That's not the way Duo teaches. You'll get used to it soon enough. For explanations we look to this comment section, or outside sites (often recommended by other learners). A quick tip or two: when choosing a word from the drop down definitions it's usually the first word that fits taht particular sentence and get used to losing hearts it is inevitable. Best wishes. Here is an excellent site created by other learners with loads of info: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Duolingo_Wiki#Getting_Help
I have made a search and it appears, that "Libreria" can by "library", but as a personal library, a collection of books, not library as an institution or it can be library as a library for computer application (e.g. dll file). And some internet dictionaries (e.g Reverso) and translatros (e.g. Google Translator) translate "libreria" to "library".
I think it's the same as in the phrase "in cucina", it's idiomatical. Just like the difference in English "at school" and "at the school". So that I come to the conclusion that "in libreria" means at the local bookstore and "al/nel libreria" would mean at a specific bookstore.
I found this in a dutch grammar book: Davanti ai nomi di negozi o luoghi (come in spiaggia!)
che finiscono in –ia: in farmacia, in frutteria, in gelateria, in libreria, in macelleria, in panetteria, in periferia, in pizzeria, in profumeria, in tabaccheria, in trattoria ...
o finiscono in -teca : in biblioteca, in enoteca, in discoteca ...
one uses the preposition "in" without article with verbs showing the meaning of "to move to somewhere" (like andare, entrare, camminare, correre, portare ...) or "to be somewhere" (like essere, rimanere, stare, vivere ...)
if these -ia and -teca nouns are
a) specified (nella libreria all'angolo; nella enoteca di mio zio; nella spiaggia per i nudisti)
b) have a possessive pronoun with them (nella nostra gelateria)
c) are in plural form (nelle librerie ci sono molti libri; nelle discoteche della città; nelle spiaggie d'Italia)
you have to use "in" with article
This is very confusing. I suppose take from can sort of mean the same as get from, but take to is the opposite of get surely. You can't get to even in the US can you? How can both these English sentences which have opposite meanings translate the same Italian sentence? Is this a mistake or is the Italian sentence really ambiguous.
sure it is. All the choices, whether "take" or "get" or in, at, to, into, from, in any combination, might be used in slightly different contexts to mean different things. To take your example "We take books at the bookstore" might be said by thieves. "We get books at the bookstore" might be used by all sorts of people who buy books there. etc. etc. It's all context, which would greatly improve these lessons bc all language is used in some sort of context in real life.
Duolingo has lots of quirks. It can arbitrarily select one word as correct in one sentence and wrong in another. The standard Preposition Contraction table uses 'a' as 'to' or 'at' and 'in' as 'in' or 'into'. Standard Italian as per the grammar books would render the sentence as, "We take (get) the the books in (or into) the bookstore. The sentence as translated by Duolingo would be, in standard grammar, "Prendiamo i libri alla libreria."
Seems to me that without more context it could mean either one. Either "While I am at/in the bookstore I get/take the books" or "While carrying the books, I go in the bookstore"." One phrase in English that has the same dual meaning would be "I take the books in the bookstore," where "in" could be taken to mean "into" or "while in."
Depends. Are you taking them out? Use "della." Taking them in? Use "alla." If you're not going in or out, then you're not really "taking" them, are you? However, "prendare" can also mean either pick up or carry. Both of those you can do without entering or leaving the store. Then use "in libreria" (in or at the bookstore).