I think it's rather a matter of semantics. "He's probably sleeping again." has a different meaning, and Duo probably has in mind "the person has not stopped sleeping yet" rather than "the person has started sleeping again".
In French, it would feel weird to apply the second meaning to "Il dort probablement encore." (but not completely incorrect, just could bring confusion).
We would rather use "Il est probablement encore en train de dormir."
Right. Thanks. Because of the strong connection between again and encore in English, I tend to push that into French as well. This example is a good one to thwart that practice.
I hope there are some lessons later on that inculcate the habit of slipping en train into sentences on a regular basis. I imagine that in French elementary schools, the French teachers have a rubber stamp and an inkpad at the ready so they can sprinkle en train in big red letters throughout student papers to show how to remedy the need for clarity in given sentences.
So there is some expert agreement that "He is probably still sleeping" is both a correct and a fluent answer in English. So why can't we get the rather awkward (though grammatically correct) "He probably still sleeps" replaced with something that is better? The preferred answer that Duo shows should not just squeak by on grammatical grounds alone regardless of how odd it sounds.
There is no "better" sentence than "He probably still sleeps.". There is "He's probably still sleeping.", which is also acceptable, albeit different, but it's not better. The translation showed below the original sentence is by no mean "preferred". It's just that unfortunately the threads weren't designed to display all acceptable translations, so they can display only one. Apparently they're planning to change this kind of threads, so hopefully we'll get to see all possible translations soon.
When I speak of one translation being better, I am not saying it is more accurate to the French or that another is grammatically incorrect. The English translation should also "flow" correctly in the English ear. So "He is probably still sleeping" sounds better to those who are native English speakers than "He probably still sleeps". While the latter is completely correct in meaning, it is a bit awkward to native English speakers. We would think that the French would understand this notion. Even in America, we have an expression that says, "It has a certain je ne sais quoi. I cannot tell you specifically why one is "better", but it is better to the native speaker. [Thanks, jpk6].
As I tried to explain in another thread, if we had to choose only sentences which "flow" better as native speakers, we would have to change most exercises, and it would considerably reduce the diversity of sentences available to learners. I come across several sentences which don't feel natural in common French, but perfectly normal in literature for example. Are they less legitimate? Of course not, learners need to learn everything and anything about French, not just a crippled version of the language. It's the same for English or any other language.
It's a lot more complete to accept all grammatically correct versions, let the native speakers give their personal opinions regarding what they consider being part of common language or not, and as always, users will be lost, ask questions, try these sentences, choose the ones they prefer, and ultimately learn the language as a whole, not only the part that "flows" better.
Concerning which sentence is being displayed on the thread, I don't know which criteria is being used to select it. But if you think that the system should be changed, feel free to open a thread or send a ticket to the staff. I personally think that we should have all accepted translations available at any time on this thread. Would be much easier for learners.
I put "He probably is asleep still." It was corrected to "he probably is sleeping still." Asleep is marked wrong although asleep is often used to refer to the 'continuation of sleep' or 'sleep already in progress' in English, and is often interchangeable with the word 'sleeping.' Is there such a word in French?
"Encore/toujours" when they come before a verb or a noun, they usually mean "again." And if they come after a verb or a noun, they usually mean "still". For example, "J'ai encore faim," means that you are feeling hungry again. And "J'ai faim encors" means that you are still hungry. Thank you LeblancHer for noting that out.
No, the position of the adverb doesn't change the meaning. As someone wrote it in a comment above, both meanings can work with this same french sentence. But a French will think at first to the meaning"still". To be sure to be understood with again you have to change the sentence.
Thanks for your reply @Leblancher. So would it be correct French to use "de nouveau" in place of "encore" to mean "again" in this sentence. Both"encore" and "toujours" have troubled me for years and slowly but surely I'm begining to let them sink in, so my frustration has now intensified from trying understand these two words, to using them correctly in sentences. Thanks again - Merci encore ou merci de nouveau ou les deux.