Translation:The family invites the writer to the dinner.
I still struggle with the use of the article in Portuguese. It is often required in Portuguese where it would not normally be used in English. Is there a general rule for contexts in which the article is NOT used. For example in a phrase such as 'amor de dinheiro', where the noun is a concept, not a specific object, I presume the article would not be used, because it would change the meaning. Algo mais? Obrigado pela ajuda
Are you able to read in Portuguese? Follows below a link that explain several situations (nine at least) in which English does not use article whereas Portuguese does.
I see the sentence has ' o jantar' which translates 'the dinner' is isn't just 'to dinner' ?
I think the "o" in "o jantar" is required so both "dinner" and "the dinner" should be accepted. For an ordinary, everyday meal just "dinner" is fine, but perhaps, given the guest is a writer, this is a special meal and deserves to be called "the dinner".
Is "convidar" more common to say compared to "invitar"? Is there a difference?
Anyone have good links that delineate differences between "para" and "por"?
Shouldn't this sentence be "A família convidam o escritor para o jantar."? A family consists of more than one person after all :s
¨a familia¨ is a singular noun, though, no matter how many people may be in it.
Sentences like "The family are eating" are an English oddness. All other languages I know a little bit (German, Portuguese, French, Italian and afaik American English as well) say "The family is eating",
"The family are eating" is not any sort of oddity, it is just plain wrong in English.
I misspelt jantar as juntar and it was marked wrong - a bit harsh, i thought! Or is juntar also a word in portuguese?
"The Family invite the writer to dinner" Should be accepted. Family is a singular noun but can be referred to as "they". Just as a football team is referred to as they, despite being a singular noun.
It is incorrect English. What you are asking is for Duo to include "common but incorrect usage", which would be extremely confusing for English learners. "Family" is a singular noun, and has a plural form; "Families". "The family invite..." is thus incorrect, the correct forms are "The families invite..." or "The family invites"
Similarly with football (or any) teams- One team, two teams. A group is always referred to in the singular, because it is one group. You don't say "the army are moving" or "the team are playing", you say "the army is moving", and "the team is playing". Or in the latter case, "the teams are playing", since a team does not play against itself. If you say that a singular noun can be used with plural form verbs, the question then becomes which ones? All of them or some of them? And when? All the time or only some of the time? And what about the previous rules regarding noun/verb usage? Do we ignore those too? It is even more egregious, because English already has plural nouns where the verb construction is interchangeable, like with "scissors", or "trousers".
If you're learning English it is better to learn and understand the rules before breaking them, or when and how to break them- Except that since this is the Portuguese course, Duo does not know how well you know English, and will simply stick to the rules. If you know the rules you'll be fine. If you don't know the rules (or worse, have picked up bad habits or misinformation from native speakers), then you will run into a lot of things where you think "Oh this should/shouldn't be like this"
I'm not sure that it is definitely incorrect English.When referring to a family or a football team, it is surely obvious by the context that one is referring the contents of the singular noun, eg the members of the family or the players of a football team. It would sound wrong to say "I watched Manchester United play today, it played really bad".
The best example would be when people are referring to their favorite bands. Nobody ever refers to their favorite band as a singular noun. for example it does not sound natural to say "Green Day is my favorite band, I just love it!" . Fair enough it doesn't sound completely unnatural to say "..is my favorite band", but the latter part of the sentence would ALWAYS be said as "I just love them" (referring to the members of the band).
If someone learning English asked me about this, I would tell them that despite being "grammatically" correct (if it is), it sounds wrong. All this is irrelevant to the fact that I don't think you should be marked down for a minor grammatical mistake in the language that you're not even studying.
I completely agree, with maybe a couple of points- When you say "I loved Man Utd /Green Day today, they played really well", you are referring to the members -plural- of the team/band. So it's correct; it still follows the rule. Of course, native speakers don't know/don't realise that this is why it's correct, so people get the erroneous idea that you can use plural verbs for singular nouns.
And then, like you said: Despite being grammatically correct (and yes, it is), it sounds wrong. Like I said, it is "common, but incorrect usage"
As for being irrelevant, look at it this way- Duo doesn't know how well you know English, so it sticks to the rules- If the rules sound wrong, as we've just been discussing, and you put down the wrong answer because that's what's commonly used or how it's commonly said, Duo will mark it wrong. It's trying to teach you Portuguese, but in order to do that effectively you both have to agree on the rules of the teaching language, English in this case. And since a) It doesn't know fluent you are, and b) Also has to cater for people who may be more or less fluent than you, and c) Also doesn't know where/how/when you've learned English, the ideal solution is to simply stick to the rules. That way the people who aren't so strong in English don't pick up bad habits, native speakers get to correct their bad habits, and everybody else is happy.
I think it's a reasonable enough compromise. And of course, you can always report it
Plural pronouns can be correctly used with most collective nouns in UK English.
From Advanced Grammar In Use, Cambridge University Press, 2005:
"You can use both the singular and plural forms of verbs with singular nouns that refer to a group of some kind. You use the singular when referring to the group as a whole unit and the plural form when the focus is on the group as a collection of individuals. Generally it makes little difference which is used and the singular form is more common. However, there are particular circumstances where either the singular or the plural form should be used."
Duolingo, however, represents English with an American flag so there's no discussion. The singular pronoun must be used for all collective nouns.
There is a shorthand for "para o" which is "pro" although it's so informal that Duolingo doesn't accept it as far as I know. The contraction "pelo" on the other hand is fine, but as it means "por o" it doesn't fit here.