"Have you boxed" sounded odd to me, so I translated as "Have you been boxing?" but it was marked wrong. Would that also be an acceptable translation, or is the tense just wrong?
Ah - thank you. I've just been using the Android app rather than the website, and haven't seen any of the tips & grammatical explanations till now. I've just come across them in trying to follow up on your comment & it's a lot clearer.
It's really unfortunate that the mobile apps don't provide access to the tips and notes -- someone who doesn't think of visiting the website in their mobile browser may not even know of their existence.
But so much is explained there!
(On the other hand, iOS app users don't even have access to sentence discussions -- they're really missing out on any explanations.)
It's worse than that, even - I'm on a phone, not a tablet, so the website looks identical to the app unless/until I change the 'User agent' to 'Desktop'. It's only because I looked at it on an actual desktop pc that I realized they were there at all :(
Still - found 'em now :)
Without any context Have you boxed? is the nearest translation. In a certain context you have to use one of the 18 tenses of the English language properly according to the grammar rules.
Not necessarily, I think - just a situation where the boxing is relevant to the present situation.
"Wow, you have a black eye. Have you boxed?" (implying, perhaps, "earlier this day" or "recently" but not necessarily "ever")
OK, this was my problem with the translation. If the question had the word "ever" in it, I'd use the Present Perfect in English (Have you boxed). However, in the situation you describe, in English I would automatically use the Present Perfect Continuous (Wow! What have you done to your eye? Have you been boxing?). The thing is, you can't always separate the grammar and syntax from the meaning. My instinct with respect to the English is that in this example we're interested in the activity that caused the injury, and an activity naturally takes up a space of time. If we were only/primarily interested in the result, we'd use the Present Perfect (Wyt ti wedi ymolchi? Have you washed? i.e. Are you clean?). In some instances we might choose either: I've washed the dishes (so they're clean) vs. I've been washing the dishes (which is how I've occupied myself usefully while all you were doing was watching TV). But, clearly, different languages deal with this collision between Tense/Mood/Aspect markers and semantics in different ways, and it may be that in the same context we would use a continuous tense in English, but in Welsh one normally better translated as the ordinary Present Perfect. However, if that is the case, then I'd suggest the question would work better if we (a) accepted the translation with the continuous tense (but that might make the usual function of the tense unclear to learners); (b) added the word "ever" in both languages, if that works; or (c) used a different verb, where this issue doesn't arise.
(Native English speaker, learning Welsh for the first time: TEFL-qualified, teach English to adults; varying levels of knowledge of French, Catalan, Greek, Old English, Romani, linguistics etc.)
Welsh tenses map very well onto English tenses for the most part, certainly more than those of many other languages, but occassionally problems arise. There's no tense problem here though. Essentially:
Dych chi wedi bocsio? = "Have you boxed?"
Dych chi wedi bod yn bocsio? = "Have you been boxing?"
The problem is, as you've alluded to, the verb chosen. Dych chi wedi bocsio?/"Have you boxed?" are both perfectly good, grammatical sentences - it's just that it's hard, though not impossible, to think of a sentence where we'd say that. Sentences in Duolingo are almost totally void of context. Sentences like this sound weird in isolation but you probably wouldn't bat an eyelid given the correct context.
Due to this isolating and consequently sometimes confusing practice of Duolingo, I'd say suggestions (b) or (c) are good ones. They'd mean people would concentrate less on the awkwardness of a context-less sentence's meaning and more on learning the grammar correctly. So:
(a) Not possible. This is a different tense in Welsh (see above).
(b) Could use erioed "ever": Dych chi erioed wedi bocsio? = "Have you ever boxed?", o'r blaen "before": Dych chi wedi bocsio o'r blaen? = "Have you boxed before?" or both.
(c) Dych chi wedi pacio/gorffen/bwyta? = "Have you packed/finished/eaten?" etc.
Hope that helps.