https://www.duolingo.com/Geraint239842

Overly eager contraction in English translations

I've just noticed a problem with the application of a contraction in English, in the translation of a "correct answer" in the Dutch Duo Lingo for English speakers. I raised it on the forum, and the moderator tells me it's part of the Duo Lingo algorithm, so the moderators can't change it. But it's wrong, so I'm raising it here as a bug report.

I don't know how these algorithms apply, but it's easy to see how this might arise beyond the Dutch course, too.

The problem is the contraction of "I had" in the context of "I had to [infinitival]" as opposed to "I had [past participle]". In the latter case, it's common to contract to "I'd". But in the former case, it is not - that was possible in the first half of the 20th century, but it's not normal at all now. However, Duo Lingo makes that correction, e.g., "I'd to buy a new keyboard". So there needs to be an exception in this contraction rule, that stops it applying where the following word is "to".

(For the sake of form, I'm using safari 11.1.2 on Mac OS 10.13.6, but that makes no difference to this issue.)

July 29, 2018

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