"She can give us her car."
Translation:Ella nos puede dar su automóvil.
seems more common to me, but it might be due to lack of context. First, I assume that DL gives this translation because it's almost verbatim from English, rather than any other intention.
Nevertheless, in a conversation about transportation, when some people is discussing about how to get there, one can use that as a emphasis.
In Spanish this subtle emphasis is used very often to send an idea across. To give you an idea, if you want to repeat once again an idea, a Spanish would never use expressions like "as I said, as said before, once more, once again,..." it sounds very rude in Spanish.
I read a reply from one of the Duolingo staff, saying that Duolingo doesn't believe anyone would bother reading any grammar lessons, so that's why they don't bother making them. I personally would read the grammar lessons, but I'm only one person. It would take a lot of requests to get them to add them. It would be cool if the grammar lessons were interactive like the tests, and if they are worried about people liking them, they could be made optional.
That being said, this particular grammar point is discussed pretty clearly around the web, I like this one from StudySpanish:
I find that even after 'understanding' how Spanish objects work, it takes a lot of practice before being comfortable using them. You might want to search around Youtube for a lesson that you can listen to, so that they start to 'sound right.'
I personally find that knowing the grammar first slows me down, and brings me back to translating. After using Duo for a while, I find myself correcting what I say because it sounds wrong, not because I thought through the grammar. Personally, I like this method better, I've learned more here than from working through grammar books or having teachers explain it. I'd rather get the grammar AFTER the AH HA moment. It makes more sense then. Once I have that, I look for patterns, verbs and phrases that work the same way, and look up the explanations in grammar books. But different people have different learning styles.
You make a really good point here, and to it I'll add that this is how we learn our own native languages. We learn to speak and hear them, and then later we learn why they work the way they work. As children, our language skills are very advanced before we start to learn grammar rules.
I recorded "Ella nos puede dar su coche", and was really happy that I understood, that I got it right and could move on to the next one. But the lesson screen displayed "Ella puede DARNOS su coche" as the correct translation. And then I see at the top of the discussion what I actually recorded. So ... "darnos", wow, major concept, epiphany ... light shines through. Indirect object pronoun tacked on to the end of the infinitive "dar"?
Someone noted that nosotros can only be used as a subject. Someone else noted that nosotros can be used when it's the object of a propositional phrase (ex: para nosotras). I used "nos" twice (Ella nos puede darnos su coche) and lost a heart. Someone else noted that "nos" can come either before the phrase (that is, before the helping verb) or attached to the infinite, but not in both places.
I have seen this question crop up a lot lately in various forms and it baffles me, because direct object pronouns work equivalently in both of the languages.
"Lo" is a direct object pronoun, equivalent to English "it" and functioning exactly the same. It is a replacement for some unstated direct object. In this sentence, the direct object is "su coche", there is no need for an extra pronoun, just like there is no need in the English sentence to put "it" anywhere.
Are you mixing this up with "le", the indirect object pronoun? That one is mandatory to use even if the indirect object is already in the sentence.
I'm baffled, too, and really trying to understand, and continually being tripped up by these tiny words -- my understanding might be affected by English grammar? It's just that "Esto" in the first sentence seems equivalent to "coche" in the second - both "this" and "car" would be the object of their respective sentences in English. So if one requires the "lo," it seemed to me the other would too. Is "esto" what you mean by "unstated" direct object?
Ah, OK, that was misspoken by me. There is one exception to "lo never duplicates the word it stands for", and that is when the word order in the sentence is inverted (something that doesn't happen in English). Note how in "Esto no te lo puedo dar", the direct object "esto" is the first word in the sentence. In that case, you need to duplicate the word with "lo" to mark it as a direct object. But apart from that, I don't think there are any more exceptions to the general idea that direct object pronouns are used instead of, not with direct objects.
Nos means us. darnos in my example is dar+nos, written as one word. Spanish requires object pronouns, direct or indirect, to be put in front of the entire verb phrase, or if the verb phrase includes an infinitive or a gerund, they can be attached to the end of the infinitive or gerund.