"The new boys have old dogs."
Translation:Nowi chłopcy mają stare psy.
Why not "starzy psy"? I thought "starzy" was for plural masculine living beings...
While in details it is confusing, rule of thumb could be - does the group include male human being? - if the answer is "yes" - it is usually masculine personal, if the answer is "no" it is usually not masculine personal. there are many exceptions for various reasons.
No, "mieć" takes Accusative.
Maybe you're thinking of some negated sentence? If a verb that took Accusative gets negated, it takes Genitive instead. That's the only case that changes when negated.
That will be it, I've been basing that idea on an example of a negation, I didn't realise it would take a different case if the negation wasn't there - thank you!
Why is "Ci nowi chłopcy mają stara psy." wrong? I'm not totally clear on the meaning of "ci", but I thought it was emphasizing "the" -- these new boys, not some other ones.
We don't have articles in Polish. When you translate a sentence, you generally omit an article, or use a demonstrative when you have a demonstrative in an English sentence.
Yes, that is why I marked BOTH "nowi chłopcy" and "ci nowi chłopcy" as possible translations for "the new boys". Those "mark ALL the correct translation" exercises don't want just the most common translation, but any translation that could ever be correct. But perhaps "ci" is NEVER used to distinguish these specific new boys, as opposed to new boys in general?
In general, ci is a literal translation of these in English. I guess ci can be sometimes translated into the, depending on the context, but in this case, you don't know it (it's a general translation), so you should omit the article. However, I don't understand what you meant by the last sentence. Ci is always used to distinguish some specific group, just like these in English.
Yes, the real issue seems to be "what is the best strategy to use on a Duolingo multiple choice question when the English and the other language do not translate exactly?" And that strategy seems to be different for different Duolingo languages. Some course-writing teams are asking for "what is the most sensible translation", and some are asking for "mark all translations that could, under any extreme circumstances, technically be correct." (Just like, in a real life class, you have to not only learn the course material, but learn the quirks of each teacher's grading.)