"When are you going to ask them about their vacation?"
Translation:¿Cuándo les vas a preguntar sobre las vacaciones?
When referring to things directly connected with a person, the definite article rather then the possessive adjective is most often used by the Spanish e.g. "Lavamos los manos" for we wash our hands. Presumably on the basis that we are unlikely to be washing someone else's hands in the normal course of events.
I think this is what Duo is trying to teach us here. You don't necessarily need to use the possessives (my / your / our / their etc) in Spanish in such a sentence. "Sus vacaciones" can mean "her / his / theirs / your (plural) vacation" anyway, so skipping it does not change much. We understand who is being referred according to the context of the conversation.
"cuando tu vas a preguntarles sobre las vacaciones"
What is wrong with this sentence if anything? I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that I added tu and not tú or that I didn't use the question marks on either end??? I think others have asked before but I couldn't find a response so I thought I'd ask again. Thanks!
Missing accents and punctuation usually don't get you marked wrong. I think the issue is the placement of tú.
When a question begins with a question word (aka "interrogative pronoun") like cuándo, then you need to put the subject after the verb if you include it.
Generally, a verb follows the interrogative. [...] When the verb needs a subject other than the interrogative, the subject follows the verb.
The Spanish question formula is:
¿(Preposition) + question word + conjugated verb + (subject) + (additional information)?
The brackets indicate that these components of the question aren’t always necessary.
Preguntará is apparently the future conjugation of preguntar (for el/ellas/usted). It hasn't been introduced yet at this point in the lesson; so far we're just using the simpler "ir a [infinitive]" construction, e.g. "vas a preguntar", so we aren't expected to know preguntará, although it seems Duo accepts it anyway!
I'm guessing you just put preguntar without the "vas a" in front (since you wouldn't use vas a with preguntará). Normally that would be wrong, because you always need a conjugated verb in the sentence. It's a little surprising that it accepted your answer as a typo, but hopefully that helps you understand where the preguntará suggestion came from.
Thank you for your reply. I know that preguntara has not been introduced at this point, but when it asks me to translate, I have from a pick and choose of words supplied by Duolingo, only the two choices that I have highlighted ‘pregunta and preguntar’. Preguntara is not an option, so I am merely highlighting the fault in the system that is telling me that I have a ‘typo’ and that preguntara is correct.
Just a speculation, but maybe Duo's logic is something like this?:
"les vas a preguntar sobre las vacaciones" = "[...] going to ask them about the vacation"
"les vas a hacer preguntas sobre las vacaciones" = "[...] going to ask them questions about the vacation"
i.e. just the verb "ask", vs. the verb + noun combo "ask a question"
I have just tried "Cuándo les vas a preguntar sobre sus vacaciones", which was accepted but my first attempt with "Cuándo les vas a preguntar sobre sus vacación" was rejected so you may be right.
However if you hover over the word "vacation" in the question then it suggests both "vacación" and "vacaciones" so it is not sensible to mark "vacación" as being incorrect. I pasted the "vacación" version into the spanishdict.com translater and it gives the exact English phrase used in the question. I have reported the "vacación" answer as one that should be accepted as correct.
"¿Cuándo vas a preguntarles sobre las vacaciones?" should also be correct, and has been accepted before in the past (according to a previous comment). If you tried something like that and it was rejected, maybe you had an error somewhere that you didn't notice; it's always best practice to include your full answer in your comment if you're wondering why it wasn't accepted, so we can help double-check it too, as it's easy to gloss over your own errors but another set of eyes may be able to see them more easily.