They use more of a American English on duolingo. But they try to accommodate for both so "Its A quarter to eight" may sound odd in America but maybe its an alternate solution.
"it's a quarter to eight" is the correct way of saying this phrase, maybe depending on the region of the USA the "a" isn't heard or emphasized.
I'm American and I hear and use both "quarter to" and "quarter of eight" frequently.
Because when telling the time, you say literally "the hours are..." "le ore sono..."
Because 'otto' is actually plural. 8 being greater than 1. It's basically when telling time it's nearly always le + number. One is different. See http://italian.about.com/cs/travel/ht/telltimeitalian.htm for details
Can someone please break this sentence down and explain it to me? I'm heavily confused. "They are the 8 less a 4"
Time in italian is usually told as "Sono le number" like "Sono le otto" similar to how we say "It is eight". Except in italian when using numbers (higher than 1) they use the plural "sono" instead of "è".
Sono le otto = it's eight
meno un quarto = less a quarter
Note: It's "quarto" (quarter or 4th) not quattro (4)
I believe there is a bug here for reading this sentence. I never have a problem with reading but i repeated thos one over twenty tomes and it still does not want to accept my 'meno un quarto'.