"Él fue al curso después de una ausencia de cinco semanas."
Translation:He went to the course after an absence of five weeks.
DL counts "after five weeks of absence" as wrong. Once again they are incorrect. That is certainly an acceptable translation.
If you feel strongly about it, report it. There's little point in posting here unless you're asking for a reason why it might not be accepted. The admins don't generally read the boards - you have to use the Report feature.
If you're looking for a concurring opinion, you've got one. Your translation is as good as Duo's.
Yes, "was" = "estaba" or "estuvo" (the correct verb is "estar" anyway, not "ir" ;]).
Yes, but "he was at the course" translates as "él estuvo/estaba en el curso", "ser" makes no sense there, he was not the course, he was at the course and that needs the "estar" translation of "to be", nor the "ser" one.
I'm struggling with how to tell if the preterite conjugation is Ser or Ir... is a good rule of thumb, if it is followed by "a", it is a fair bet that we're talking about past tense of Ir, and if there is no "a" it's probably ser?
I think it is a good rule indeed! At least I cannot think of any time where there is an "a" and it is the preterite of "ser" :] I guess it is more tricky when no "a" is there (as in "él fue después de comer" = "he went after eating"), but I think it is a good way to remember and in the times you doubt, translating it to English will probably help :]
"He went to the course after ONE absence of five weeks." I was marked wrong? I thought UNA can mean "one"(feminine)?
The English translation of "fue al curso" leaves me saying "HUH?!?" Does it really mean "back on track with course work" or "back up to speed with course work" or "at the correct level of competence (inspite of)" an absence or just "back in class"? Sometimes I feel I need an interpreter of DL English.
I don't think the DL staff read these comments. If you want something corrected you need to report it using the button beneath the question.
Apart from one accent my solution looks correct but it was judged wrong. Please explain.
It is hard to tell what may be the problem since we can not tell where you had the accent, but I know if you add an accent to some verbs it changes the person for example, cocino = I cook, and cocinó = he cooks. So in such cases DL will count that wrong.