"He understands women."
Translation:Lui capisce le donne.
I think this is a problem with duolingo. In Italian, including the article is less formal but not incorrect, but there is no rule. Often when you include the article, duolingo accepts it and offers an alternate translation without the article as also correct, so I think this is their error.
It is correct to include the definite article here. There are only a few instances where the definite article is omitted. It is necessary with nouns used in a general sense, as in this example 'women' . The problem is that DuoLingo does not seem to be always consistent with this rule.
Brianhb, the problems that arise when you claim that it is "correct to include the definite article here" are that your rule calls for an article exactly when you do NOT intend to particularize the verb's object, and that it seems not to allow for any succinct way to express "he understands women in general". Is it then necessary to say "lui capisce donne in generale"? Before I propose a more sensible rule than this one, please hear me out.
Why did the Italian speaker decide to supply the definite article (not there in English)? You say that "It is necessary with nouns used in a general sense" but when you use a noun in a general sense this is exactly the condition in which you do not want to particularize by inserting a definite article. Is Italian grammar really THAT CRAZY to mandate a particularizing article when a generalization is meant, or was this rule that you propose dreamed up by some source that you don't identify?
You admit that DL is inconsistent "with this rule". How is a rule, applied inconsistently, a rule at all? My suggestion to avoid a nightmare of confusion is to use the definite article IF AND ONLY IF you mean a particularization like, in this case, certain women identified in context. Then if DL rejects it, make a report. Hopefully enough reports will cause DL to clarify an empirical rule in a "tip".
I am learning Italian so don't know precisely but it feels to me to work in a similar way to French (ane i would think to romance languages in general) and using a definite pronoun like in this case means that you're talking about women as a group, i.e. not just several random women, but "the Women" as a group which is translated through using the definite article. Different language have different rules and what makes no sense to you in this particular case makes perfect sense to me who is native of a different language. Some people have said that the definite article could be dropped if the language used is informal and that it was Duolingo's fault for not accepting it.
Me as a Portuguese native speaker, it felt for me that there would be something missing if I left out the article "le", because in Portuguese it would also be weird to leave it out. And when you use "le donne" or "as mulheres" (in PT) in this case, it does not refer to specific women, but to women in general.
Yes it's usually safer to assume the use of the article, at least in Italian. I put an article into a sentence (translating from English to German) but lost a heart for assuming an article was necessary. So depends on the language....you won't be penalised for using an article in Italian (unless, of course, it's wrong!), even if no article is used in the English sentence.....
Eh? I wrote "he understands women" because that's what the Italian says. It's one thing for him to understand women - how he understands our funny little ways and propensity to buy handbags - but quite another to understand THE women, because they speak slowly and clearly using short words of one syllable.
I do not like some of the subtly sexist sentences I find on duolingo. "He understands Women" - well, women are not a "group" but indivuals. Also I found cliches like "mother is in the kitchen" and "the men think"/ "who thinks like him?" which I did not like - cause there was never a sentence the other way round :/
I do not believe this was intended to be sexist. Simply stating that person X understands a group of people is not sexist. And yes, no matter how you see it the facts suggest that women are a group, otherwise, we would not need to differentiate between women and woman. Women, no matter how independent they may appear are still women, and the same goes for men. That is anatomy and can be altered through scientific process, but until then you are either part of the group of women or the group of men. Also, the manner of these sentences is intended to teach you a language not appeal to your fancy. Duolingo is using a long-tested technique of using sentences that seem off basis or odd to teach you. As you have proven by remembering several sentences from Duolingo's repository, the idea is to make you remember the sentence and apply it to novel sentences. The fact that you remembered. "The men think," and "Who thinks like him," shows that these sentences are doing their job.
So "They are chocolate bananas." doesn't translate to "Sono le banane al cioccolato." because "the" is not in the sentence, which is fine. But "He understands women." doesn't translate to "Lui capisce donne." How does this make sense?
So . . . How do you differentiate between “He understands the women” (Meaning a specific group of women within a group. In other words, he understands their concerns) vs He understands women (Meaning he knows and understands about women in general). Especially if you didn’t have context for the sentence.
I'm having a real hard time on when to use articles. In the example of "They are butterflies", I was not allowed to write "Sono le farfalle". Only "Sono farfalle" was accepted (no article). So, using that as an example, I used "Lui capisce donne." and it says in this case it needed the article. I read some of the responses below, but I'm reposting in case Duolingo is reading this.