No, we shoudn't translate so literal; this here is an expression, whose correct translation is "For years".
Is this really, some sort of idiomatic expression in French?
Is this not just a simple example of French requiring an article, where English does not. The word Years in For years requires the indefinite plural article des. Which can be translated to some, but is usually omitted in English. References Indefinite article (french.about.com) or Indefinite article (wikipedia)
During some years we have had poor weather but during other years we have not.
I think that would produce a stressed word i.e. during 'some' years etc in which case it might sound better to uses quelques. There's a good discussion of it here: http://www.forum.french-linguistics.co.uk/forum/topics/when-to-use-quelques-vs-des?commentId=3179028%3AComment%3A73179
That is true and that link is interesting thank you, however I was merely clarifying a point of English.
Yes but your English sentence means a different thing. This example uses some to mean "a number of years", whereas you are using some to mean "in particular years". Hence this example using "des années" rather than "quelques années".
In English, they are both translated as "year" However, the word ending "-née" signifies a duration. Where it is not used, the word is a defined unit of time. You can remember this by the fact that when you add "-née", the word becomes longer when you say it. Without "-née" the word ends abruptly, it's clipped, and defined, just as the idea it represents is defined.
This link has some more detailed information: http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa070100.htm
Also an/ans can be used to tell someone how old you are.
Quel âge as-tu?/"How old are you?"
J'ai 12 ans!/"I'm 12 years old!" (Literally you are saying you have 12 yrs). c:
this is what i found, seems like the difference between "because" and "because of" in english.
My current understanding of this (and I am not an authority!) is that "pendant des années" would be used when talking about a duration of time in the past ("I lived there for years") and "pour des années" would be used when talking about a duration of time in the future ("I plan to live there for years"). I'm curious if I'm right about this, though.
j'ai pense que le pluriel serait ans. quelle est la difference entre ans et annees? c'est la meme pour jour et journee?
I think in English you would say "for several years" but this was marked wrong.
I was always taught that when a word ending in "s" precedes a word beginning with a vowel, the s will carry a "z" sound over into the word that begins with a vowel. Is this incorrect?
I typed what I heard, Pendant des annees and got it wrong because you gave the answer in English. What are you playing at, Duolingo?