Here are 26 explanations of this Duolingo sentence;
a) Help, my shoes are electrocuting me! b) These shoes come with flashy light things c) These shoes have lightning bolt patterns d) I really like these shoes and am unable to use words in normal context e) Magnetic shoes f) These shoes come with in-built tasers g) I keep getting electric shocks from rubbing my shoes on the carpet h) These shoes come with batteries and can charge your phone i) These shoes are an eco-friendly form of transportation compared to the more popular combustion-engine shoe j) Electric eels use these shoes very commonly in the wild to mate k) Android is selling these shoes after a recent dream l) These shoes will not move until fully charged m) These shoes self-tie themselves like in Back to the Future n) The machine to make these shoes is electric o) False advertising p) These shoes self-fit to the buyer's size q) I can run like Sonic in these shoes r) I am Sonic s) I am Dr. Eggman trying to outrun Sonic t) I am Dr. Eggman holding these shoes whilst making Robot Sonic u) I am a Nintendo salesman making fun of Sega in the endless gaming war v) These are Inspector Gadget's shoes w) These shoes taser me to remind me not to say anything stupid x) Are these shoes electric? Zap y) These shoes are made entirely of electrons/electromagnetic waves/whatever they make it out of these days z) I live in the ridiculous world of Duolingo land where my hovercraft will always be full of eels
MichaelC...I disagree completely. A sentence is a grammatical structure that adheres to agreed upon linguistic norms that have nothing whatsoever to do with logic. Some notable poets such as Dr. Seuss, e.e.cummings, Alan Ginsberg, Bob Dylan have composed sentences that on the surface one might say, don't make sense. Sometimes they're even awarded a Nobel Prize.
Clayton, if it's any consolation, it's happened to me and I'm sure others more than once. Maddening. My advice: have a nice glass of chianti which # 1 will calm you and # 2 slow your typing down so you don't make those typos: "Allora, puoi prendere due piccioni con una fava!" Ciao.
Hey, the sentence makes you think and the comments have been, ahem, illuminating. I've learned several new words just reading through them, and I enjoyed it! A sentence may be nonsensical, but it lightens the mood and gets you thinking and, from interacting with y'all, promotes a sense of camraderie. What's so bad about that? Bring on the unusual sentences---they're fun and they make us think, and, I guarantee tou won't forget them!
If This Is Just A Pile Of Words, So Is A Sentence. I'm Pretty Sure The Only Requirements For A Sentence Are For It To Be Grammatically Correct, No Matter Whether It Makes Sense Or Not, "Colourless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously", For Example, Is A Sentence, Despite Being Complete Nonsense With No Discernibile Meaning.
Gianpaolo: Your monologue is indeed electrifying. To Duolingo: Thank you for sentences like this one: it gives me a chance to know my fellow students do have a great sense of humor without which I'll die, whether my shoes are electric or made of glass, or beef, or anything that requires a mental stop.
For those unfamiliar with electric shoes (and there seem to be many such people judging by the comments on this section), please allow me to provide you with a little information on the subject of electric shoes - or indeed, electric footwear in general for that matter. There are basically two types of electric shoes: mains-powered and those reliant upon battery power. The battery-powered variety is the more popular owing to the fact that the length of electric cable of the mains-powered type severely limits the distance one may walk from one's house.
Being that a lot of people have expressed the same thoughts, I thought I'd write out the long answer as to why there isn't anything wrong with 'le mie scarpe sono elettriche'.
The direct, word for word, translation to English is 'The my shoes are electric'.
It seems ridiculous because in English we would say, 'are my shoes electric' rather than 'the my shoes are electric'. However, the Italian language constructs sentences differently to English. In English the nearest direct translation might be 'the shoes, which are mine, are electric'. Consider, the Italian language uses older rules than modern language, and Italian sentence construction often differs to English.
'Le mie cane ha fame' (the my dog has hunger) does the same thing. 'The dog, which is mine, is hungry' (or rather, 'the dog, which is mine, 'has' a current state of famine'). There is no direct, word for word translation which would make clear sense in English so we settle for a best approximation.
Many Italian words translate to a modern definition that we can use in English but the etymology of the word in Italian shows its history and evolution. The same goes for sentence structure. Our modern English translates poorly but translating to older English styles gives a more coherent translation.
In the end, I'd say it's English which bears the error, being that so much of it comes from Latin. Translating English and Italian words to Latin shows that English is the odd one out. The journey from Latin, through Italian to English is very visible when comparing the individual words. Sentence structure also sways between the style used in Latin and the style we are familiar with today.
While the sentence might seem silly (no argument here) it gives us the opportunity to learn subject-object-verb (She him loves) agreement, rather than subject-verb-object (She loves him) as is used in modern English. And it does so using a memorable example.
Italian, being an older but evolving language, alternates between both SOV and SVO, however it most often uses SVO. More languages around the world actually use SOV than SVO. Generally the older the language (P.I.E, Hindi, Ancient Greek, Latin, Sanskrit) the more likely the language to use SVO. So learning one of these older languages or a closely related language like Italian, involves not just learning the words but also learning to form sentences in a new style and think in that new style.
At the very least, I thought it was all interesting.
Yurg9: Probably not, probably never, BUT haven't you learned/reviewed sentence structure, word order, the verb 'essere', proper use of possessives, maybe a new vocabulary word 'elettriche'??? Do you really think that the only purpose these sentences serve is to provide users with an endless number of sentences they can memorize verbatim and use in some given situation. Expect that, and you're not going to learn how to be very creative in the language.