"How many hours do they work?"
It would be nice if Duolingo still provided the audio playback of the correct answer.
It’s an extra step, but you can always open the sentence discussion and listen to the audio there.
Thanks for pointing that out, believe it or not, I never noticed that you could listen to the audio there. Please accept this lingot as a token of my appreciation.
How do you open the sentence discussion (on an android)? I have so often thought this would be helpful, to be able to hear the correct answer!
I think the discussion's audio preview is not available on the Android version, you can just go to the browser and look for this discussion there.
働きます (hatarakimasu) is the verb for "to work/labor"
仕事をします (shigoto wo shimasu) is shigoto (noun: work/job) and shimasu (verb: to do), so literally "To do my job"
They can be interchangeable in some cases but hatarakimasu is a general work and shigoto wo shimasu is more specifically a job or business
I understand this, but does duolingo follow this rule, or is it just random like with "すくなくない"?
My first impression of this sentence is "what time do they work?" As in what time do they begin working.
I'm a bit confused. If "Nani" literally means "what", and "nanjikan" is literally "hours", why/how does it turn into "how many hours" and not "what hours"? Am I possibly looking into this too much, and it's just a matter of looking at a literal translation, or is there a science behind it?
何 (nan) + counter = how many ~
何時間 (nanjikan) = how many hours?
犬は何匹 (inu wa nanbiki) = how many dogs?
I would say that "Nan/nani" = "what" ; "jikan" = "amount of time"; so "nanjikan" => "what amount of time" which is equivalent to "how many hours" /"how much time"
間 refers to an interval or space between something. So 何時間 literally means "what hour between". To put it in English context, it would be "What hours are spaced between this interval?", or, as we colloquially communicate, "How many hours?"
My first instinct was to throw a が in there as well. "彼らは何時間が働きますか". Not sure whether it's for the better or worse though.
It's like this with 何+smth. Even in English you use "how many hours". Becouse the "smth" defines "何", you don't need it.
はたらき means work as a verb. The は is not a particle here, but part of a word.
Question about the sentence structure. Isn't "how many hours" sort of an object in this sentence? Why is it that they don't add the particle を after 何時間？
はたらきます is an intransitive verb, which means that it never has a direct object and cannot take the を particle. You can check transitive vs. intransitive verbs by checking the word in the dictionary (eg Jisho.org). (Minor exception: intransitive motion verbs can take を if the location involved in the motion is the direct object.)
はたらきます is an intransitive verb, which means you cannot use を with it because it has no direct object.
Think of transitive/action verbs like "to eat" or "to drink." They have a very clear direct object that you're performing the action on. In contrast, "to work" isn't performing the action on anything in particular.
ok so just as a wonder because i dont know, do they separate words with spaces at all or is it supposed to look like one giant word? ive been wanting to ask this for quite some time
In normal, everyday Japanese there are no spaces. It may seem like one giant word, but because there are kanji, hiragana, and katakana, it's usually easy to intuit where one word stops and another begins. In children's books where everything is written in hiragana there are often spaces after some words to make it easier to read.