Consistency is key in this sentence. Put "here the subway" by itself, and it is not grammatically correct in English. People can understand it, but they will look at you funny. Duo anyhow, doesn't understand it because it is looking for the right answer. Articles are strange things to master. Think of a native person of the country pointing things out to you, while you pass them by in the car. "Here is the square, and here is the subway."
I suspect it is due to the fact that the difference is not subtle.
You may compare it to the difference between "e" in "pet" and "ia" in foliage. One is short and less distinguished, the other "narrower" and longer.
Of course, you should not spell the words guided only by what you hear. The Russian spelling is not phonetic, even though the spelling is more or less simple, like in German.
The audio renders the distinction rather accurately. However, you should really pay attention to how Ш is pronounced because it does not sound like the English "sh", and that's where English speakers' problems start. Here are a few reference examples: шар, шуба, шум
Imagine a person whose language somehow has no iː ("meet") or æ ("cat") but has "e" (met). Upon listening to the words "hat" and "heat" such a learner would conclude that they both sound like "het" in English, only "ea" has a sound slightly different than a simple "a". You ended up in a similar situation. The thing is, the English "sh", sounds like something between the Russian ш and щ: it bears similarity to both but does not quite match any of the two.
IRL ш is pronounced with a tongue slightly spooned back and is much less noisy than in English. Щ, on the other hand, is a long and very hissy sound pronounced with your tongue extremely high (try making a "sh" and then try pressing as much of your tongue's surface onto the roof of your mouth as you can).
It is very difficult to pick out words when half the letters are unvocalized, and it would really help, subsequently, were the correction to show the word in Cyrilic! It would be easier to pick out площадъ from a spoken sentence the first time were it preceded by the name of some well know square, Кпасни площадъ, for instanstance.
On my phone, площадь sounds like Boo-zhit. Is this correct? If not, can anyone suggest where to get better help on pronunciation?
Also… From someone's post, I understand а (and) to be like the English conjunction to connect two ideas, whereas и (and) joins items in a list (for example… item 1, item 2, and item 3) even if there are only two items. Can someone comment on whether this is correct?
A very helpful tip to me was that when pronouncing ш, your tongue is in the same spot as when you're pronouncing ж, and you can switch between the sounds easily, just stop humming to switch and vice versa. Щ is more like the sound "sh" in english, as in the tongue is closer to the teeth and front of the mouth
The primary use of ь is to mark palatalisation ; it means that the consonant is pronounced in a way that the middle of your tongue is raised towards the roof of your mouth (sort of like pronouncing it with a Y sound). Here is a video on the topic on Russian Grammar channel
It is also used in some other ways to mark that the y-sound of е/ё/ю/я is retained after a consonant (e.g., пьёт, льёт) and as a part of spelling conventions (e.g., in ночь, ешь, читаешь where it cannot affect pronunciation).
Does anyone know the pronunciation spelling for "площадь" in english text?