"I often have to work on Saturdays."
Translation:A menudo tengo que trabajar los sábados.
The English sentence starts with "I often have to" so the Spanish sentence starts similarly. "I have to work often on Saturdays" doesn't sound right when spoken out loud so that's an unlikely translation, anyway.
I've never seen a sentence start with "Yo a menudo tener" so I adjusted the English sentence to start as "Often I have to" since it has the same meaning and can easily be translated to "A menudo tengo que". I'm a super beginner but that's how I worked it out in my head!
"A menudo tengo que trabajar los sábados" was accepted as of 4/18/20
Make sure you're familiar with the phrases that trigger subjunctive. Then as you encounter authentic Spanish you'll get used to hearing/seeing them followed by subjunctive, and it'll come to seem natural. No subjunctive in this sentence, though.
Particularly seeing you're a retired English teacher, a useful starting point is just to note that if a verb or expression in modern (demanded, requested, asked that, it's important that) or historical English (until, before) triggered subjunctive, the analogous one probably does in Spanish, too (of course, Spanish has many additional ones). That said, the tense of the subjunctive may not be analogous. The most frequent use I see of the English subjunctive is following an independent clause in the past tense, followed by an English present subjunctive ("The teacher demanded he pay attention" / "Congress requested that the Inspector General investigate"). This would require a past subjunctive in Spanish, as would sentences introduced by a conditional ("I'd prefer Sam do it" / "Preferiría que lo hiciera Sam"). You may hear some speakers substituting present subjunctive in these cases, but I think that's the kind of thing that's a long way from being accepted by the RAE.
Yes, that's what I wrote too and I am also puzzeled why that is considered incorrect.
I will report anyway and hopefully someone who is better in the Spanish grammar can tell us why it is totally wrong to use "en" before los sábados in this case, because I'm pretty sure it's ok with the yo.
This is an example of a case where the advice not to translate word-by-word is important. You have to identify units of meaning that are more than one word long. "To have to" is quite a bit different than "to have" by itself, and the equivalent in Spanish used here is "tener que."
The endings of Spanish nouns and verbs confer meaning. Accordingly, those endings are very important and you need to use the right one. They are not "inconsistencies" but parts of the word that are appropriate to what is being said. When learning Spanish, you need to learn these things. Spanish is not just about words. The words alone won't get you far in Spanish.
Duolingo teaches by example (mostly). They do it that way because they know most people don't like grammar. It drives folks away. So instead they just introduce new words and concepts and give you the opportunity to learn them.
But avoiding grammar creates a new problem. People don't understand what is going on and get confused. Often they think DL is wrong or playing tricks, and go into the discussions and complain.
Why trabajar in one case and trabajo in another? Some learners think it is inconsistency, but that is wrong. It is grammar.
Despite basing their teaching on examples, DL does delve into grammar in the Tips. They are watered down quite a bit and avoid technical language - you know, like predicated conjunctive and such. The Tips are very helpful and easy to understand.
So read the tips! All of them! There is one for each Skill.
To the point, trabajo has more than one meaning. It can be a noun or a verb. El trabajo means "the work", and yo trabajo means "I work." Trabajar is a verb and means "to work" or sometimes just "work."
Yes, trabajo can be a noun or a verb. In "I have to work", to work is clearly a verb, and it is the infinitive. The Spanish in its infinitive form is trabajar.
Trabajo as a verb means "I work".
In English, "work" can also be a noun or a verb. If we say "go to my work", it is a noun, and the Spanish would be "voy a mi trabajo". But that is not what we have in our source sentence here.
Languages don't translate word-for-word like that. Tengo que = I have to. That is a phrase you need to know. Trabajar means work or to work depending on the sentence. It is an oddity of English that we include "to" so often with infinitives. Why do we do that? Other languages don't do that.