I agree to some degree with this point. However, the Italian sentence "Oggi non abbiamo potuto." seems to be a correct and complete sentence to me while the English sentence "Today we could not" is not a correct sentence. I think it is just a fragment, a piece that can be used in a sentence, but should not stand on it's own. Even in spoken English I think this fragment will only very rarely be used on it's own.
I would prefer to translate something that is complete in Italian to something that is complete in English. I am happy to translate fragments as fragments.
In answer to AntonyHodgson's first point. Since I've been engaging in Duolingo's site, I've been trying to get them to accept "be able to" as a possible translation for "potere" and they have consistently not allowed it. Also, "may" as in "Posso entrare?" Again, not accepted - at least when I've tried it.
I answered "today we have not been able. " Duo marked it wrong because I didn't add "to" at the end. But I think my answer is correct. The word "to" is not necessary, does not change the meaning, and if I'm not mistaken, it is grammatically incorrect to put a preposition at the end of a sentence.
First of all forget the not putting a prep. at the end of a sentence that has been debunked. But as for the rest you are right. It seems someone forgot to tell the computer program that. What you can do is report it. You won't get your heart back but you will help other users. To see how to report and other helpful ideas see the Guidelines here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4821654
I've never heard of a grammar rule being "debunked," though I know acceptable grammar usage changes over time. If there is something that explains or supports what you say about using a prep. at the end of a sentence, I would like to read about it. Do you have any references you could share? Thanks in advance! Also, I know about reporting errors and have done this a few times, but was on my phone app during that lesson and can't report from there. I will do it today. Sometimes, it is helpful when others share their frustrations about answers they thought were correct that were marked wrong. A lot of learning goes on through the discussion boards!
Yes, I am sorry for not having left references. Here are some rather authoritative entries which I think will support my post:
This is from the first page of 194k hits. Now, while the Oxford site says it is "debunked" others say it never was a rule. In any case all say be cool no prob. :)
I totally agree with you about the benefits of sharing views and releasing frustrations on the comment boards . It was really remiss of me not to have included references. Best wishes,
Thanks for the references. Glad for the insight. I agree it usually sounds unnatural to move the prep so it's not at the end, but I thought it was something you were still supposed to do in writing or if talking to an English teacher! :) I learned something new. A lingot for your teaching!
here are a two links that talk about why some of the old rules based on latin grammar just don't work in English:
You are right for present tense sentences but This is in the near past or passato prossimo which is formed from the present tense of avere or essere (dependent on the verb that follows) follows by what is called the past participle of the active verb in this case 'potare' whose past participle is potuto. The participle never changes (apart from agreeing in gender and number when it is a verb that takes essere). only the preceding verb changes depending on who carried out the action. The same sentence in the first person singular would be oggi non ho potuto=Today I have not been able to.
Read more on the passato prossimo here: http://www.unc.edu/~achamble/passatoprossimo.html
The audio tends to fall off to near silence at the end of sentences, so it is almost impossible to hear the final word, especially the final syllable, and without clear enunciation of the final word it is also often impossible to predict from context. I have found this continually in the Italian lessons. Please correct this!