Best would be "There were strong winds yesterday", unless it was one single gust of wind.
not really. "The wind" works, but wind is "uncountable", so it kind of functions as a plural, whether you use the plural "winds" or not. So "there was strong wind yesterday" or there were strong winds
OK, let it be "there was very strong wind yesterday" in the main translation.
You mean, "Wind were strong yesterday" and "There were strong wind yesterday" is correct? Or what did you mean by saying it "functions as a plural"?
No, not in that way. The singular form can slow have plural meaning. So it still takes "was", but not an "a" unless you're referring to a specific gust of wind.
BTW, does "...the wind is high" also work, since we do have such suggestions? It is not easy to decide what we should have and what we should not when non-native speakers happily submit their translations, too.
Most likely, it is about the general conditions. I do not like substituting "rain" for "rainy" and "wind" for "windy" (mainly because Russian has words for these, same as English) but, I guess, it would work too.
Gusts of wind might be memorable/ distinct enough from eachother in someone's mind that a speaker can refer to them as countable "winds", and weather reporters frequently do (probably in an effort to be extra correct: every gust is different speed, different direction, different time...). But a speaker can also choose not to distinguish between specific instances of wind, and usually when someone wants to refer to a specific gust they will use the word "gust". Note too that less intense/memorable "breeze" and "air" are rarely used in the plural.
ex. There was a strong south wind
ex. There was constant wind and rain
ex. It's a steady wind
ex. Just a light breeze today
ex. There's a foul air around here
It's a matter of perspective, unless someone unconciously talks like they hear on the news all the time (http://schoolvideonews.com/Broadcast-Journalism/Cliches-Redundancies-and-Euphemisms-Part-2)
"Yesterday there were high winds" works, "the wind was high" is ok, but feels a bit odd. Does the Russian refer to general conditions yesterday, or to a particular instance of strong wind(s)?
"There was very strong wind yesterday" is not good English idiom. "There were very strong winds yesterday" is the correct idiom.
Whether that kind of free translation is permitted by Duo is a separate question. If it's based on getting the best and most accurate idiomatic translation, then the plural version is the one to use as the primary translation.
While technically correct, as a speaker of American English this answer sounds weird to me. I would always use "windy" when describing weather, such as "it was very windy yesterday".
That's at least the most likely American English statement which transliterates if not translates the Russian. It's exactly what I'd say.
"There was very strong wind " didn't seem quite natural to me (British English), but if googled gives results. Suggested main translation "It was very windy yesterday ". Other possibilities It was really windy There was a very strong wind There were very strong winds There was a very high wind There were very high winds
"Yesterday was very windy" was my accepted answer. Seemed to me to be the most natural way to say it in English.
Most correct answer, in English, would be "it was very windy yesterday". "The was a very strong wing yesterday" would also work.
"Yesterday it was very windy" would be a much more natural answer. It should be accepted.
Because ветер is masculine, not neuter. Ветер is either the subject of the sentence or a predicate nominative - in either position, it determines the type verb to use in Russian. It's like saying "Very strong winds were [here????] yesterday."
English often uses the "dummy" subjects "it" or "there" + [to be] to express an idea which is difficult to state directly.
Dummy-subject: "There were strong winds yesterday"
Actual-subject: "Strong winds were yesterday." That's a really awkward sentence. The dummy-subject is much better.
There's is a contraction for there is. This sentence speaks of the past tense. While I personally attest that certain regions will say, There'us when meaning There was, it's pretty lazy of us. ;) Me. Lazy of me. I never write that, though. But to the point - "there's" would not be correct for this translation.
"There was very strong wind yesterday" should also be considered to be correct.