"Ese pastel, lo quiero para mi cumpleaños."
Translation:That cake, I want it for my birthday.
"I want that cake for my birthday" should be accepted. I put that as my answer and it was not. This is a more common way English is spoken.
You can say "Lo quiero ese pastel para mi cumpleaños", too. So there are two ways to say basically the same thing. Since there's a comma after "Lo quiero", It puts some emphasis there. I like the suggested translation which keeps the same emphasis.
Both work, and normally I I'd use your phrasing in English. But i can also see scenarios where I'd use the Duo phrasing.
Actually you wouldn't use the lo in your syntax. Although the indirect object pronoun is always used, the direct object pronoun is only used when the direct object is either absent or put before the verb. This particular syntax that Duo is using here is not standard written English, but you will hear it conversationally. But the REASON Duo is phrasing sentences this way is so you know the gender of the it, because you just mentioned the item. Therefore in THESE sentences, Duo doesn't have to accept either lo or la for it, because it is specified.
The English translation makes me cringe so hard! This is terrible English, but how else do you teach object pronouns? Sigh
Lexxy, yes, I see these (awkward-in-English) sentences as exactly that: a way to see if we can come up with the correct direct object pronouns. There are some much more natural-sounding (in English) ones I've seen along the way, along the lines of 'This car is expensive, and I'm not buying it.'
Think of it as the literal "It (is that) cake that I want for my birthday" -> "I want that cake for my birthday." Spanish syntax requires an object pronoun even when the direct object is a noun. Otherwise, it just doesn't sound right (is not colloquial) to a native Spanish speaker.
Spanish syntax requires an object pronoun even when the indirect object is a noun. When a direct object is explicitly stated, a direct object pronoun is needed only for clarity or emphasis.
The system will accept "I want that cake for my birthday," if it makes you feel better.
I disagree. I wrote exactly that just to see if it would work, and it gave me an error message.
"I like that cake." "Which cake?" "That cake, I want it for my birthday." Perfect English, actually.
What is wrong with 'I want that cake for my birthday'? It is much better English.
It's a good thing that they are not teaching English. Even if the translation is grammatically correct, it is very awkward. It shouldn't be necessary to literally translate the sentence.
Reporting the issue, using the button on the lower left after you've answered the question, is much more likely to get results than complaining in the forums. Especially since you have not identified the specific problem.