You are correct. it's all about context. So in this translation, since there is not clear context, either "avoid" or "prevent" should be acceptable.
I agree it's all about context, but I disagree that both should be acceptable. You would NEVER say it like this. You would say something along the lines of "usted puede evitar estar en un crimen", "Usted puede evitar ser una victima del crimen", or "Usted puede evitar estar involucrado en el crimen", but "Usted puede evitar el (or "un") crimen" exclusively translates as "you can prevent crime".
That makes sense then (I was beginning to wonder how context would ever show if you meant 'avoid' or 'prevent' haha, looks like there's just a different way to word it!)
"You can avoid crime" is how I interpreted the given sentence. Is that not something you would say?
Our police say, "There are only two times you should lock your car doors. When you are in it and when are not."
U.S. It's kind of a joke. Under those circumstances, your car is always locked. But still excellent advice.
I thought of this as well. Although I believe it is "Smokey" with an "e".
I do not understand why crimen has an article. It doe not fit either rule that I have heard. It is not the subject of the sentence and it refers to cime in general, no a specific crime. Clearly not all nouns get an article. I see them without articles all the time. El hombre bebe leche. No article. Why crimen?
It seems to me that, in Spanish, collective nouns are often preceded by an article. When translated to English the article is dropped.
It seems that when it is the general concept of a thing, then Spanish usually adds the definite article: "La libertad no es gratis." "El amor es paciente."
I got dinged for "You may avoid crime." It's a perfectly grammatical sentence in English. I'm not sure why the "can" sense of poder is necessarily implied over "may".
New topic as of 6/5/16: I've finished the basic Duo lessons. Along the way I encountered problems occasionally with the audio speaker's accent. I caught on to all of them except the "r" sounding like an "l". Several times I dug into my books on Spanish and on the internet to find an explanation. No cigar. Finally today with "crimen" it really wound me up and I worked diligently to find an explanation. I finally did find a very good explanation on Wikipedia. If you are also bugged by this, search on "Spanish dialects and varieties wiki". There is a nice list of regions that use the "l" sound for "r". Other regional variations are also presented.
"you are able to avoid the crime" seems the same as "you can avoid the crime" as in the word definition of puede.
I put "You can avoid a crime" from the selection menu. What makes the a wrong? Used the a because there was el crimen.