"Ella solo trabaja dos semanas."
Translation:She is only working two weeks.
How do we know that "solo" means "only" and not "alone, as in "She is working two weeks alone"? It marked the latter wrong.
Because "alone" would be sola in this case. Plus you would put it after the verb.
According to the following article, this Duolingo sentence contains an error. They meant "sólo" with an accent mark. https://spanish.yabla.com/lesson-Sólo-solo-Only-alone-90
If the meaning of the sentence is that she works alone, I think it would have been Ella trabaja solo por dos semanas. But I am not native Spanish speaker. Maybe it would need to be "sola" in this case to agree with Ella, but to my thinking this would be an adverb qualifying how she works, not an adjective for "ella." In any case, I think the reference is clear that to mean only, it must be "sólo."
It is true that solo here is functioning as an adverb, and in the old days, you were right.
But these days, the RAE says to spell it sólo only when there might be confusion with the adjective. However there is no such confusion here---because of ella.
Now with él there would be, because then it could also mean "He alone is working two weeks."
Personally I try to use solamente instead of sólo wherever possible.
I guess that just proves one can't believe what is read on the Internet - no matter how solid the reference seems to be. I'm not familiar with RAE - can you provide a link?
The Real Academia Española is the official keeper of the Spanish language.
She is working only two weeks, She only is working two weeks, She is only working two weeks...what’s the difference? Why aren’t these all correct?
They sound correct to me but the whole sentence doesn't really explain what she is doing - Has she only started work two weeks ago? Is she only going to work for two weeks and then stop for a bit? Does she only work for two weeks and then quit and find another job?
Tony, I think that the three sentences you gave could all imply the same meaning in English and could be acceptable translations - especially since we don't have a context in which to interpret the original Spanish sentence. Just remember that some human being has to input all possible translations into the program. When you think your answer is correct, you should report it and eventually the Duo staff will review the report and add more acceptable answers. This is the only way they will build a complete database of all possible translations. They don't read these posts, so you must use the button to report an error. It is a good feeling when you get an email saying that the translation you reported has been added to the database!
If you are concerned about getting a wrong answer, the safest translation will be the one that most closely matches the original sentence, unless it would sound unnatural or incorrect in English. Literal, precise translations are almost always accepted. The most direct, word-for-word translation for "Ella solo trabaja dos semanas" would be "She only works two weeks." I don't know if that is accepted or not. I entered "She is working only two weeks" which was accepted.
While I was taking an English writing class in college, the instructor advised to put adverbs and adjectives as close as possible to the words they modify. This is not an English grammar rule, but rather a suggestion for more effective writing. I put "only" before the "two weeks" because I thought the sentence was referring to the period worked - two weeks as opposed to two years or something. If we put "only" before the verb, it could imply that for two weeks she only worked - e.g., she did not play or sleep or eat. This has nothing to do with this exercise, but I hope that someone might find it helpful when writing in English.