"It is 1:01 now."
Can 今 be at any other spot in the sentence or does it need to be at the start?
In this sentence? Very informally, 「一時一分だ、今」 (where だ is the informal version of です).
In other sentences, you can usually move it around fairly easily without affecting the meaning too much, but time clauses are typically put at the start.
・今、ジョンはバスでごはんを食べています = "Now, John is eating rice on the bus"
・ジョンは、今バスでごはんを食べています = "John is eating rice on the bus now"
・ジョンはバスで、今ごはんを食べています = "John is now eating rice on the bus"
・ジョンはバスでごはんを、今食べています = "John is now eating rice on the bus"
Thank you! Why is the は needed in this sentence? (It doesn't appear in any of your other examples.)
I just went and edited my examples by bolding the はs in them (They were there the whole time though ;) )
In this sentence, は is not strictly necessary to convey meaning, especially if you have a more important topic than the time clause (今) such as ジョン in my examples, though I believe it is more grammatically correct. It is very often left out after time clauses in speech and casual communication.
I knew that fun is used for minutes 2,5,7,9, while PUN Is used for minutes 1,3,4,6,8,10. So in this case, 1:01 should be ichiji ichiPUN desu. Anyone else found this exercise wrong ?
One minute = いっぷん
Two minutes = にふん
Three minutes = さんぷん Four minutes = よんふん
Five minutes = ごふん
Six minutes = ろっぷん
Seven minutes = ななふん
Eight minutes = はっぷん
Nine minutes = きゅうふん
Ten minutes = じゅっぷん
Been a while since i studied japanese- thought i remembered it being 'ippun' instead of 'ichipun'. Are both correct (and if so is there a formality difference between the two), or is it just a duolingo mistake in pronunciation?
Yes, you're right, it's 'ippun'. I imagine selecting the Japanese words for 'one' and 'minute' separately made the software pronounce them separately.
Can someone explain to me why is there that いまは at the start. Is that necessary and why?
いまは is there because the sentence specifically says "now" in it. I think though just like in English, you can leave it or get rid of it and still convey the same meaning. [It's 1:01 now] vs [It's 1:01]. I think it boils down to the context of the conversation. [What time is it right now? It is 1:01 now.] vs [What time is it? It's 1:01.] The sentences are structured differently but the message is the same.
分 by itself is pronounced ふん ("fun" in rōmaji), although the Japanese F is NOT pronounced like in English. In English, you use your teeth and your bottom lip, while in Japanese, you don't use any teeth, just blowing air while trying to close your mouth. Imagine it like blowing out a candle.
If you know IPA, the English F is /f/, while the Japanese is /ɸ/.
However, 一分 is not pronounced いちふん. Instead, it's いっぷん, because people decided it was easier to pronounce that way.
The pronunciation for this suggests that "ippun" is pronounced "ichifun".
They really should've gotten a fluent speaker to read the sentences (like in the Esperanto course) instead of using TTS. Japanese words/kanji change pronunciation according to context. Having to unlearn incorrect pronunciations will be such a pain for newcomers to Japanese. DuoLingo really shouldn't be anyone's first exposure to this language.