It's a custom, and one that is fading with globalisation, not the most common practice by which couples walk down the street. They don't walk far behind them, either (I think half a step is common, but sometimes he may be entirely behind her). There are also other dating customs, but most of them are fading in modern Germany as well.
German doesnt have the "ing" form so "the gentlemen are following" and "the gentlemen follow" would be the same.
And I think den can't be "these" in this case, lol. It's den because it's dative plural of a feminine word, die Dame. Apparently the word folgen recuires the object to be in dative.
When used as an article, as it is here, die does not decline to denen but den. However, it can also be used as a pronoun meaning that, which, who, whom, whose and this word does decline to denen in the dative plural. Duo must've confused the two words and given the wrong declension.
This is so strange. In my language is the same part of the sentence in Accusative. I would ask "wen folgen die herren?" I dont really see the difference between folgen and sehen someone. So i will just have to memorized it. And I thought how great that we have 6 cases in my language so I understand it but this one works differently.
Like Marco said, it's an exception. Normally, the direct object is in the accusative case. However, after a limited number of special "dative verbs" such as "folgen" (to follow), "helfen" (to help) or "danken" (to thank), the direct object is in the dative case. "Den Damen" is dative plural.
Sentences (as a whole) aren't in any case.
den Damen is in the dative case because the verb folgen takes an object in the dative case.
(Why dative for this verb? No idea. But there are a dozen or two reasonably common verbs that take an object in the dative case, such as helfen - danken - folgen - gefallen - gehören - antworten.)
I thought that in this sentence the gentlemen would be in the dative
Why? They are the ones doing the following -- the subject of the verb. Subjects are in the nominative case.
the ladies in accusative because they are following the ladies so the action is being applied to the ladies. Why is it den Damen and not die Damen?
Some verbs take their object in the dative case rather than the accusative case -- it's simply a matter of memorising which verbs do this. I don't think there's a reason.
Common verbs which take (only) a dative object are helfen danken folgen gefallen gehören gratulieren antworten.
In some of these, you can perhaps remember it as "saying something TO someone" or "giving something TO someone" (e.g. jemandem helfen as "giving help to someone", jemandem gratulieren as "saying congratulations to someone"), but folgen can't easily be translated into English with "to" -- it's just something you have to memorise.
"Gentlemen" is definitely not archaic. It is still very much used nowadays.
Especially when it is not a totally informal setting, and/or when people are not just using slang. For example, when addressing groups of people they don't know someone would, or should, use: "Gentlemen, ...." or "Ladies and Gentlemen" when it is a group of men and women.
Something like "yo dudes", or "hey guys" is definitely not appropriate in every situation. Sure, sometimes those terms are just fine. But in very many settings they actually usually aren't.
den is masculine accusative singular, but also dative plural; die is feminine nominative/accusative singular, but also nominative/accusative plural regardless of gender.
Every form of the German definite article refers to at least two combinations of gender, number, and case, unfortunately.
So thinking of e.g. die as "the feminine article" may be more harmful than helpful, because die is also used in the plural (for all genders); similarly, den is not exclusively "masculine", either, and even der shows up not only in the plural but also in the genitive and dative of feminine singular nouns.
And then along comes things such as die Leiter ("the ladder" or "the leaders"?) and der Leiter ("the leader" or "of the ladder" or "to the ladder" or "of the leaders"?) :) Ambiguous articles can be annoying.
But yes, getting all sixteen down properly will be a good thing -- and knowing which one can show up in which combinations of gender/number/case.
I wrote "are following and it was marked incorrect?
Yes, because you did not translate die Herren or den Damen.
(What was your entire answer? Often, the mistake is not where you think it is but instead in the word order somewhere else, the wrong gender of an article, etc. Please always quote complete sentences.)
It is, but by itself, without a surname following, it can mean "gentleman" or "lord". Indeed it is the word used in German bibles for "God" when English calls Him "Lord". For example, Exodus 6 verse 1 starts: "Der HERR sprach zu Mose: Nun sollst du sehen, was ich Pharao tun werde." (Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh.') Incidentally, "The lords follow the ladies" is accepted here.
in what situation do you use herr instead of mann?
Neither herr nor mann is a German word, so you wouldn't ever use them.
Herr (capitalised) is roughly equivalent to "gentleman": you would use it when you're being particularly polite. Könnten Sie den Herrn bitte vorbeilassen? "Could you please let the gentleman through?"
Mann (also capitalised) is simply "man".
As I commented above, it is customary in Germany for a man to follow a woman when walking down the street, especially if they are married or dating. However, a man generally walks through a door first. Both customs may be throwbacks to ancient and less certain times. They both allow the man an opportunity to see a threat coming without putting his lady in danger. However, I think the former custom may be becoming less common.
Who said anything about gentlemen? Herr is an older man, specifically one with gray hair. It means Gray, and by extension: Senior, Elder (though alter Mann would be more specific). The Bible uses it for Lord, but that is not its core meaning, and Meister would probably have been a better translation.
"Translate this text
Die Herren folgen den Damen. The gentleman are following the ladies Continue You used the wrong word. The sirs are following the ladies."
I'm right! I know I'm right and I'm tired of being told I'm wrong when I'm right. I have reported it, but I am really angry that I have to give the wrong answer to get this right. Even my English grammar checker says sirs is wrong. It things that should be sins.