"They write some letters."
Translation:Ils écrivent des lettres.
1.the verb is "écrire" not "escrire"
2.you cannot use auxiliary "être" with another conjugated verb just behind: you would not say "they are read".
3.the English form "writing" is the gerund mode, looking like the French "participe présent" ("écrivant") but not used in the same way.
4.the English construction "they are writing" (conjugated verb BE + gerund) expresses a continuous action (which is in progress at the time you speak).
5.this construction does not exist in French, so "they are writing" has to be translated by "ils/elles sont en train d'écrire" to express a continuous action.
6.otherwise, "they write" or "they are writing" can be translated by "ils/elles écrivent".
I would set up my keyboard to international so I could switch between English and French (and any other language you may need/want) but, you could use ALT codes:
Why is it that "du" and "des" only apply sometimes in translations. Because sometimes you use it and sometimes you don't in BOTH languages. But I, always get these wrong because I don't use "some" the times I'm supposed to, and I do use it when it's not necessary. What's the difference?
"some" is not required in front of nouns.
"du" is the contraction of "de+le" and can express the meaning of "some" in front of an uncountable noun: "du pain" = (some) bread
"des" is an indefinite article, the required plural of "un" or "une", whereas in English, "a/an" have no plural forms.
In this sentence, "ils écrivent des lettres" is the plural of "ils écrivent une lettre".
English, "some" is only optional.