Protip, don't give an Lingot away until you have actually posted the story you just wrote.
That's a fair point. It's better to not give too much slack while learning. Even more so when één and een are so similar. So I'm mostly just going to troll here.
Okay, so where we got a/an from was the old English one. When you're talking about a single thing, you will almost always use 'a'. You'd only use one to really imply you have one of something. You'd be more likely to toss in an 'only'.
Anyway, have an Lingot for your wasted time.
één is used to clarify that it only involves one. I know that in some situations that that clarification does not have to be necessary. In those cases you could use een in Dutch just like you could use a/an in English.
However, if één is used to clarify it only involves one, you should also use that clarification in English.
To use something similar to your example:
- Ik eet can both be I eat and I am eating
- But Ik ben aan het eten can only translate to I am eating
The second clarifies it is happening at this moment, meaning that you can only use the continuous in English.
Okay so through the second example you mean that not all sentences could be done in the way I did or the way the first ejemplo goes. Got it! But as far as learning is considered and not a mathematical one, Duolingo should allow comforts like this one so that learning just does let you leap and explore in a more free sense rather going through language learning like English in a missionary school.
Everytime I hear this I have to pause as I am inclined to enter "Twee olifanten tegen één bier."
I visualize some sort of Monty Python sketch where two pantomime elephants are chasing and fighting a bottle of some sort of British ale.
It's no doubt driven in part by Dutch bears being spelled the same as English for a Dutch bier being a beer.
I just wanted to share it with you. As perhaps you too have something going on in your head when you see this word "beer" in Dutch.