Translation:The boys' sandwiches
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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.
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.
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 :).
I actually think it's fixed now, perhaps! I did it as a typed exercise, and I kept getting it wrong at first because I typed it without the apostrophe; it only registered as correct once I added the apostrophe.
I don't normally use punctuation on Duolingo, and I'm guessing many don't which would explain why this has been an issue... It is kind of odd to require correct punctuation usage ONLY for this one specific case (possesive apostrophes), and no others, but since it has a significant role in the meaning here I get why it's necessary.
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.
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.
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.
I wrote : the boys' sandwiches. Rejected. Right answer is : The boys' sandwiches. Sorry for the guys who are used to give me dislikes on my comments but I maintain DUOLINGO is definitely not a clever place to be evaluated ! Not only it evaluates the English grammar when learning another language, but it also check if you use a T or a t when starting a sentence in this other language! BUT how many times one can see there are no capital letters in DuoLingo words choice for a translation ! Insane !
For the record, I never use any upper case letters or punctuation (except for apostrophe which is needed) in my answers (mostly because I am lazy), and DL does not care. I never put in periods, commas or question marks. It accepts my answers just fine. On the other hand, DL had problems with the plural possessive apostrophe (such as "The cats' milk") for a long time, but I thought it got fixed over a year ago. Also, it seems entirely appropriate that DL would evaluate your English grammar when asking you to write in English. How else could it work?