in a previous question, it translates "essa" as this, so "that" was said to be wrong. Now its saying "essas" is those (singular is that), and not "these" (singular is this) - can someone explain this?
"essa" should translate to "that", and "esta" to "this". So the previous question's translation is incorrect.
Despite what many dictionaries and grammar books claim, "essa" often means "this".
Some examples from linguee.com:
"Está nas suas mãos aproveitar essa oportunidade." "It is up to them to seize this opportunity."
"Essa opção permite duas variantes similares" "This option allows two very similar variants"
"Essa tarefa depende do seu navegador (Internet Explorer/Mozilla) e da resolução da tela." "This issue is due to your browser (Internet Explorer/Mozilla) and screen resolution."
"Podemos usar essa informação para medir os pontos de entrada e saída" "We may use this information to measure the entry and exit points"
Some examples from the Portuguese bible:
"Não, meus amigos! Não façam essa perversidade!" "No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing." Genesis 19.7 NVI,NIV
"celebrem essa cerimônia" "observe this ceremony" Exodus 12.25 NVI, NIV
"pois essa tarefa lhe é pesada demais." "for this thing is too heavy for thee" Exodus 18.18 NVI, KJV
"Faça ganchos de ouro para essa cortina" "Make gold hooks for this curtain" Exodus 26.37 NVI, NIV
"Essa propiciação anual será realizada com o sangue da oferta para propiciação pelo pecado" "This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering" Exodus 30.10 NVI, NIV
"Essa é a regulamentação acerca dos animais, das aves, de todos os seres vivos" "This is the law pertaining to beast and bird and every living creature" Leviticus 11.46 NVI, RSV
"Essa espécie só sai pela oração e pelo jejum." "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." Mark 9.29 NVI, NKJV
That said, duolingo usually rejects "this" as a translation for "essa", so to keep my hearts, I just give the green owl what he wants: "that".
I agree with Asherbnaphali that this is a problem of Duolingo being biased towards machinesque that==esso/essa. In English word-frequencies, 'this' would beat 'that' if 'that' also did not mean 'que'. Note also how it is with impersonal isso and isto. See the frequencies: in the Brazilian portugues isso is 15th whereas isto 94th. According to http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/isso#Portuguese ] Isso can translate as 'this' or 'that, whereas isto is just 'this'.
What does this mean, "do not count"? Is this sort of like "Oh, that doesn't count" like in response to someone giving those rules as a counterexample to a generalization? Or is it like, "These rules do not apply in this situation"? Or some other meaning?
Also curious on this... is it the same way we use it in English? Basically synonymous with "Those rules don't matter"?
I deleted my previous comment.
After some discussion with some Brazilians, this site sums it up much better.
Hope it helps.