I'm very interested in understanding the logic behind the sentence order. Does anyone mind translating this one for me? "What do the girls who eat girls eat?" Google translate spits out: "¿Qué significan las niñas que comen las niñas comen?" I'm assuming 'significan' is establishing the first 'las niñas' as the subject.
At first I was thinking it meant "what eats the girls?" and I was like "WHAT KIND OF SICKO WOULD WRITE THAT?!" I got the results, Lol.
"What the girls eat" is a sentence fragment, and not a question. It could be an answer to a question, or just a fragment of a question. At this tier of duolingo, fragments are used extremely rarely. As for there not being a word for do in there, spanish is big on removing unnecessary words. It is just one of those kinds of things that is supposed to be an unspoken understanding.
Literal translations between spanish and english are generally skewed, and oddly structured. In english, we say, "What is your name?" when in spanish it is, "¿Comó te llames?" Which translates to, "What do you call yourself?" It is mostly about learning Spanish patterns, and interpretation of the translation. Hope this helps!
It has to do with the "comen". Comer is the original verb, meaning, "To eat", and when conjugated to comen, stands for he/she/you(formal) eats. Since it has niñas, it means girls. Piecing this together with the conjugation says "the girls eat" and with the que, meaning "what", it would translate to "What do the girls eat?" Hope this helps!
That gets into something called preterite tense, meaning "in the past". The preterite tense has its own endings depending on the type of verb (é, aste, ó, amos, asteis, aron for AR, í, iste, ió, imos, isteis, ieron for ER/IR). Just like normal verbage, preterite has irregulars, hacer (to make/to do) being one of them, for instance, along with ser, ir, ver, and dar, just to name a few, but since you don't need those yet, back to your question. To say "What did the girls eat?" You first look at the subject. It's plural, which means you take the ellos/ellas/usted ending. Next, look at the verb. What kind is comer? An ER. So we look at our endings and conjugate it appropriately. To say "What did the girls eat?" You would say "¿Qué comieron las niñas?" Hope this helps!