"Cats can see in the dark."
Translation:Los gatos pueden ver en la oscuridad.
If that is indeed the case, why is this given as one of the correct translations: • " Los gatos pueden ver en lo oscuro." What roles are the "lo" and "oscuro" playing in this translation? It appears the "lo" is being treated as an article, which I have never seen, except on Duolingo, and the osuro is being treated as a noun. It seems the one thing that can be counted on is consistently inconsistent in translations.
In Spanish you can transform adjectives into nouns just by giving them an article. e.g. "the [adjective] (one/thing)" or "a [adjective] (one/thing)".
If the thing being referred to doesn't have an explicit gender of its own, and we're using a definite article, the neuter "lo" is used (along with the masculine form of the adjective). Without a specific context, "el oscuro" sounds like you're either referring to a (dark) male person, or personifying the dark, whereas "lo oscuro" is abstract.
I believe the adjective oscuro modifies the pronoun lo giving "dark thing."
"la" is the feminine form of "el" (or "the"...). (but it is also the feminine article for "her/it" equivalent to "lo" ( him/it) so that is the confusion here...."la oscuridad/the darkness" makes sense because oscuridad is a noun but why "lo oscuro" when oscuro is an adjective...)
I misspelled "oscuridad" as "obscuridad" and it marked it correct. Looked it up, they seem to be perfectly synonymous - is this a regional thing?
It is not regional, it is an antique spelling. In one of its regularization campaigns, the RAE determined that in the combination -bs- the b is an unnecessary silent letter, and so dropped the b from all words with that silent letter construction. There are many others you might find (subscribir, substancia, substitución, substraer...) that were similarly modified. For that reason, the WordReference entry (which is modeled on the RAE entry) was intended as a redirect, as you can tell by the lack of definition.
Both are understood, and since they are the same word both are correct, but obscuridad is old fashioned and slowly passing out of use.
Check again, oscuridad = dark while obscuridad = obscure (as in not well known).
This is what I mean by "perfectly synonymous": http://www.wordreference.com/definicion/obscuridad
I still don't quite understand why it's lo oscuro. What is "lo" with the adjective "oscuro"? Thanks!
Just saw this on another post. Lo + adjective = abstract noun. I would imagine la + adjective would be the feminine equivalent.
I heard a native speaker say, however, that this would be something that a child would say. He (Marvey) suggested "en la oscuridad."
I'm relearning Spanish that I used to speak rather fluently many years ago, so I keep remembering different words and phrases. For in the dark here I put "en las tinieblas". Could someone tell me if that would be acceptable?