I used another word-"The fall"... Not accepted. I don't understand why? Now I am living in US,and a word Autumn I heard rarely. In my mind,here are some diferents between english UK and english USA. Like,take OR have a shower. I remember,when I was a school student we did not use word a Student,we used a Pupil,because a student it ment a univercity student,and a pupil it ment a school student,like a scholar.
The issue is to understand what is being taught here in Russian. Must "Осень была холодная" translate as "Autumn has been cold"? For the average English-speaker this sounds weird without context.
So, the problem is that the sentences are short and without context. "Autumn was cold" is perfectly acceptable in English. It could be the start of a short story: "Autumn was cold. The ground was frozen and they couldn't bury the bodies until spring."
It could be two sisters talking about the weather: "Autumn was cold." "No, I didn't think it was that cold."
The sentence might be more easily understood with time phrases like "last year autumn was cold" or "this year (the) fall has been very cold."
I would appreciate any clarity from native Russian speakers. Thanks...uh...большое спасибо!
With the inclusion of был(-а/-о) or any past tense verb in Russian, it will automatically always translate to past tense in English, so "(The) Autumn was cold" is the only proper translation. If you wanted to say "last Autumn" or "the Autumn before last", you'd have to make that distinction with the appropriate adjective.
The English present perfect progressive (try saying that five times fast) tense ("It has been") is translated simply into Russian present tense, but in that case for this sentence specifically I would probably add the word "this" to clarify that you are expressing that the current Autumn has been cold, as opposed to the concept that in general Autumn is a cold time of year... (Эта осень холодная).
The concept is a little easier to explain in a different sentence where a verb is present... For instance, if you wanted to say "I have been working here for five years", you'd say "Я работаю здесь (уже) пять лет.".
Hope that clarifies things, like I said it's a little trickier and I can imagine some questions remain so please post 'em.
English grammar is not an issue for me as I am a native speaker.
If I understand you correctly, Duolingo is incorrect for not accepting the response "Autumn was cold" as others have suggested. That's fine. I don't expect free software to be perfect. It seemed odd that it gave the translation "Autumn has been cold."
Thanks again for your comment. Oops, I meant большое спасибо!
It's weird that it accepts that it has been cold as opposed to "it was cold", since "was cold" is the accepted translation for me... Anyway, I'm not suggesting English grammar is a problem for you, just saying that to understand the grammar in one language it's important to know how it functions in the other and vice versa.
EDIT: Also it's important to know how different languages express the same concepts :\
If I understand you correctly, you're saying that "Autumn was cold" was accepted as a response for you? It did not accept that response for me or another student on this thread. Okay, now that is strange. Are there any native Russian speakers who can address this issue? I guess it is a small issue. Anyway, thanks for the update and happy studying!