Was this a multiple choice task, or a regular translation task?
The apostrophe is present on our end, but I've seen several reports like yours, so there seems to be some kind of bug affecting apostrophes at the end of words. However, I haven't been able to replicate it when I've tried, so I'm wondering under which circumstances it happens.
I have just had the exact same problem twice in a row now, first with the girls' apples and now with the boys' sandwiches. Answers with apostrophes are being counted as containing typos, even though they are also listed below with the apostrophes as "another correct solution".
[Oct. 7, 2017] Tried adding the backslash today and I'm amused that it actually works. The "almost correct" error didn't appear. I guess someone forgot to escape single quotes :P
EDIT: It worked for one item, but not for all the others sigh. My answers got marked as wrong when adding the backslash. Strange enough, the correct answers for those items showed the apostrophe.
To clear things up for the non-nerds: In many programming or web languages the apostrophe ' is used to start and end a "String", which is sort of a container with text in it.
Now, if you actually want to use the apostrophe(or any character which may be problematic in this case) in the String as a character, you usually have to put a backslash and then the character: \'. That way, the computer knows it's not the ending of the String.
There seems to be some messy programming on Duolingo's end, which probably causes these issues.
Stay friendly though, no need to downvote poor Linn :(
The context is always going to tell you this. Sandwich is the same in singular and plural:
Et smørbrød - smørbrødet - smørbrød - smørbrødene
"Dine smørbrød" vs "Ditt smørbrød"
"Gode smørbrød" vs "Et godt smørbrød".
This sentence is ambiguous however, so it could translate to 'sandwiches' and 'sandwich'. A way to distinguish these could be to write "Smørbrødene til guttene" vs "Smørbrødet til guttene", but context should leave out this ambiguity.
If you have issues with the plural possessive being graded incorrectly in this sentence, or are being shown a possessive without the required apostrophe as a recommended answer, please take a screenshot and make a thread about it in the Troubleshooting forum and/or report it as a bug.
Remember to make it clear that this is a recurring issue affecting all plural possessives, and not just a case of a missing accepted translation.
We made the developers aware of this issue over a year ago, but new features keep getting priority over bug fixes. Perhaps a little more user attention in channels they actually read might do the trick.
It seems to be something that happens across Duolingo. I have come across it in the Dutch and German courses, and now here in Norwegian. I have reported it as a bug, but as many have noted, the problem still exists. It seems strange that we have to write incorrect English in order to avoid getting a message saying that there is a "typo", when there is not. The strange thing is that the "Correct solution" given at the top of this comments page does have the apostrophe.
I think that English accepted the Germanic/Nordic possessive style, but, at the same time developed the Latin (Romance) based plural form with the "s" suffix, so, to make the distinction between the two, an apostrophe (') was added to indicate the possessive form of the noun. This is my guess, anyway :).
The problem still exists. I'm surprised it is taking this long to fix.
I would guess it's the programmers' issue.
Do you see what I did there? It is an issue that belongs to the programmers, thus, the apostrophe after the S is required. Showing it as a mistake or "another correct choice" is actually incorrect.
Just thought I'd revive this discussion (as the problem is still there). When translating possessive plurals into English, the website doesn't like the (correct) apostrophe after the word: while it doesn't mark it wrong (it simply says that there's a typo) it is still quite annoying (especially as an English teacher!!) It happens on all kinds of exercises, mainly translations into English where you have to type out the full answer.
How would I say "The boys' buttered bread?", meaning bread with butter on it that belongs to the boys? I actually thought that's what this was, as most people in my area seem to use 'sandwich' or 'smørbrød med pålegg'. Smørbrød seems to be used with something.... 'smørbrød med reker', 'smørbrød med skinke', etc.
Also, smørbrød is almost always open-faced, not technically sandwiches. I think I would have translated this one incorrectly, even if I were more fluent.
Because the definite article goes with the boys, not the sandwiches. You would use smørbrødene if you wanted to say something like those sandwiches are the boys'. De smørbrødene er guttenes.
p.s. you can use the 'character map' in windows or ascii code to type ø on any computer.
So this is kind of a distinction-without-a-difference situation. I mean, if the stress is on the boys then you can leave the definite article out of smørbrød but if the stress is more on saying something about the sandwiches, "those sandwiches," then they both take the definite article?
Character Map, that works! Tusen takk. Can't use ASCII on my computer b/c I don't have a NumLock key and my peripheral keypad doesn't either.
I agree. Does all this mean that there is no difference in Norwegian, if there was only one boy, between "The boy's sandwich" and "The boy's sandwiches" - one boy in both cases, but the number of sandwiches differs?
Yes, as described in https://www.duolingo.com/skill/nb/Plurals/tips-and-notes there are cases where it is impossible to tell, without context or an accompanying adjective, whether a short word is an indefinite singular or plural.
It's a long thread here, so just to make it clear to anyone who is wondering, that issue about the apostrophe after "The boys' sandwiches" is now fixed, so you do not receive an error of any sort. In fact it might now be helpful to cull those replies that refer to it as a problem.