"Los teléfonos son públicos."
Translation:The telephones are public.
i thought for it be be "the phones are for the public" it would need para in there somewhere?
Both ways tell the same. Los teléfonos son públicos doesn't mean that they are THE public or people, but they are destined for the public. For instance, for a subway (el metro), you can say El metro es público. Público, apart from a noun also works as an adjective, i.e. la escuela pública (state school).
I got the wrong answer for "They are the public telephones". It says the right answer is "They are are public telephones". Well, it's nice to know I'm not the only one messing up here :-P
You must have some great telephones where you live. They would have to be both self aware and have eyes to be spectators.
Additionally, it corrected my answer "the public telephones" to "theyre public telephones" but here in the comments it says the translation is "the telephones are public"
Early on in learning a new language it can all feel a little haphazard, but this one is pretty straight forward. Telephone is a cognate in Spanish, teléfono, which is masculine as you would expect from a noun ending in o. So the plural is Los teléfonos. Since you are talking about an essential characteristic of the telephones, the correct verb to be is ser. The telephones can be replaced by they and in Spanish Los teléfonos could be replaced by Ellos. The third person plural form of ser is son. Público here is a predicate adjective modifying teléfonos so it is also in its masculine plural form públicos.
Los teléfonos son públicos.
i thought it would be "the phones are for the public use"it should be why can they not change it
That would be Los teléfonos son para uso público. Every small change like that you make has a similar small change in Spanish. Part of understanding a new language is knowing what is said and what is not. When you say that The telephones are public that is assumed to mean for public use, but translation in these exercises should be more precise except when there are differences in the mode of expression in the two languages.
Can someone please explain why the accent marks are where they are? Is there a rule that would help me to know?
Absolutely. The accent marks are one of the greatest features of Spanish. Essentially Spanish has two basic patterns for determining which syllable is stressed. The first use of the the accent is to show when the accent is on a different syllable than the rules would dictate. The rules are:
If the word ends in a vowel, an n or an a, the accent is in the penultimate (next to the last) syllable.
If the word ends in any other consonant, the stress is on the last syllable.
So this explains these two accents here. Without the accents, these words would be pronounced teleFOos and pubLIcos respectively instead of teLEfonos and PUBlicos.
There is a similar use where the accent breaks up a dipthong. You will see that mostly at the end of words with the ia or ía endings. You can hear the difference between words like historia and alegría.
The other use of the accent has nothing to do with pronunciation. These just distinguish two forms which otherwise would look like another word. You probably already recognize most of the one syllable ones like el the vs él or si if vs sí yes. What many people don't recognize is that all interrogatives (quí, qué, cuándo, dónde, cómo and cuál) have accents because there is a different part of speech, often a relative pronoun, which looks the same but has no accent. This is easy with qué and que because they translate differently. But some of the others like dónde can be more difficult. A sentence like There is no internet where I am staying would use the form without the tilde. No hay internet donde me quedo.
I hope that helps.
It delivers the same message but it is technically an incorrect translation. In practice what you said would probably work, but duolingo won't recognize it as correct.
"Los teléfonos son públicos." The word 'son' is a verb. Therefore you must have a verb in your English translation. The public telephones would be translated to "los teléfones públicos".
"Los teléfonos públicos" translatea to the public telephones. In the sentence "Los telefonos son públicos," there is a verb. It translates to "The telephones are public."
I wrote "Those are public telephones" and got marked incorrect during the test. I believe that's a workable answer also.
"Those are public telephones" whould be translated in one of the following ways. 1. "Esos teléfones son teléfones públicos." Those phones are public phones. 2. "Aquellos teléfones son teléfones públicos." Those (farther away from you) phones are public phones. 3. "Esos teléfones son públicos." Those phones are public. 4. "Aquellos teléfones son públicos." Those (farther away from you) phones are public.
it sure is workable. remember that duolingo does not have all possible correct translations in the database. you can report it and duolingo might add it to the database.