Collective nouns in English can be tricky. The traditional rule was to use the singular when the members are acting as a unit: the team plays at home today; use the plural when members are acting individuals: the team follow various diets. In my part of North America, however,I would say the distinction is increasingly ignored and the singular is becoming more and more common.
In this case, it seems unlikely that every family member issued a separate invitation, so I would say that the family, acting as a unit, invites.
I usually do not get mad at Duo, but this is annoying. I just had a sentence that had il nonno which translated to "my grandfather." I had put "the grandfather" and got it wrong. Learning from my mistakes, I put "my husband" here instead. WRONG. What am I missing? If there is no possessive word, how do I know when it is possessive?!
I have a question for speakers of American English. What pronoun would you use for family? For example in BE we would say, 'The family are coming round tonight; they will be here for eight'. In AE it would be 'The family is coming round tonight; ??? will be here for eight'.
What about Italian? I presume you always use the third person singular.
In AE we say 'they' in that sentence. Family doesn't have an 's' at the end (when talking about one group of people related to each other) but it is still plural in the number of people. We would not use the word family in most contexts if we only have one family member other than ourselves (unless we are talking about both of us). We say my brother, my mother,... Just for information, we also generally do not say 'for' eight, rather 'by' eight.
Too often the translations to English are like something found in a 6-year-old's reading book. On this page, the family invites the husband (but normally we don't let your father eat with us!). The family eats dinner. See the family eating the dinner. How long is dinner?
No one in America speaks like this.
I am curious, would this be taking in the weird distant abstract way that the English would or would it be closer to meaning "my family invites my husband." or would that always be "la mia famiglia invita mio marito". On a deep level I'm trying to figure out Italian articles in context.
Brit here. Definitely not an abstract way of talking about your own family or your own husband. They both belong to someone else. Maybe we are discussing the wedding anniversary of my neighbours, Granny and Grandad Jones. They have a granddaughter, Eve Smith, married to Bill Smith. They do not approve of Bill, but the rest of the Jones family invite him anyway.
Looking at the comments below, and contributing fully, in spite of creating 'clutter', 'either 'invite' or 'invites' would be correct usage, so to continue correcting us for apparently misusing our own language is insulting. The family invites is fine, but so is the family invite ... I am a linguist and have studied English in depth. so what would I know...
This will always be a problem. The family refers to a group of people, plural. (In English) Where did this term "British English " come from any way ? English is English. It is spoken by English people. Anything else is a bastardisation of English and is described as "American" English (which itself is incorrect because it should be "US"), "Scottish" English, "Australian" English, etc. And, yes, I'm English
DL must understand the word "flexibility". Being pedantic does not encourage the learner. I translated the above as "The family invite the husband" and DL marked it wrong. How many times must it be said that it should be accepted as in English this is the way one makes such a statement, meaning collectively the family invite someone to lunch or dinner. I thank DL for giving me the chance to learn another language but I refuse to allow DL to change my English. Yes, I am angry and disappointed!
No, not really. Traditionally, the collective noun would be treated as singular. But hence the confusion. Both are correct in modern English usage, so 'the family invite the husband', or 'the family invites the husband' - which is what I've been saying all along. If Duolingo haven't corrected this to accept either option by now, they should jolly well get on and do it. Both are correct, Duolingo.
Can "The family invites my husband" also be a correct translation?
I read that if there is no context the definite article is understands as "my husband", but it adds a childish sense to the sentence (like saying this to your niece maybe(?))
As in previous sentence: "Invitiamo la nonna a cena" -> we invite grandma to dinner -> https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/876025