Both statements should be accepted because both are correct. There's no explicit "the" in Hindi, it's assumed. For example, लड़के नाच रहे थे (ladke naach rahe the). The translation would be "THE boys were dancing" and the literal translation would be "boys were dancing". लड़कियां गा रही थी (ladkiyan gaa rahi thi) would be "THE girls were singing".
Hello, I do not think you understood exactly what I intended to ask.
Observe the following to note the distinction:
Boys do not drink tea.
This states a rule, or a generally accepted truth. In this case, it could be that all boys in a hypothetical location do not drink tea.
The boys do not drink tea.
This states the preference of a specific set of boys. So, those boys in question do not drink tea but other boys drink tea.
My question, therefore, is as there is no explicit the in Hindi, how does one tell the difference between (1) a generally accepted truth and (2) the situation/case for a subset.
NB: I know and have confirmed that both of the English statements are accepted by Duolingo.
Hi Alex, The answer, indeed, is that one doesn't necessarily know from grammar; one hopes to know the meaning from context.
If someone just says this sentence without prior reference to a set of boys, then we'd tend to interpret it as "boys don't..." If a discussion of specific people had already occurred, then we might think "the boys don't..."
The thing I wanted to add is that one can say "voh laRke", literally "those boys", as an effective way of specifying "THE boys". In other words, this is a grammatical way of distinguishing "boys" vs. "the boys" that one CAN use, though it won't always be used.
As it was explained above, there's no explicit "the" in Hindi (as in many other languages with no sets of definite articles). Which means the distinction between definiteness and indefiniteness is somehow less relevant in Hindi, it is disambiguated from the context.