Guess it doesn't like the symbol
That is correct.
which means the same.
No. In standard written English, the only correct spelling is "and".
You won't find & as a replacement in edited text such as newspaper articles or books, at least none from this century.
& and "and" are not interchangeable in standard written English.
(Colloquial usage is something else, but this course expects something more standard, without "you = u" or "going to = gonna" or similar colloquialisms.)
why is it "Wasser" and not "Waßer"?
Because it's a short "a" sound, not a long "a" sound as in Straße.
Consider also Bier in Maßen trinken (drink beer in limited quantities) and Bier in Massen trinken (drink beer in massive quantities). Vowel length can make a big different in meaning.
- it's a "type what you hear" exercise (in that case, you're support to type the German words you hear -- not translate them into English)
- it's a multiple-choice exercise and you have marked ALL the correct answers (more than one may be correct: sometimes two, very rarely even all three)
If you still can't find the error, perhaps you can provide a screenshot.
At the end of a word, yes -- for example, Tod "death" and tot "dead" sound identical.
Similarly with B and P and with G and K. Voiced consonants are devoiced at the end of a word.
But at the beginning of a syllable, D/T, B/P, G/K sound different: Daten "data" and Taten "acts" do not sound the same.
Are all nouns capitalized?
This is mentioned in the tips and notes to the very first unit, so I suspect you haven't been reading the tips and notes -- perhaps you weren't even aware of them.
Please read the tips and notes before starting each lesson unit.
To do so, visit the Duolingo website https://www.duolingo.com/ ; once you have chosen the unit, click/tap on the lightbulb to access the tips and notes:
If so, why?
It's simply a spelling rule.
Why are names capitalised in English? Why is the first letter of a sentence capitalised in English?
It's simply a convention.
Did it just out of curiosity to see if it would be accepted. No biggie but. The ampersand (&) has been part of standard written Eng long before Duo even existed. Maybe just like the ' in isn't etc it should be accepted as a general means of shortening text. After all we are not talking about SMS language here. Like I mentioned it is not a big issue. It is just the programmer in me getting a bit pedantic
mistakenly I wrote "brut" but duolingo didn't accept it. it was just a letter bro :)
But it's a completely different word.
Just as "bed" and "bad" are completely different words in English, so Brot (bread) and Brut (brood; offspring) are completely different words in German.
If a single-letter mistake results in a valid word, it's counted as a full mistake by Duo, since it has no way of knowing whether you wrote that word on purpose or not.
No. My problem is with people who say that they wrote everything right but provide no evidence (e.g. a screenshot).
We can't read minds.
If the program says that you made a mistake, then chances are good that the mistake is at your end, not with the program. But nobody can guess what that mistake might have been if we can't see exactly what you wrote. (Which might not have been what you intended to write.)
Please upload your screenshots to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and include the URL in your comments.
Lingot for providing a screenshot!
Note the prompt at the top: Type what you hear.
The voice says Brot und Wasser.
So you have to type Brot und Wasser.
Not bread and water, because that's not what you heard.
It even says "Correct solution: Brot und Wasser" -- the correct solution uses German words.
Because it's wrong.
You can't use ss and ß interchangeably; for example, in Massen "in massive quantities" and in Maßen "in limited quantities" mean more or less the opposite thing.
Use ss after a short vowel and ß after a long vowel.
Wasser has a short a and so only ss is correct.
Because the word Mädchen has neuter gender (like all words in -chen) and Frau has feminine gender.
Grammatical gender does not always correspond to natural gender. For example, Person (person) is always feminine grammatically even when it refers to a male person. And objects such as knives, forks, and spoons also have grammatical gender.
Best to learn the gender along with each word.
What is the purpose of Bread and bread in German
"bread" is an English word.
The German word is Brot. It has a capital B because it's a noun, and all nouns are capitalised in German.
That's simply a spelling rule, like the rule in English that the first letter of a sentence, of a proper noun (name), or the word "I" are capitalised.