In the context of this sentence, "I am trying" is much more common in English than "I try."
I answered "I am trying.." and got rejected and I don't know why. I thought that this was a perfectly good translation of the present tense. And I agree that it is much more common in English. One could trying to do something over a period of time that is not happening at the present moment as would be indicated with the progressive.
It is perfectly correct. But Duo has to use basically a form of shorhand to signal what it wants/expects as an answer. So, although it accepts the progressive as translation for the present when the original language does not use progressive forms, Spanish however does use the progressive albeit much less frequently and more to emphasis the continuous action, so uses the progressive to trigger the progressive. It is certainly somewhat artificial to do so, but does assist with helping you learn how things function in Spanish. You do already know how they function in English. In the current format, it is pretty much Duo's best option for presenting the information.
can "intento" be translate "intend". I assumed so, since one of the suggested translations was "intention", a form of "Intend"
Fine line. "Intento" can be the verb form for "I try, I attempt" and it can also be the noun for "intention" Depends if one sees "intending" to do something (making plans) as the same as actually "trying" to do something. From what I see in my dictionary, "intentar" is to make the attempt to do something, a narrower meaning than we have in English, I think.
Good question because normally we need a preposition between a conjugated verb and an infinitive. Because of your question I went in search of an answer and it turns out "Intentar" happens to be one verb that doesn't need a preposition in between.
I was under the impression (all I seem to have is impressions, sadly) that only certain verbs DO have 'a' between their conjugated form and an infinitive, such as "ir + a + infinitive." Is it the other way around, i.e., NOT having an 'a' there is the exception?
eshewan: USUALLY (not always!) action verbs, that is, verbs of MOTION FORWARD, need the "a" between the first verb and the infinitive . To prove that there are always exceptions, "ir" is not on the list. For other verbs, there does not seem to be a definite rule when to use the "a". Here is a list of verbs that require the "a": (not necessarily a complete list): acertar a: to happen to///... acostumbrarse a: to become used to, to become accustomed to (lit., to accustom oneself to)///... aficionarse a hacer algo: to become fond of doing something///... alcanzar a: to succeed (in doing something)///... aprender a: to learn to, to learn how to///... aspirar a:to aspire to///... atreverse a: to dare (oneself) to///... ayudar a (hacer algo): to help to///... comenzar a: to begin to///... condenar a: to condemn to///... convidar a: to invite to///... decidirse a: to decide (oneself) to///... dedicarse a: to devote oneself to///... detenerse a: to pause to, to stop (oneself) to///... disponerse a: to get (oneself) ready to echarse a to begin to, to start to (lit., to throw oneself)///... empezar a: to begin to, to start to///... enseñar a to teach to///... exponerse a: to run the risk of (to expose oneself to)///... invitar a: to invite to///... negarse a: to refuse to///... obligar a: to obligate (oneself) to, to be obliged to///... ponerse a: to begin to, to start to (to put oneself [in motion])///... prepararse a: to prepare (oneself) to///... principiar a: to begin (oneself) to, to start (oneself) to///... resignarse a: to resign oneself to///... resolverse a: to make up one's mind///... someterse a: to submit (oneself) to///... venir a: to end up by///... volver a: to do (something) again///...
TilEulenspiegel: Yes, it is a lot, but if one really wishes to learn the language, it is necessary. But, realistically, I doubt that anyone (including myself) has memorized this list. Native speakers probably do it automatically without thinking about it. Buena suerte!
Verbs like querer, necesitar, poder, deber need no preposition. I am sure you have seen these. Necesito trabajar. Quiero beber. And then there are also verbs that use a different preposition like de. (Comienzo a comer but termino de comer) The use of prepositions and verbs even without the infinitive is difficult. It begins with memorizing each construction. There are various internal rules that you may naturally intenalize with time and there are a lot of resources on the net that covers it. But it is a process.
Because ir is the infinitive form in this case "to go" so the literal translation of "a ir" would be "to to go"
I'm afraid remembering it like that can lead you wrong. It's more to do with the conjugated verb preceding. 'I try to go' can be 'intento ir', but it can also be 'trato de ir'. If I'm going to go, that's 'voy a ir'. The English 'to' doesn't come from the infinitive exactly. Rather, there are verb + (a/de) + infinitive constructions we have to learn.
"I try to go to the island every Saturday" sounds perfect. Whenever I am near Catalina, I try to go to the island. I tried to go to the island, but it was closed. It doesn't sound so broken to me. Whenever the Beatles play on the Isle of Wight, I have one rule: I try to go to the island.
So your answer is that you can fix it by changing the sentence? It does not work as a stand-alone sentence, which is how it was presented. No split subject, commas, re-conjugations, or colons.
Oh, I didn't realize you made the rules! OK! Here's what I do every day. I get in my car. I drive to the beach. I try to go to the island. I play blackjack. I go home.
Using the present tense instead of the progressive is not poor English. It just has a somewhat different meaning. For most verbs, except for those verbs describing internal processes like think, know, want, love, etc, we use the present progressive for describing what we are doing right now. But we do use the present tense to describe what we do in general or regularly. Scenario. Where do you spend the summer. I try to go to the island. We have a house there. But I can't always make it there. This use is actually quite similar to the use of the Spanish imperfect in the past. The other time we use the present tense is for narration. Whether in the first or third person, narration uses the simple present.
Spanish also has progressive tenses, unlike languages like French and German. These types are only used to emphasize the ongoing nature of the activity. It is a little like we use it for many of the verbs we don't regularly use in the progressive like think or want. We normally say I think or I want, but you will sometimes hear I am thinking or I am wanting to express an immediate ongoing feeling. Because they do have a present progressive in Spanish, Duo likes to preserve that English translation for that Spanish form. There are many cases where it sounds too ridiculous, like translating Llueve as it rains instead of it is raining. In those cases the more common can be used. But it should be noted that the Spanish está lloviendo is one of the more common uses of the Spanish progressive, since emphasizing the current ongoing nature of the rain tells people to change their plans or bring an umbrella. But the use of the present to translate the Spanish present is not meant to imply that the present tense in Spanish is not very often translated into the progressive in English. It is just a tool that Duo tries to use a a clue to tell you what tense it wants you to translate.