Thank you for this, biertopf. However, when using Duolingo there are multiple phrases that are not true (whilst still being good German phrases). I agree that these places are cities but the issue I have is that translating this as "towns" should still be a correct translation (just not true).
The answer often lies in historical contact.
The English names of a lot of German and Italian cities come from French (and the French names come either from old Latin names, a dialect or language no longer spoken, or they are simply adopted to French phonology).
At the same time for example we Hungarians had more contact with Germans and Italians and we not only use München (Munich), Köln (Cologne), Firenze (Florence), Róma (Rome), Genova (Genoa), Milánó (Milan) etc. for those cities but also adopted German and Italian names for cities like Nice (which we call Nizza) or Geneva/Genève (which we call Genf).
German is German and Spanish is Spanish. Just because one language does one thing doesn't mean that another language has to have exactly the same quirks when it comes to naming towns, places, etc. In German, London stays London (although the pronunciation is, in fact, different from English).
It's not generally the case that you can talk about "the German word for" anything in particular, because there's rarely an exact one-to-one correspondence between words in different languages that capture the exact range of meanings.
Großstadt is a word in German, and the best translation into English in many contexts may be "city", but that doesn't mean that that's necessarily the best translation into German for the word "city" -- since Stadt is used more widely in German.
For that matter, there's not even a uniform definition of "city" in English. Has market rights? Has a cathedral? Has more than a certain number of people? Has a city charter? I think all of those have been used as criteria, giving some fairly small cities.
For example, St Asaph ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Asaph ) is a city with 3355 people; I wouldn't call that a Großstadt.
And Arnis ( https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnis ) has 275 inhabitants and is a Stadt -- would you call that a city, a town, or more like a village?
Conversely, I like in Seevetal, with 40,900 people -- town? But in German it's not a Stadt. (In fact, it's Germany's biggest place that's not a Stadt.)
So, it's tricky. Talking about "the German word for city" is not very useful.
How do you use umlauts correctly?
I recommend considering them separate letters of the alphabet and simply learning them as part of the spelling of the word.
Just as l and t are separate letters in English and you have to learn whether to write selling or setting (because the pronunciation is different), so you can consider, say, o and ö separate letters in German and learn schon and schön in that spelling (and with their separate pronunciations).
I thought "ä" gets the long a sound, like the "a" in state, or Mädchen, spät or später. She says the "a", in Städte like the "a" in "an". St(ah)te Is there a reason? She sounds natural; and I've heard it said that way before with stadt but even GT (google translate) says it with a long "a".
In Städte, the vowel is vollowed by two consonant letters (D+T), a sign that the vowel is pronounced short.
So it should sound like Stette with a German "short E" sound.
That said, Duden says that the pronunciation with "long Ä" (as in Mädchen, später) is also possible -- and it's one I've also often heard.
I disagree, I've never thought of a big city as a town... at least anywhere in America. Perhaps in Europe things may be different.
And yet, artistically in songs... like New York New York, it is referred to as a town... But, that the song was written years ago, relatively speaking nowadays it's much bigger; perhaps then it's thought of as a town... And yes, one more exception would be as a term of endearment some would refer to a big city as a town, but it carries a homey feeling to it. I think in this case, it's simply that they're cities, and big ones.
Plus, Duo Lingo often gives multiple translations that are not pertinent to the sentence... and based on context or structure, most are wrong. Usually the first is correct; though not always, as often a different structure altogether is required due to German sentence structure and clarity of meaning. Even hints can be misleading as it should help one to learn, without explicitly telling us what is right all the time. Part of the method. :-) And, I would say, yes, correcting, and thus also the Forums, and thus we are corrected. :-)
I didn't even think about this myself, in fact, I would think that I might only use groß when specifically referring to it being a large city, much like in English. Generally speaking, we don't always use modifiers when describing two things similar to one another. In this case both cities are large, and so if just discussing city names, well, both London and Humburg are cities. :-) So, if you're referring to Stadt in reference to the plurality, then sind makes it plural, thus Städte, and if using it I believe, there are exceptions, that it would be großen Städte" so, in this case perhaps because of "to be"(sind) große not großen... London und Hamburg sind beide große Städte. this is my first encounter with the noun Großstadt oder Großestädte and would like to know more about it's usage.
The English legal definition of a city compared to a town is the presence or absence of the seat of a bishop of the Church of England. As the seat of a bishop is always in a cathedral, a city may be defined as any place in which a cathedral is located. Fro example, the city of Wells, is actually no bigger than a largish village but is has a cathedral.. Dr. Tye (English)
The English legal definition of a city compared to a town is the presence or absence of the seat of a bishop of the Church of England.
That's the traditional usage, but I don't think that's the "legal definition".
City status can also be conferred (by letters patent) on a town without a cathedral.
So: it's complicated (and certainly not automatic).
Possibly, but this depends where you are: The definition of a city in Australia varies between the states. State capital cities may include multiple local government areas (LGAs) within their boundaries and these LGAs may be cities in their own right. ... Also included are former cities that have lost city status due to LGA amalgamations or other factors. (see Wikipedia). For example the City of Paramatta (pop 250000), and the City of Sydney (pop 246000), are both LGAs within Sydney (pop about 5 million) which is the capital city of NSW. Language isn't meant to be simple!
A good opportunity for learning, just think of big cities in Germany as states, but in town form. This similarity in meaning, you will discover as you get older, really helps you ultimately to remember what the words mean. They may be a little off now; but, later on, you will remember them as exceptions.. and thus also remember that the word "state" is similar as in "Staat" or "Staaten". It will come with time. Similarity in sound and meaning is both a blessing and a curse, when learning a new language. And folks.. you don't need to mark it down. We should encourage, not dissuade. So, I marked it up one. ;-)
And what are your thoughts now on this, since you are undoubtedly past middle school?