"I have a cat because I love cats."
Translation:יש לי חתול כי אני אוהב חתולים.
I was taught both that בגלל has negative connotations and that it's poor form to use "בגלל ש" so didn't select the option with that for translating "I have a cat because I love cats." Why is a not-fully correct, but sort of roughly correct answer listed here?
That's interesting, someone in another discussion said the exact same thing yesterday, and I don't think I've ever been told that בגלל has negative connotations! I've been using it as neutral by whole life.
As for בגלל ש, it's formally incorrect and I wouldn't use it on an exam. But it's in very common daily usage, enough to make it a part of spoken language. It's sort of incorrect in the same way that, in English, a preposition at the end of a sentence is something up with which we should not put. You know, you are told in class never to use it, and then you go out and use it anyway.
The "no ending with preposition" is a myth though. Actually concoctions like "up with which we should not put" seem to be used by grammarians to demonstrate the absurdity of this "rule".
A better way to compare formal English to colloquial English would be "who" vs "whom" as objective pronoun.
My point is that these rules tend to be absurd, but I agree your analogy is better.
WRT negative connotations, yes, I was definitely taught בזכות as the term to use if there were positive connotations, and בגלל if there are negative. If the sentence here were neutral I could understand using בגלל, but since loving cats is presumably positive, בגלל would have been marked wrong by my ulpan teacher.
WRT בגלל ש, does DuoLingo give the option of having the sentence with בגלל ש accepted if someone types it in, but not including it on the list of sentences for the exercises in which you need to select all the correct translations? That seems like a reasonable response to the "it's not actually correct, but it's common usage."
As far as I know, בגלל is neutral - it can be used either for negative or positive sentences (you can find examples in the Bible for positive uses). There are other negative synonyms - מחמת, מפאת, בעטיו של and others.
Regarding בגלל ש, it's not formally incorrect, see for example here - https://www.safa-ivrit.org/style/biglal.php . I'd also guess it's the second most used word for "because" after "כי" in spoken language.
I understand that בגלל is for reasons that don't have (action) verbs. For example, "I can't talk because I am busy.' - אני לא יכול לדבר בגלל אני אסוק׳'
I am a native speaker and I always use בגלל. Verbs, nouns, abstract, concrete... Btw, busy is עסוק
ll את is used before definite objects. 'cats' is not definite, but if it was 'the cats' you'd indeed add את.
I love cats = אני אוהב חתולים
I love the cats = אני אוהב את החתולים