Yes, it seems to me that the word "behind" clarifies a simple literal meaning in English (just leaving him behind, not leaving him forever). However, given that Duolingo offers "boyfriend" as an alternative to "boy behind", perhaps this simple meaning is not what the Italian implies?
In Italian it could mean either. "Lasciare" is the verb used for breaking up with someone. It has the same ambiguity as "leave" in English, though if I saw the sentence "Lei lascia il ragazzo" without any other context, I would probably assume it was a girl breaking up with her boyfriend. I'm not 100% sold on translating it as "leave behind," though. That might work for "lasciare" if you were talking about forgetting your keys at home, but for talking about leaving a person behind and moving on, I would use "lasciare indietro," especially if talking figuratively. Maybe a native speaker can shed more light on this.
You could try 'She leaves the boy behind', maybe? 'She leaves behind the boy' sounds a bit like she's at a party and desperately trying not to be spotted by an embarrassing ex or something and she uses the cover of some poor guy's back to depart.
When you say 'She leaves the boy behind' it has the more traditional meaning of leaving without said boy, either physically or on the road we call live.
Ragazzo typically does mean boyfriend. Without other indications this is the likeliest interpretation. However, if it was "Lei lascia il suo ragazzo." it would be without a shadow of doubt about a boyfriend. Il ragazzo could be the boy mentioned previously, or the lad, or the guy. There is some age limit to being a ragazzo but it's pretty vague.
May I direct you to a little Disney song, you may have heard it a few thousand time by now, it's called "let it go" and it speaks of not only a physical release but a metaphorical release. Totally valid. You can "let go" of a past relationship or "let go" of emotions, not just things you can physically hold.
Yes, but "let go" tends to imply allowing something or someone to leave (that would leave on its own as long as you don't stop it from leaving, physically or metaphorically).
"Leave" implies the subject is the one actively doing the leaving, perhaps even without the consent of the other person or thing.
It is probably quite sad that I had to mentally sing Andrea Bocelli's Romanza in my head so I didn't scroll over the word "lascia." But I am now quite sad; it's a sad song. "Lentamente mi lascia" = "slowly she leaves me" according to the translation I was watching, so that's how I knew. Still so, so, so sad.
Anything to help you remember, you know? That's actually a pretty smart thing you did, you relied on your mental reserve before peeking which helps you retain information better. In fact, while the song's sad, it'll pop up to remind you what "lascia" and what not means.
I had to sing Toto Cotugno's L'Italiano just to remember what "lascia" means.
LASCIATEMI CANTARE!~ PERCHE' NE SONO FIERO! SONO ITALIANO...
I am not native in Italian but lived in Italy and my understanding that ragazzo is typically a boyfriend without other context. Of course under some circumstances it could be just a boy. If you overhear a street conversation chances are they are talking about her boyfriend being dumped.
I bend down and kiss his forehead one last time "do i look pretty in my princess crown?" he asks "yes honey you look very pretty in it" i tell him smiling, he smiles back showing his dimples. "you have to do this jen..you have to run" i tell myself,i glance at him one more time and then i start to run "mommy where are you going?!" I can feel his sad eyes burning a hole in the back of my head, tears start to fall, I have to wait until im as faraway from him as possible so he wont see me cry. His dad will kill him if i keep him. he will. he will. the tears start to fall, and i don't think they will stop anytime soon "im sorry, im so sorry" i whisper watching the tears stain my jeans. "i will come back for you, i will i promise you will always be my pretty princess" (i couldn't help myself...ignore the grammar) ~jem