"al = a + el A means to and al, which is formed by combining a and el, means to the. This contraction is mandatory, so saying ## de el ## is wrong.
The note for the use of 'al' makes an incorrect reference to 'de el' in the comment. See the last sentence - It should read '.... so saying a el is wrong'. This was found under the lesson on Prepositions (Spanish).
It seems corrected by now.
By the way, I would maybe add a precision to this note since Duolingo is 'accent mark tolerant'. Correct me if I'm wrong but when it's a él (él pronoun) one can't make the contraction : Lo digo a él and not Lo digo al. So since Duo is accent mark tolerant, it could lead some users to overuse this contraction...
This is a copy and paste from the actual note given in the lesson - they are not my words - the only addition I have made is to and the # signs to highlight the problem. The note is about the use of 'al' not 'del' - and my comments was copied and pasted when it was sighted - so it is a current mistake.
I know, I went there and read it. And it's now written:
Del = de + el
"De" means "of" and "del," which is formed by combining "de" and "el," means "of the." For example, "el perro del niño" is how you would say "the boy's dog." Whereas "el perro de el niño" is incorrect (because you must always combine "de" and "el"), "el perro de la niña" is correct (since there is no contraction for "de" and "la").
Al = a + el
"A" means "to" and "al," which is formed by combining "a" and "el," means "to the." For example, "camino al mar" is how you would say "I walk to the sea." You must always contract "a" and "el," so "camino a el mar" is incorrect.
So I said it seemed corrected to inform you that, thanks to your report probably, it was now corrected. Indeed the only time, in the current version - which I copied/pasted just above -, Duo used "de el" is to give an example of incorrect spanish and says "is incorrect" and Duo don't speak anymore about del in the Al = a + el paragraph.
So it doesn't seem to me a current mistake anymore.
Ok ... thanks. It must have been updated very recently then. All good.
Might be good if they make a correction to an issue one raises that one gets an acknowledgement ... ya know, something simple .... just saying, 'its fixed - thanks' or something easy like that. Its good to know if someone has bothered to look at what one reports ... else why bother!
I imagine they receive a lot of e-mail to report errors, so they can forget to answer to all but I received several times an email saying that the problem I reported was now corrected. So I imagine they try to do it as much as they can.