Judging from your upvotes, I'd say no?
I'm a native English speaker, and I've used them interchangeably all my life. But on the other hand, sometimes I make mistakes like that.
Why do I need the article "the" here? I thought that without a classifier, it meant temples in general.
As a native English speaker I'd take Duolingo's accepted answer (...only eats at the pagoda) to mean that the cook doesn't eat anywhere else but I know that someone is sure to point out that it literally means that when he is at the pagoda he does nothing but eat (only eats at vs. eats only at). This makes me wonder what the Vietnamese actually means.
Do we not use 'ở trong' to say 'in the'. e.g. Có nhiều người ở trong phòng (there are many people in the room). Similarly, could we not use 'Người đầu bếp chỉ ăn ở trong chùa.' to mean 'the chef only eats IN THE temple'.
I'm not sure of the meaning in Vietnamese. But I think "The cook only eats at temple" should be an excepted answer as I understand the Vietnamese.
My comment was about the literal meaning of the English, not the Vietnamese. Strictly speaking, "only eats at the temple" should mean "do nothing except eat when at the temple" while "eats only at the temple" clearly means "eats nowhere except at the temple. " English speakers often do not make this distinction but, if the latter is the actual meaning of the Vietnamese, Duo should at least accept the clearer, more logical English as correct.
no, not in this case. the expression "ăn chùa" does exist but it means to eat (or drink, use sthg) without paying. it comes from the fact that you can eat free at pagoda, and just give whatever you want. it has a certain pejorative connotation nowadays, because it means someone might abuse others to get free stuff.