"The furniture is small."
Translation:Το έπιπλο είναι μικρό.
I agree with you. That's a bit of an odd sentence, and that rule was probably not taken into consideration when the course was being developed back in Alpha version. We'll make sure that no similar sentences will be added to be new tree. Thank you for your patience, and your comment!
Probably the best thing would be to write the sentence so that "ta epipla" is the correct answer, as just asked my daughter if they ever say "η επιπλωση" ("never heard of it" - but she is 9, we live in Greece), and she said they would just call the piece of furniture what it actually is. It's normally used as "ta epipla". I prefer to learn words that are actually used here - others I got confused about that I use but weren't correct for the sentences: aplo (at the post office), michani (a motorbike), legetai (speak, as on the phone, but then read it was a different ending) but still confusing when you use the words and then find they are "wrong". There aren't many of these tho. And sometimes it accepts my wrong spelling and other times it doesn't.
Yes, you are right, "simple is beautiful". But also we have to learn a language as more precisely as possible. The precise translation of "furniture" is "επίπλωση", that is the (whole) set of έπιπλα. Έπιπλα could include only a part of them, some of them. Even so, a compromise that is precise, is to write "the piece of furniture" even it is not so short. Unless we put an adjective or noun that gives more information about έπιπλα, i.e. (όλα) τα έπιπλα του σπιτιού. Ι disagree with the proposed Google translation of furniture as έπιπλα. For the reason I explained before. Take a look at Cambridge Dictionary: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/furniture that I trust more.
Yes but if you do that, ie not implying that it's "a piece of", then the student (me) might try to write "ena kommati" which would presumably come up wrong, hence putting it in brackets so the student knows it's implied to be singular, or bypass the issue altogether by making it plural as it would naturally be spoken (ta epipla einai mikra) (All) the furniture is small. :-)
This sense of "furniture" is undoubtedly correct but I think it is fairly uncommon.
The one I usually think of is merely, as the dictionary you link to points out, "things such as chairs, tables, beds, cupboards, etc. that are put into a house or other building to make it suitable and comfortable for living or working in".
Note that it is "things" and not "the things".
So it need not refer to the entirety of the furnishings of a house, but can refer simply to any amount of such things.
For example, you can say "I bought some new furniture today".
Here, it would be Αγόρασα νέα έπιπλα σήμερα.
Saying Αγόρασα νέα επίπλωση σήμερα would be misleading, I think -- it would sound as if you threw out all of your furniture and replaced it completely, rather than that you merely bought some new pieces of furniture.
So for a learner, learning "furniture = έπιπλα" is more useful, I think, since that use of "furniture" ("[one or more] things such as chairs etc.") is more common in my experience than "ALL such things in one house".
No, there is neither such expression: "αγόρασα νέα επιπλωσα σήμερα", not correct grammatically, nor "αγόρασα νέες επιπλώσεις σήμερα"* is used, but "αγόρασα νέα επίπλωση" would be used. Also misleading the translation in as έπιπλο in Wordreference: http://www.wordreference.com/engr/furniture . I think the reference is complete in this dictionary: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/furniture . It seems that includes all cases. What does a native English speaker understands with this word? The whole or maybe a part of the whole? The controversial is έπιπλο though. According the Wordreference is definitely a "piece of furniture": http://www.wordreference.com/gren/%CE%AD%CF%80%CE%B9%CF%80%CE%BB%CE%BF, that I could accept it, even I am not a native English speaker.
To conclude with, in our case "piece of furniture"=έπιπλο, but for "furniture"=έπιπλα (?) or επίπλωση.
*(About the plural επιπλώσεις, what I think about, it is the furniture (all moveable objects) of many rooms or houses etc, never of one room/house).