Translation:The boys have to leave school.
But we use 'must'' in the sense of having to, or needing to, also. Debo, tengo que, necesito - all can at times be equivalent to ''must'' or ''must have''. I must ! I have to ! Why? Because I need to! But it's Spanish we're learning, so we should be more concerned with when and why you use debo, tengo que and necesito. Maybe there is no rule. With ''je dois'' and ''il me faut'' and ''j'ai besoin de'', the French equivalents, no-one raises an eyebrow whichever I use.
I tried "The children have to evacuate the school" - thinking of the hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, the fires in California, bomb threats, etc. But Duo doesn't like the word "evacuate." Duo's translation "The boys have to abandon school" (no article preceding school) gives me a different impression - that is, perhaps the boys have to join the army, or they have to get a job to help support the family, or for any reason they have to discontinue their education. In that case, common conversational English would be "The boys have to drop out of school." or "quit school". One might also save "give up their education". In English it is the article preceding "school" that makes a difference.
If I hear "They have to abandon (or evacuate or leave) THE school", I think of the building in which learning occurs. If I hear "They have to abandon (or leave or quit or give up) school" (without THE) I think of the education itself.
Since it is Spanish I am trying to learn, I wish a native Spanish speaker would explain the connotations of the Spanish sentence.
Rob and Don, "The children must abandon the school" was accepted Aug.19, 2017. I thought of it like an emergency situation.
However, someone in the forum above said it happens frequently in the U.S. that the emergency might be shooters. No, the news may make it seem so, but shooters in schools are RARE. In a country of more than 350 million people, I think it happened three times in the past decade. AWFUL! But rare.
Not to start a political discussion, but this is factually incorrect. Even if you restrict your count to mass shootings in which more than a few people were killed, there were at least two mass school shootings in 2018 alone (27 people killed total), and I see at least six mass school shootings in the decade before that, without looking very hard. Now, 27 people killed in schools in 2018 may still count as rare in a country with so many millions of people... but maybe not that rare. Non-mass school shootings in general (where at least one person is shot) are estimated to happen at the rate of about one per week in the US. :(
That (give up) would be the same meaning as "quit" school. They didn't accept my "quit", I guess the school was on fire, or shooters were in the school (that, shooters, happens a lot in the U.S.). In which case, "give up" would be wrong also.
"Have to leave," and "must leave" should both work, I think.
But in Spanish there are three words - deber (must or should), tener que (have to) and necesitar (need to). I think Duo is trying to get us used to hearing (seeing) the context these words are used in Spanish. I am ok with this part of the sentence.
I wish there were more context to help us know when to use abondonar. It does not come up as often as "have to", so it is more difficult to figure out its meaning through usage.
This is an interesting question posted by yolie1220 in that you can use "ninos" for a group of M/F, but "chicos/chicas, muchachos/muchachas" are gender specific. "Hombres" are only men, "mujeres" are only women, and combined they are "hombres y mujeres". Why is there not a single Spanish word for both men and women like there is for boys and girls? Do we use gente/personas? But that wouldn't really makes sense because the "ninos" are also included in the class of gente/personas. I'm hoping a native Spanish speaker can answer this.