I can't wrap my head around it either. I think its more of an idiomatic saying. If you looked out into the yard, you would not say to your mates, 'There is playing"., but rather " They're playing " . In previous lessons where a more obvious idiom was used, literal translations weren't allowed yet this one is a literal translation that makes no sense is allowed.. In all my years if I heard " Er wordt in de tuin gespeeled." my mind would immediately record "someone or something is playing in the yard , not "there is playing in the yard" We do need more leeway when literal translations are make no real sense in the opposite language.
Thanks for the feedback! I would disagree that it's idiomatic: it's simply a grammatical construction that doesn't exist in English and that is hard to translate. The non-literal translations don't really cover the vagueness of the Dutch sentence, and we thought that they would make things more confusing for learners. People should be able to understand and use the construction, not just rotely memorize a phrase.
However, answers like "Someone is playing" and "People are playing" are also accepted, all across this lesson. For this sentence, the following answers are all accepted:
- There is playing going on.
- There is playing.
- There is someone playing.
- There is somebody playing.
- There are people playing.
- People are playing.
- Someone is playing.
- Somebody is playing.
- There are games being played.
- There are games going on.
- There are games.
If there are more forms that you feel should be added, please let me know!
'Iets wordt gespeeld' sounds awkward. You can't have 'iets' be a subject in a passive sentence like that. I think 'er wordt iets gespeeld' would be more correct, but the 'iets' then becomes fairly optional and you revert to 'er wordt gespeeld' again. It works better than your suggestion.