"We have a lot to do."
Translation:Tenemos mucho que hacer.
Duolingo uses 'trial and error' learning which by definition doesn't involve instruction, only yes you go it right, or no you got it wrong. This is how children learn language initially, and how we train pets. If you don't like it then there are a million language instruction courses thst you can do. Duolingo offers an alternative way if learninh language which is much more fun! It would ruin it if they introduced instruction
As lots of people here have pointed out you need "que" when tener is linked to another verb in the infinitive - so it should be "Tenemos que". Having said that is "Tenemos que hacer mucho" acceptable? i.e "we have to do a lot" as opposed to: "tenemos mucho que hacer" meaning "we have a lot to do"?
I got this wrong but I learned something I sort of knew already but it only now sunk in. When we have conjugated verb (which I think it would always be conjugated) followed by an infinitive verb. Sometimes we have a link, a functional word, a preposition such as 'a' 'de' 'que'. This preposition has to be between the two verbs. And I 'think' the reason we use 'que' here after mucho is because it intensifies the action needed. So it performs two functions - linking verbs and intensity.
You don't always have to have a linking word between a conjugated verb and and infinitive.
Edit: Sorry, I misread your post, I didn't see the "sometimes."
I find it hard to know when I do or do not need a preposition between a conjugated verb and an infinitive. I could use some clear rules for this. There are some verbs that combine with specific words to make phrasal verbs.
TENER + QUE is a way to express obligation. Maybe que doesn't 'intensify,' maybe it simply changes the meaning of the verb tener from "to have" to "to have to." But then that would be, 'we have to do a lot,' which seems to add more obligation than the original sentence.
Yep, I'm still confused.
There is not a clue. People are used to certain verbs coming with a preposition when they grow up with a language, such as "look at", "turn off", "learn about". We are used to different prepositions coming after certain verbs for nouns to follow. We learned them when we were young. We just have to memorize which prepositions come after which verbs for infinitives and which verbs don't need any. Take the time to look at this website that aidan8 was kind enough to provide us with: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/VRBSPREP.HTM
You just have to memorise which verb requires which preposition for different meanings and uses of that verb. Even in English, "we look at, think of, bring up, and pass by" It must be just as confusing to speakers of other languages. "tener" means "to have" and "tener que" means "to have to"
For the dictionary, scroll way down to get past "tener" to "tener que".
In English, "We have a lot to do" and "We have to do a lot" don't mean quite the same thing. My understanding is that tener + que conveys an obligation, which the latter sentence has in English, but the former does not, at least to me. Since the former sentence is the one Duo asked me to translate, I tried "Tenemos mucho a hacer". As is clear from earlier comments, this is not acceptable, but is there another phrasing that would convey a lengthy to-do list without the obligation of tener + que?
I put 'tenemos que mucho hacer'' which is translated as 'we have to do a lot'. I pondered why 'mucho' would be inserted between 'tenemos' and 'que' (note this breaks up the tenemos que which means 'have to') and the best I can come up with is to think of it as 'we have a lot THAT we do'. This may be helpful to some or may be completely wrong. ;)