mean, "I have that to do the homework."
I think I have a bit of studying to do before I really understand that one. Thank you for your explanation, though.
But, if I see, "<tener> que <verb>," it always means, "I have <to whatever>," and the verb should be (pardon my ignorance here) in the, "to <verb>," tense? Like, "Tengo que ir," or "Tengo que bebir," or, "Tengo que caminar," right?
Hola isa248530. Pues, cuando está traduciendo el verbo tener, hay dos formas. Una es la forma británica y la otra, americana.
En Inglaterra, se usa las palabras "have got" juntos. Por ejemplo aquí -
"Have you got any small cats?"
"Yes, I have got some small cats " (Si, tengo unos cuantos gatos pequeños)
En los estados unidos, es -
"Do you have any small cats?" (Utilizando el verbo auxiliar en la pregunta)
"Yes, I have some small cats"
Ambos frases son entendidas en ambos países, pero la frase británica suena un poco raro en los estados, y la frase americana un poco raro en Inglaterra.
Espero que esto te ayude!
^^Emu.. Estoy completamente de acuerdo. Creo que duolingo no reconoce algunas frases británicas, y por eso mencioné solo el ejemplo de inglés de los EEUU. Pero tienes toda la razón. Muy buena explicación. (Aparte de la gramática, pero ¡todos cometemos errores!)
Y, parece que español e inglés británico tienen mucho en común, gramaticalmente. Es interesante...
Hola, soy española, y me aconsejaron hacer el árbol de Duolingo al contrario, para poder asimilar mejor la forma de pensar en inglés. Por ejemplo, la colocación de los adjetivos. En este árbol, sí estoy dándome cuenta más, de que los adjetivos van antes que los sustantivos. En el árbol de español a inglés, no te dan ejemplos así, o por lo menos, un español, no se da cuenta de eso.