"At the top of the mountain, the sky was cloudy."
山の上では = At the top of the mountain + topic marker
そらが = the sky + subject marker
くもっていました = was cloudy (くもる in masu past tense form)
I left the topic marker out and it was accepted. Should it have been?
I believe so, that should be fine. To my understanding, in your case you're simply not topicalising the 'At the top of the mountain' bit. It means the same, but the topic marker just emphasises/brings to the foreground the first bit
いいよ。これから何かをして欲しいってって書こう。ありがとう。I have to say it is very difficult to use a right level of politeness and the right combination of words in Japanese …
Break down is one of the English phrasal verbs. They are really difficult to remember.
くもっていました vs. くもりました - could you say either? Also, could you use に instead of で?
Just to say right off the bat that this can get a little confusing because it discusses subtle difference in meaning conveyed in the Japanese sentences which can all be translated to exactly the same thing in English.
Also for those who don't know the kanji yet:
曇 = くも
空 = そら
曇り is a noun, meaning something like cloudy weather. To say something was cloudy you add でした.
"The sky was cloudy (weather)."
A natural English translation makes it become an adjective but in Japanese it is not.
曇る is an intransitive verb meaning to become cloudy or overcast. To say something became cloudy, this gets conjugated in the polite form to become 曇りました. It looks the same as the first example but is actually just the polite form of the past tense of a different word.
"The sky clouded over."
曇る can also be conjugated to the て-form to get 曇って, which when you add います gives you the present continuous form, and いました for past present continuous.
"The sky is being clouded over."
"The sky was being clouded over."
Again, in more natural English translations these just get changed to "is cloudy" and "was cloudy" because when we talk about the sky being cloudy we are using an adjective.
On to the particles:
に is used to indicate where something exists.
で is used to indicate where something happens.
(Each obviously has other uses as well, but this is a good difference between the two to remember when you think it could be one or the other.)
Therefore, you use the に particle when you are using the noun 曇り, but the で particle when you are using the verb 曇る.
"On the mountain, the sky was cloudy (weather)."
"On top of the mountain, the sky had become clouded over."
"On top of the mountain, the sky was (in the past) being clouded over."
So finally to answer the original question, yes, I would assume any of those last three examples I just gave (which includes the two you asked about) to be decent possible translations for this question providing you use the correct particle. Whether they're accepted by duo or not I don't know.
It is contextual. It means something like "in the case of", and therefore meaning that i another case, it would be different. --> It is cloudy at the top of the mountain, but not necessarily somewhere else.
I got my response wrong and the right answer was shown to be "山の上は、そらはくもっていました。" Can a sentence with two は be correct?
A sentence can have more than one は, but too many of it (3 or more) is considered a bad style.
We would use in a sentence like
In the US (は), talking about places with the greatest creativity (は), Hollywood is certainly not to be missed.
Who is this new guy saying the phrases all of a sudden? It's been the same woman this whole time!