"The skilled surgeon performed surgery."
Translation:Haq HaqwI' po'.
It's the same old story. Because the course creators do not want to try to teach what perfective means, they do not allow you to use it everywhere it's appropriate.
Haqpu' HaqwI' po' means The skilled surgeon performed surgery. It could be used to refer to a particular instance in which the skilled surgeon performed surgery and completed it.
Haq HaqwI' po' also means The skilled surgeon performed surgery, but here it would be used to mean something like it was the surgeon's job to perform surgery, a permanent fact. This fact isn't "completed"; it's just a general truth.
But the tense we're using here isn't part of the Klingon sentence. These sentences could be used in many ways in English.
Haqpu' HaqwI' po'
The skilled surgeon performed surgery (as a completed event).
The skilled surgeon has performed surgery.
The skilled surgeon had performed surgery.
The skilled surgeon will have performed surgery.
Haq HaqwI' po'
The skilled surgeon performs surgery.
The skilled surgeon performed surgery (as a general truth).
The skilled surgeon will perform surgery.
So yes, it should be accepted, but it won't be.
Yes, indeed. In English, we usually tell stories in the past tense, but we tell them in the present tense to lend a sense of urgency. Listen to this excellent episode of Lexicon Valley to hear how this technique was used in an episode of Seinfeld, and a study about how we use it ourselves. https://radiopublic.com/lexicon-valley-WRwXj6/s1!3ad56
Since Klingon lacks past or present tenses, this technique is not available. Instead — warning, speculation ahead! — I think Klingon has two modes of its own: reporting and narrative. You use reporting when you're looking back on events and talking about them as completed — you're reporting on them. That's perfective. You use narrative when you want to draw your audience into the story and describe it as if it were happening before their eyes. That's not perfective. (That's not to say you would never use the perfective aspect when delivering a narrative, just that the events would have to be completed from the point of view of the narrative, not the person telling the story after the fact.)