It's totally cr@p, you mean. DL almost always gets the imperfect wrong, insisting on the used to sense. I find it infuriating.
I also get upset on here sometimes but I also see my own response as an opportunity to cultivate patience, since patience is a virtue. Yes! Life is indeed too short and it's not worth taking ourselves too seriously over anything, be it a language learning platform or a disagreement with someone we know.
Yeah, it should have worked. In English 'would' is not always conditional and Duo has accepted it for me in the earlier lesson under 'imperfect'. Would is used in the sense that it is habitual such as, when I was a child I would visit my grandmother. I'll send in a report 28/Aug/2015
"To meet" in this case requires the reflexive verb "encontrarse".
If the sentence was "She met my friends", then this also implies that "my friends met her", and so the reflexive form is needed.
This can be confusing because there are times when "to meet" does just use "encontrar".
E.g. "Encontró la muerte en un accidente de tráfico".
The difference here is that although "He"met his death", it doesn't imply that "His death met him", unless you are taking the metaphor to the extreme, and personifying Death - in whch case I guess you would use the reflexive form.
The reason "find" is the correct answer, is simply that it is not reciprocal, whereas "meet" and "encounter" both are (in general) and therefore they require the reflexive form.
When I meet someone, that person also meets me. When I encounter someone, that person also encounters me. But when I find someone (e.g. in a game of hide-and-seek) they do not also find me.
The way I think of it (only to help remember) is: if you find your keys there's no reflexive form in English too. However if you meet someone else, you 'find yourself with someone'.
I know that's not exactly correct but sometimes these things help people to remember, in this case that's how I've done it!
Well, "encountered" may have been rejected by Duolingo, but that doesn't mean it was wrong. I've checked multiple sources and they all say "encontrar" can be translated as "to encounter". I submitted "She used to encounter my friends.", which was rejected. It sounds strange, but no more than Duolingo's correction: "She used to discover my friends."
So in English we don't have an imperfect tense so, when translating from Spanish to English we sometimes have to use the English Indicative past tense. The secret is asking 'does it have a beginning or ending time?' If not it is imperfect. Does it show an habitual occurrence with no completed time? If so, it is imperfect. Does it describe something in the past? If so it is probably imperfect.
I noticed that Duo keeps translating the imperfect tense as a habitual occurrence like, 'used to'. It is also acceptable to use 'would'. Most people associate 'would' with the conditional. In English, 'would' can be used more than just one way. Also the imperfect tense's main use is when there is no specific beginning and ending date or time.
Examples: Almorzábamos juntos todos los días. We would lunch together every day.
The Spanish Indicative imperfect can set the stage: Example: Yo leía cuando entró mi papá. I was reading when my papa entered. (note that "entered" is preterite)
The Spanish Indicative imperfect tense is often used to describe something. Here is a Reference But there are plenty of sites on the web, that most likely can explain it better than I can.
Yeahhh... I'm starting to realize I should have learned my parts of speech in English before attempting Spanish. I don't remember that day/class/year in school. So I get lost and zone out and start to drool as soon as I see perfect/imperfect, preterite, etc. Maybe I'll start by learning those? But more likely I'll just clumsily brute-force my way through learning Spanish through repetition. Thanks for the effort though, it definitely helped a little. So for "ella encontraba a mis amigos" is it truly acceptable to translate it to "Used to" as well as "would" find my friends? Is it a matter of reading context in conversation?
Yes, for example: I used to spend summers at the farm. or, I would spend summers at the farm. Neither has a completed date or time. I did see a couple people complaining that Duo was not accepted 'would' in some sentences. I think the sentence just wasn't reported.
BTW, as you know everyone has a different learning style. So what works for you, keep on doing it. Everybody's brain works different from the next. I envy somebody who learn by repetition and then instinctively know what is right or wrong in the spoken or written word.
When the direct object is a person (human being), Spanish inserts the 'a' before it. This is a peculiarity of Spanish -- you don't see it in Italian, for example.
Note that Spanish also often requires 'le' rather than 'lo' as the direct object pronoun when the object is a male human being
I think that "I would find my friends" should also be accepted. I'm not talking about it in a hypothetical situation. I'm talking about saying something like this: When I was 6, I played hide and seek with my friends, and I would usually find them under the slide. Would, in this situation, is used to show that something was repeated, something usually happened. I think it should be accepted here.
No, that is not a good translation. You have used the English past perfect. That would be a good translation if the Spanish had been había encontrado.
But the Spanish here is encontraba (imperfecto), which describes habitual or ongoing action in the past.
So you want something like one of the following:
She used to find/meet my friends.
She was finding/meeting my friends.
(In those days) she would find/meet my friends.