It shouldn't be. It's disculpe for people you address as usted and disculpa for people you address as tú. The hint here is that Ana is referred to by her given name and asked for help with the tú-form "ayudas".
To use disculpe, it would be something like:
Disculpe, señora de Armas, ¿me ayuda?
why is this in the indicative mode and not subjunctive? Thanks! Answers appreciated.
are you kidding me? Duo marked me wrong because I misspelled Ana's name? Really?
Yes, it can also mean another way. It's just that in Spanish, requests can be asked this way.
I think you might also imply " . . . will you . . . ?" and ". . . would you . . . ?". Reported that "Excuse me, Ana, will you help me?" also should be accepted, 16 Feb 2019.
Yes, but it irritates me because strictly speaking it is not grammatically correct English to use "can" there. I know it's common usage, but it's still wrong. Will or Would are better, so it's annoying that Duo are insisting on Can.
What do you mean by "not grammatically correct English"? It's perfectly grammatical English.
I just read that "disculpe" is informal, hence calling her Ana implies she is my friend, while "disculpa" is formal.. am I wrong?
Yes. Somehow you have it wrong. Disculpar is infinitive so disculpe is imperative for usted (ie formal) but disculpa for tú (informal) as here, for reasons explained.
ok, but where does '' imperative '' even come into play here....formal or informal ??….
Well may I help you was not accepted. This is totally unacceptable, even for free (:-). Seriously languages do not a "degree of exactitude" in them and therefore that is a problem for an online program. It's how people program the 1's and 0's.
You got it backwards. "May I help you?" is wrong because "¿Me ayudas?" literally means "Do you help me?", and is used to mean "Can/May you help me?".