I came up against this phrase in a "type what you hear" exercise (so nothing on screen to refer to). I was conflicted between whether I was hearing "эта машина" (e.g.: "this car") or "Это машина." (e.g.: "It is a car.")
I happened to choose wrong, but whatever - my question is whether there's an audible difference between the two that I'm not picking up on? Or do I just have to guess?
I agree. I've become so frustrated with the terrible audio. Until they decide to do something about it (instead of deleting the posts to support complaining about it) they should STOP doing audio only exercises. There's no learning - just memorizing the "correct" answer so you can complete that particular run. And notice your post is a year old and still nothing has been done to improve the audio.
i came here for the same problem but still I'm pretty sure there is no difference in russian pronounciation between это and эта. it's not the audible, it's vowel reduction https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Basics-1/tips-and-notes
Hi, I studied russian for 3 years in college and I can tell you for sure that there is a difference. Unfortunately, Duolingo is not doing a good job in emphasizing this difference. The best example I can give you is this: think about how you pronounce "America". The first "a" is going to be the sound for "это" and the second "a" is going to be the sound for "эта". I am not a native english speaker and in my mother tongue we have a certain letter that makes that sound and it's easier for us, but I hope my example helped some of you.
эта is a different word from это.
это usually means "this is" or "it is" or "these are". It is not conjugated based on gender, it is always the same.
этот, эта, это, эти mean "this" or "these" and do have gender, but not many Russian nouns are neuter, requiring это. If the noun is neuter, you will have to rely on context to tell whether it means "this" or "it is".