"Él dejó la comida en mi casa."
Translation:He left the food at my house.
I don't completely know the answer to this, but at least when Duolingo uses "the" in the sentence, they expect the article. There are also special cases, like the days off the week, that always require them. Not sure if there's a rule to help besides memorizing these.
This is true. I saw this too. Duo sometimes (but alas, not always) recognizes when English does not use a "the", which is the case in your example "Spring is here". We would not usually say, "The spring is here". However, when it's more of a choice, and it would sound good with or without the article, I've found that it's safest to inclde the article to match Duo's translations.
Yes, I have noticed that when the noun is at the beginning of the sentence (or subject?) that the article is used in spanish ( LA Primavera) but not necessarily used in english ( ie Spring) but when it is not at the beginning ( or the object?) it is not used ( as much anyways) and if it IS it has to be used in the english translation ( ie THE food as opposed to just "food")...maybe this is just something I am imagining but...
Helen, For me, past tense is a general term for any past tense, whereas preterite / pretérito is the simple past. Simple means only one word involved, not two as in compound tenses. The preterite tense is not easy, and all the most used ones are irregular and just have to be memorized.