"They like potatoes."
Translation:Elas gostam de batatas.
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Why is there sometimes the singular and sometimes the plural used? There are many senteces in Duo, where in Portuguese it's something like "Eles gostam de abacaxi" and it gets translated to pineapples. But when I tried that in this sentence it got marked as wrong (i.e. eles gostam de batata). Can anyone explain please?
Eles gostam de batatas / Elas gostam de batatas They like potatoes
"how does Duolinguo know if this sentence in "they" belongs to He or She, in plural,,, well in spanish you know the difference but in english,, I mean as you know the plural "they" does not clarify it. It depends on the context,, but if I have both options,,, why Duolingo marked as mistake?
Please pay attention, the sentence isn't 'They like the potatoes', it's 'They like potatoes.' However, your underlying assertion is correct. There's a lot of times that articles precede nouns in Portuguese but not in English. That's because it often happens with abstract things and when you're talking about nouns in the general sense.
For instance, 'Love is blind' is often translated to 'O amor é cego' because amor is an abstract noun. People would also say 'As pessoas normalmente gostam da companhia de animais como cães e gatos', which means 'People often like the company of animates such as dogs and cats'. Note how in English it's people (no article), while in Portuguese it's as pessoas (with an article). That's because you're talking about people in general, kind of like applying your statement to all people.
I feel like with gostar, though, it's more common to leave the article out.