Translation:Before, during or after the dinner?
"Während" has either the genitive: "während des Essens". This is very old-fashioned. Or it has the dative: "während dem Essen". That is very bad german. (Used often anyway.) But both mean the same thing, whereas "vor" means something different with dative than with accusative. In this case, it has the dative. So they all have the dative in common anyway. You wouldn't want to put "während" last, because then everybody can see you are using it with dative, you want to cover that up a bit, so "während" comes in the middle, where it belongs anyway for temporal reasons.
If you put several prepositions in a sentence like that, and they go with different cases, it's awkward in any case, and I would probably first choose the case of the object according to the sense of the whole sentence, then I would put the preposition last that goes with the case of the object. Then I would delete the whole sentence and construct the whole thing differently, because it would still be horrible.
I'm pretty sure that Duolingo's English is American, and in America, "tea" is a drink, not a meal. The only meals are breakfast (morning), lunch (noon), and dinner/supper (evening). Of course, if we were quoting Lord of the Rings, we might say that the meals consisted of: breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper.
I think tea comes from 'afternoon tea' originally, like tea, sandwiches, cakes etc at around 4/5pm but has moved to now encompass a later main meal, which if it was around 8pm would actually be supper. Whilst dinner, is defined as the main meal of the day, usually either around lunch or tea/supper time.
I would think it did not accept your answer because in English, at least everywhere I lived in the US "evening meal" is not used in this instance/this way. It would have to be "dinner", or in some areas "supper".
Sure you eat "dinner" or "supper" in the evening, but you can also eat any other type of meal, such as breakfast or dessert, in the evening. *Abendessen/dinner/supper" does not just stand for the time of day one eats but also for the type of meal that's customary.
I believe in the UK "tea" is also used for a meal like a dinner/supper. But since Duo is developed and programmed in the US it may not be in their dictionaries/databanks.
The thing is though, Duo uses US English as far as I know. It seems to do pretty well accepting other regions' English vocabulary but does not have everything. At least not that I have seen. It probably would be too difficult, and too costly, to put in every possible word. Considering that it is free I try to not get too frustrated when I think that they have a weird translation.
I understand that colloquially, während is used as a dative preposition, but technically it's a genitive preposition. Is there a better way to say this sentence using während in the genitive, or will it get too clogged up as a sentence? How would you say this professionally, for example?
Durch is an akkusativ form while Während is a genitiv form.
http://www.dict.cc/deutsch-englisch/hindurch.html.Here are some examples.My German text book has only two examples and it says that the word is then mostly hindurch.
No, "hinter" would indicate/work with a location, as in "behind" - " die Katze sitzt hinter dem baum", "die Kinder spielen hinter dem Haus."
nach- http://www.dict.cc/?s=nach -can be used with time (among many other uses)
hinter - http://www.dict.cc/?s=hinter
http://www.dict.cc/ is really good-it even lists expressions and has audio
I would generally agree, as a native speaker. There is, however, one context in which I would use "the dinner", and that's referring to a dinner that's a special event--like a gala, company event or formal event. E.g. "I can't go see a movie at 6, I have a dinner then...but maybe after the dinner we could go?"
nach can mean to (as in toward) but depending on context it also means after, to, past and more.
For example: wir werden spazieren gehen nach dem essen. - we will go for a walk after the meal/after eating
es ist zehn nach drei - it is ten past three
You can see here. This dictionary also lists examples http://www.dict.cc/?s=nach
- vor = preposition
- bevor = subjugating conjunction. do X, before Y
- vorher = before this point in time
At least where I live it would have to be "during" dinner" to be correct English.
You could/need to use 'while" with a verb such as "while eating dinner" or "while dining" but not with a noun (such as "dinner"). So "while dinner" would be wrong/incorrect English.
You would have to use a verb in there such as "while eating dinner". Same as not being able to say "while drink" or "while movie" but would need to say "while drinking"/"while having a drink'" or "while watching a movie".