"The girls are eating apples."
Translation:Девочки едят яблоки.
That's conjugation. It exists in quite a few European languages, but not english for the most part. In other languages, the ending of a verb changes depending on who's doing it. The only example of this in english is how when "he/she" is doing the action the end of the verb changes. I'm not very proficient in Russian, but as an example here are the different verb endings in French for manger (to eat)
Je mange (I eat) Tu manges (You eat) Il/elle mange (He/she eats) Nous mangeons (We eat) Vous mangez (Y'all eat) Ils/elles mangent (They eat)
For Russian, what we know right now is
Я ем (I eat) Он ест (He eats) Они едят (They eat)
I thought the plural of nouns ending in o, e (neuter) is a, я. So I expected that the plural form of яблоко would be яблока. What did I miss? Is this just an exception?
I haven't seen the verb кушать used at all on duolingo so far - which do Russians use more often, есть or кушать ?
Why exactly does Duolingo use яблоки instead of яблока? I understand that the tips and notes states that яблоки is an uncommon way of using it, but then why use that version of the word?
This is in fact not an exception. The rule states that all neuter nouns that end in -ко get the plural ending -ки. Облако -ка is an exception to this rule (among others). I admit that it sounds confusing that an exception to a rule gets the regular ending to the majority of the neuter nouns.