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  5. Definite-ness



I don't know whether I missed something or if this is just a case of not all variants on a sentence being added yet: Quite often the English answer seems to insist on "the" or on "a" when it seems like either is a reasonable, natural sounding translation of the Ukrainian.

Is there a definite vs indefinite thing that I'm missing here, or is it simply that sometimes only one variation has been added to the translation? It's frustrating because it's inconsistent. In some places where the and a seem equally valid to me as a native English speaker, it insists on the and marks a wrong, and in other places it'll only accept a.

I'm happy to keep reporting errors when I see them, but I don't want to report things as errors if it's just that there's a differentiation I've missed somewhere along the way and there's a reason it's not accepting one or the other variation.

(Occasionally I've seen sentences without any article where one is IMO needed to sound natural in English, which I've tried to always report, but the a/the dichotomy is a situation where I'm not sure whether it's me missing something or an actual error/omission.)

May 23, 2015



Natural/unnatural is one of the biggest challenges here. We are not native speakers and Duolingo sentences have no context, the obstacle that made creating the course very challenging. No articles in Ukrainian., ok.. If we have a sentence Програміст і дизайнер, for instance. Initial correct translation was A programmer and a designer. Now I got two reports for it - one with definite articles, one with zero articles. Alright, I accept both. This is relatively easy here.. But further in the course there are longer sentences where it is impossible to figure out (in)definite-ness.

I'd appreciate just a remark in a freewrite note that this or this sounds more natural to a native speaker (if you are one, of course).


I am a native speaker, yup! Okay, I will bear this in mind, especially when I go to regild the tree :D


This is good to know! I'm already reporting as I go, but once I've made it through the tree, I'll see if I can go back through and look more closely at the English, since I'm a native English speaker. It's a great course so far, and I'm really enjoying it! I'm a pure beginner, and I'm managing to get through the lessons okay, so I'm quite impressed.

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