Why does this sentence accept ночь and вечер, but "a night in the cafe" can only be translated with ночь?
Firstly, Czech and as far as I've seen here Russian as well, have different feeling for the daytimes in comparison to English: вечер starts roughly at 6pm and takes till midnight. ночь is from midnight till lets say 4 am. Therefore the question "What did you do last night" in Russian is kind of silly, because unless I partied till 2 or 4am the answer would always be "Well, I splept, what else did you expect?"
While if you want to hear what he had done "last night" in the meaning "after 8pm before going to bed", you have to use the word вечер.
And I have no idea why it wasn't accepted in the other sentence, but it's probably because the way how DuoLingo works, every single sentence is inputed manually by different people and no one revised that sentence yet.
вечер starts at about 5 pm and lasts till you go to bed. Then comes ночь. It lasts till you wake up or till the dawn breaks, but in the far north (e.g in St. Petersburg) in early summer we have the so-called "white nights" when it never gets dark. In the astronomical sense, ночь is the time between sunset and sunrise of the following day. Утро starts at dawn and lasts till about 11 am (not till noon like the morning in English). День lasts from sunrise till sunset so it includes late morning and early evening. Russian doesn't have the concept of the afternoon, so in Russian we say "вторая половина дня". When you speak to a Russian audience in the afternoon, it would be wrong to translate "this morning we discussed ..." as "сегодня утром мы обсудили...". The correct way to render this thought in Russian is "В первой половине дня / До перерыва на обед мы обсудили..."
I copied the Russian into Google Translate:
вторая половина дня - "The second half of the day"
сегодня утром мы обсудили... - "This morning we discussed..."
В первой половине дня / До перерыва на обед мы обсудили... - "In the morning / Before lunch break we discussed ..."
Not only. In fact, most the time вчера вечером would be the only appropriate equivalent of 'last night'
After reading the comments down below: I think in this learning program we are supposed to translate evening with вечер and night with ночь ince there is no exact time given. In real life it would just depend on the daytime when to say either (see below).
In English, they sometimes are. "Last night we went to the movies" or "Yesterday evening we went to the movies" could each occur at the same time. If it were very late, after about 10 pm, then "last night" would be more appropriate. "Last night" covers a broader range of hours, some of which can coincide with "last evening".
There is something odd about the adjective for "last" which I hope I will learn about. I entered some phrases in Google Translate and got these:
the last man...........последний человек
the last woman.....последняя женщина
the last butter........последнеё масло
But the answer here is:
last night..............................прошлая ночь
last/yesterday evening....прошлый вечер
I truly hope there's an explanation sometime about what's going on here.
Intresting, sometimes even small difference is "wrong" other times "around" seems fine. A bit confusing.