"The boy finds the road."
Translation:Το αγόρι βρίσκει τον δρόμο.
I thought 'το' as in the hints at the start of this exercise, it says that neutral accusative stays as 'το' or 'τα' for the direct object, only changing to 'στο' or 'στα' for the indirect version? The 'strengthen' exercise here gives both 'το' and 'τον' as correct though...
ο δρόμος is masculine, not neuter, so according to the current spelling rules it should be τον δρόμο in the accusative case.
According to the ones I learned, it would be το δρόμο as the -ν of the masculine accusative used to be dropped before some sounds including δ.
The course isn't (yet) entirely consistent in this respect -- it "should" probably teach the new version but many sentences were added in the old spelling. In many cases, both spellings are accepted in English-to-Greek translations, but unfortunately also not completely consistently.
In multiple-choice questions, you sometimes have to pick both spellings as well: the old-style spelling (if that's how the sentence was originally entered, which is not easy to change) and the new-style spelling (which was added as an alternative later).
At some point, a new version of the course should fix these inconsistencies but it's not a matter of weeks to prepare that, I'm afraid.
So, the situation is this:
- In speech and in writing, most native speakers drop the ν in τον unless the first letter of the next word is a vowel or a plosive consonant (γκ, κ, μπ, ντ, ξ, π, τ, ψ)
- Greek sticklers for grammar do not approve of this
- The government/education system has changed its mind a couple of times over the years over whether dropping the nu is an acceptable practice or not. The current "official" rule is that the nu should be retained all the time, regardless of what letter comes next. This rule is largely ignored by native speakers. And many native speakers went to school during a time when it was "officially" OK to drop the nu
- Therefore, there's a bit of confusion amongst Greek speakers about what to do with the nu, especially when it comes to official contexts or when teaching foreigners. This Greek course on Duo was created by a few different people who had different approaches, hence the inconsistent treatment of τον across the course
- The new tree which is being worked on has a more consistent approach, and has the retained nu version as the best translation in all cases, but with the dropped nu version as an accepted alternative. Aside from being in line with the "official" usage rules, this does make it a bit easier for foreign learners to learn accusative case
Hope that clears things up for you.
spdl79, thank you for your thorough explanation. It is imperative that in the new Duo tree, the "ν" of "τον" for the masculine singular accusative be kept. It doesn't matter if some native speakers were taught differently and they drop it. It is essential for foreigners to learn the accusative case correctly.
6 questions ago 'the road' was 'τον δρόμο'. 8 questions ago, 'the road' was 'τον δρόμο'. 10 questions ago 'the road' was 'το δρόμο'. All these were singular & accusative. When I asked why 'the road' was 'το δρόμο' and not 'τον δρόμο' I was told that nowards the 'ν' is left off when the following word begins with 'δ'. OK, that's fine, but then why has the 'ν' been returned a few questions later?