"My son is starting first grade."
Translation:Мой сын идёт в первый класс.
"Starting" is not the same as идёт в either change to goes to first grade or allow начинает to be correct
Идёт is not an iterative verb (that would be хо́дит), so it means an action that is done once. I.e. it means he's starting it.
«Мой сын начина́ет ходи́ть в пе́рвый класс» should be accepted too (if it's not, please report it). «Начина́ет» without infinitive would sound very unnatural.
I think that the answer Мой сын пошел в первый класс is also correct. We usually say it this way. Идет means "he is going", ходит means "studying", начинает sounds weird. I'm telling you as a native speaker
As a native Russian speaker it is so frustrating to not get an answer on Duolingo correct because I am translating something verbatim and not necessarily in the "spirit" of the sentence (or vice versa). in this case I wrote: мой сын начинает первый класс. Gah.
Came in here to complain about the same thing that's already being discussed, so... instead I'll point out what a huge missed opportunity this is to actually teach about the language. Because when it's just a phrase to translate and the literal translation is "wrong" all I'm learning is to memorize something. The idea of verbs that aren't iterative is alien to me. (I'm not saying they're not lurking in English, just that I don't know about them if they are.) It makes this one feel like a trick question, like there was no way I could ever get it. The discussion is great, as far as it goes. There's just so much lost potential with Duo's approach.
And it doesn't help that the hint for "starting" just reinforces the literal translation, which, as I now know, is incorrect. More care must be taken in setting these up, or it feels like the course is trying to make me fail.
This start vs. begin issue came up with my Russian language pal on HelloLingo. It gets very weird in English. We will start machinery, never begin it. We will start reading a book at the beginning, but beginning readers often begin at the end. We might begin at the start, or start at the beginning.
Then it gets formal: The movie will start at eight but the opera will begin promptly at eight-thirty.
When it comes to my son, who will begin attending the first grade class at school in September (odd construction, sorry), I would most likely say (in Canadian), "My son is starting grade one in September." It sounds incomplete without a time reference.
After all that confusion (and there is more contained in this thread) I am still unsure of what a father might say about his son who is just beginning to attend school and will start in the first grade.
How would native speakers express this thought?