"Birds were singing in the morning."


August 30, 2017

This discussion is locked.


It marked me wrong for answering "あさ、とりがないていました". I think that should be correct... I've reported it on 11/13.


I feel like Duolingo was trying to differentiate between a bird chirping (鳴) and a bird singing (声). However, I think you are right because Jisho states 鳴く can mean "chirp" and also "sing (bird)".


Which is a bad distinction to make. Especially when 鳴きis used for more than just chirping and is more a general "animals making noises"word.


It seems to me that it's not about making a distinction, it's about what the exercise is intended to teach. The problem is that the English sentence can't really give any indication of that, so needs to accept either answer. I wonder if there is a way to set up an exercise to only go in one direction if the user isn't using the little tiles to construct the Japanese sentence... Probably not.


Each exercise is either English to Japanese, or the reverse (Japanese to English exercises can also double as listening exercises). They tend to come in pairs buy not necessarily, and in a few cases the "reverse" form of one exercise is subtly different (e.g. missing a final "desu"). So the specific Japanese they're trying to teach will always be presented in the Japanese to English exercise, and as you say it's then up to the contributors to ensure sufficient alternative answers are in the database that we don't get marked wrong for providing legitimate translations that happen not to use the exact construct that the Japanese to English version was trying to teach. Which it seems they used to do 12 months or so ago, but I don't get the impression anyone's making a serious effort to maintain the course at all recently.


Is it incorrect to say 朝は鳥が鳴いていました? It was marked wrong but I'm not sure if it's actually wrong.


That seems right to me. You gave the tense "were singing" (past progressive) which matches the prompt.

The answer marked as correct is in the simple past tense.


smell・hear・taste・feel (non-visual sensory perception)

この はな は いい かおり が します ね
This flower smells good, doesn’t it.

くるま の おと が する。
I hear a car.


(In the) morning, birds’ voice was "heard" (by me).
I heard the birds singing in the morning.
Birds were singing in the morning.



I kinda wish duo had formally taught that verb and the meaning.


(In the) morning, birds’ voice was "heard" (by me).
I heard the birds singing in the morning.
Birds were singing in the morning.

Thanks for the explanation. I had hard time extrapolating "birds singing" from "hearing".

BTW, for those who are not in the know, 「鳥の声がしました」 literally means "the bird sound is made" but who talks that way?


Sorry, what is (の)こえ? I'm not sure to understand if it's related to singing


鳥の声 (とり の こえ) literally "the voice(s) of the bird(s)"


Why isn't it あさは?


The topic marker is optional in many cases, for example when talking about relative time like tonight or last week. It would not be wrong to use it though, but rather a matter of nuance - one that I haven't quite understood myself.


This is what I was taught as well. The particle is required for specific time expressions such as 5 o'clock, but is not required for non-specific time expressions (relative).


I've seen people use the particals は, に & で when referring to time In many cases though, it is ignored and usually replaced with a comma


I'm not a native speaker, but I think you can also write あさは if you want to emphasize that it happened in the morning. The は would be marking あさ as the subject of the sentence.


The topic, not the subject.


Why 「朝、鳥の声がしていました。」is wrong?The English version is "were singing", not "sang", and usually Duo is very strict to me trying to translate ~ing without 〜ている form.


Why not あさでとりがうたいました?


歌う (うたう) is generally for people singing. 鳴く (なく) is specifically for birds chirping (singing).


で is also not a time particle, but a location particle for where an action occurs.


So it "Morning bird singing was happening"


Well, actually: Morning, bird voice happened.




この英文(えいぶんEnglish sentence)は 「とりbirdsl」が 主語(しゅごSubject)になると思う。

I heard birds in the morning.





The correct english translation would be : "In the morning, birdvoice/birdsong was heard"

Because it is the way to say: (oto ga/koe ga) suru  (おとが/こえが)する (a sound/voice) is heard


May be we coul also translate : "in the morning, we could hear the birds singing"


Why is the verb "suru" ? "In the morning, the voice of birds did." ? It feels like something (an object) is missing !


I think of it as "in the morning, birds made sounds" (or "gave voice," like archaic English for dogs howling, if you want to be more literal). The "shi" seems to mean "made."

  • 2203

But then one would expect 鳥が声(を)しました, not 鳥の声がしました.


It appears to me that this sentence works a bit like passive. Instead of emphasizing on the birds doing the action, we emphasize on the voice that was used. Some people have translated it literally to "In the morning, birds' voice happened". This translation of します as "to happen" rathen than "to do" migt help understand that there is no object.

I think I'd translate it as "In the morning, bird's voice was used"

Remember that although you might translate words from one language to an other to understand it, it doesn't mean that in the language that you're learning the word will have the same grammatical use and function as its literal translation to your language. It's therefore important to understand what a word means, but also how it is used independently from how things work in your own language.


"A bird's voice existed in the morning." Is probably the best split between literal interpretation and naturalized. The English they provide in this is very, very naturalized and that's not helpful for learning.


I'm not so sure. Jisho lists a few meanings for する that might qualify, including "perform" - "a bird's voice performed in the morning" seems feasible, but I also wonder if it's not this one:

  1. to be sensed (of a smell, noise, etc.). ​Usually written using kana alone, as 〜がする

i.e. it might be closer to "A bird's voice was heard/sensed in the morning".

The closest to "exist" is 8. to be (in a state, condition, etc.)​, but there's no state or condition here, so I don't think that's relevant.


The way する is used here is very similar to Korean. In Korean, there are two ways to say a sound is heard: 1) sound is heard (obviously), 2) sound is made (but is understood as sound is heard). For example, when you just heard something from a distance, you would ask "Was there a sound made just a moment ago?", which means "Did you hear something just a moment ago?"

In any case, 2 is used more than 1, and I believe this is what's happening here as well.


Why isn't the correct answer past progressive? In English the sentence states 'were singing', which would imply the ’いました’ ending; ex. 声がしていました. Shouldn't the English version be 'sang' ? Otherwise it is very confusing


In the morning, bird's voice was? Confused about the use of の before こえ. Is の marking a posessive? Confused.


「In the morning, the voice that belongs to birds was used.」

In most cases you can consider sentences with a ⒶのⒷ format to mark A's ownership of B. In this case, the bird's voice. There can of course be more chains of words belonging to one another, e.g., 私の彼氏の車(わたしのかれしのくるま・watashi no kareshi no kuruma)the car that belongs to the boyfriend that belongs to me; my boyfriend's car.


There are no verbs in the "te" form, therefore birds were not sing'ing' but rather, birds sang.


This arrangement makes no grammatical sense to me. What did the voice-of-bird "do?" Shouldn't it be more like 朝は鳥が声をしますた(Birds did voice in the morning)? What about 朝、鳥が泣きました (Birds sang in the morning)?


Thonk of it as the voice of the birds did... "a sensorial impression on me" (just that it is omited as japanese does with implicit context)


Agree with you. It's one of those sentences that translates one way but not the other. English present continuous is used here so why is it not translated that way.


What is the difference between singing or chirping (naki) ad bird's voices (tori no koe"? I tried to use "naki" in my sentence instead and was marked wrong.


I did too, it didn't take "asa tori ga nakimashita", am I missing something?


i answered " asa, tori ga nakimashita" . is this right or wrong?


Wrong, since the tense is past continuous, and that is past simple.


No, that's not the problem - the only accepted answer 朝、鳥の声がしました also uses simple past. It just seems the contributors haven't got around to adding any alternatives for this question even a year later.




I justmemorized the sentence and went on to the next....It really is confusing......john


Oh, yet another exercise that would not help you understand the Japanese grammar.


These natural translations really make it hard to grasp how the grammar actually is working in this.


Help me out. Does the english sentence use the past progressive tense, while the japanese one uses plain past? Is it me or duolingo being stupid here?


I think you could have used "sang" in English instead of were singing. It's just that English tends to use the progressive a lot more than many other languages, so it sounds a bit more natural to translate it like that.


朝、鳥の声はしました : wrong


朝、鳥が鳴いてました : wrong

… honestly ?!


Just report them, I tried about 15 possible answers to this, all rejected, reported them all (accepted, some are possibly not right)


朝、鳥は鳴いていた still not accepted


Basically 鳴き has nothing to do with 声 so you can say 鳥が鳴きました yet still you can't say 鳥が声ました


Why doesn't it accept 朝に?


朝、鳥の声がしていました。: Incorrect 朝、鳥の声がしました。 : Correct 朝、鳥が鳴いていました。 : Incorrect 朝、鳥が鳴きました。 : Correct

Why doesn't Duo accept the "ている" versions? Wouldn't they be technically more correct since it's "singing"?


No way to add a comment when reporting on the desktop app, but the English sentence is past continuous and the required answer is just simple past in Japanese, should not be right.


朝鳥の声がしましたは、意味が飛躍しすぎです。 早急な改善を求めます。


What? 声 does not mean sing.


I answered 朝鳥が鳴きました and was marked correct. After checking the comments, I no longer think that should have been acceptable. My answer translated to something more like "birds sang in the morning" or "birds chirped in the morning" as I did not use the past progressive tense "鳴いていました".


Except as noted, at least 10 months ago there were no accepted solutions that used past-progressive tense. To what degree this is a Duo oversight vs a fundamental difference between tenses in the two languages I couldn't say.


I think it's on Duo, but that's the opposite problem of what I'm saying here. I think the pendulum swang too far in the other direction and a second correction needs to be made.


Do you remember what lesson this is in?


Nature 1 in between checkpoint 3&4.


I dunno anything about the website. I use the app.


I've tried it twice now both with a new account and my existing one and the only sentences in it are about climbing (mountains or trees) or flowers and vases, nothing about birds singing in the morning. Anyway, no matter.


That's what I thought but I just tried https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ja/Nature-1/1 and didn't see it


Ok got it - it's actually Nature-1/3 - the 3rd lesson of the Nature-1 skill, but you have to have done only lesson 1 and 2 in your current crown level in order to access it which is annoying.
Anyway I was able to confirm that the list of accepted solutions now does include a number in past progressive tense, but ONLY using the verb 鳴いて. It won't accept anything using 声がして. One thing I didn't realise is that you can actually omit the い in -ていました too, I'm not sure how standard that is. BTW the other sentences in that lesson are "That bird did not chirp" and "This bird does not chirp", neither of which use 声がする, then a bunch of sentences about noisy/lively parties/children/voices/restaurants, which don't seem to have anything much to do with "Nature".




Maybe a bit stupid question, but why are the あ and さ characters separated in the duolingo word picker and not just one bar like あさ?


It's just Duo trying to make you think outside of the box, no worries.


Yeah, I thought so too, thanks.


It isn't accepting the kanji for とり or こえ in the correct answer.


"The bird(s) did/made (a) voice in the morning"??? this is definitely one of their crappiest translations. The Japanese says nothing about singing. I understand nuance and all that, it doesn't even seem grammatically sound for that matter.


朝は鳥の声がしました is marked wrong.


朝、鳥の声がしました(asa, tori no koe ga shimashita )


朝、鳥の声がしていました - how is that wrong?


If you are using the word bank of Japanese and the beginning of the session starts with identifyng "naki" it comes as a surprise that DL wants you to use "koe" in this sentence and not to use the verb in the present continuous, which has been something of a feature for many of the previous sentences in this topic. Oh well, that's DL for you.


i just want to ask about the phrase "声がします” what does that even mean....the voice is being done??


Why was の used in this sentence? 'Tori no koe' translates to 'bird chirping began..' not 'birds were chirping'. Does の have a different meaning here?


It's just the possessive particle similar to 's in English: bird's voice. It's the "shimashita" part that's odd, both because it's simple past vs progressive in English and the fact you can even verbify "bird's voice" (there's no obvious English literal equivalent, closest might be "bird's voices performed".)


Why is there a が before しました?


Pls provide audio for the answers so we can learn. This is a language course after all so we should have more chances to listen and speak than to type.


The English feels somewhat inaccurate to me. I would prefer to have "the sounds of the birds" as the subject, not "the birds". It is confusing for language learners; and annoying in this Duolingo game to get things wrong because of this.


Isn't this more like: There were birds' voices in the morning? I don't see any verbs other than the copula?


There is no copula in the sentence, there is a verb, する。This is more of a saying type of thing, that doesn't directly translate to English in the same way. If this was literally translated, if would be something like "In the morning, a bird's voice was done/happened."


朝、鳥が鳴きました is accepted


So the people in the discussion don't agree on what verb was used here? That seems problematic.


Is 「朝、鳥が歌っていました。」valid?


Does anyone know why 鳥が朝に鳴いていました was marked wrong ?


Well, technically speaking, what you wrote is quite different from the original expression.

  • 鳥の声がしました
    The bird sound (noun) was made.

  • 鳥が鳴いていました
    The bird was chirping (verb).

Also the first sentence is from your vantage point as a listener, whereas the second is from the bird's position.


Yes but the exercise is to translate the English "Birds were singing in the morning". 鳥が朝に鳴いていました seems like a pretty reasonable translation to me, arguably better than the default given solution which uses the just regular past tense. As per a previous comment of mine, it does accept 鳥が鳴いていました now, but it's likely to be fussy about where you put 朝 or whether 朝に is acceptable.


Surprised me. That strikes me as closer to "Mornings, the birds would sing," or "Mornings, one heard the song of birds."


Weird way to phrase it in English, IMO. (Note: I didn't use the keyboard to answer this one, so the answer didn't seem immediately obvious to me.)


朝、鳥たちの声がしました was wrong. Clearly it doesn't like the たち, but I'm not sure why not?


Well, I don't think you can use たち on animals.


Don't think that's true - 鳥たち seems to be a relatively common word.


You're right. I can't think straight these days with all the crap that's happening around the world.


Is there a way to use the verb うたう in this sentence? I thought that means "to sing".


うたう is used for people singing, not birds. For birdsong you use the verb 鳴く. Though, Duo (incorrectly) rejects it in this sentence.


It incorrectly rejects virtually every attempt to provide an accurate Japanese translation of "Birds were singing in the morning". The only thing it seems to accept is the given "translation" meaning "The bird's voice was heard in the morning" (or more literally 'in the morning, the bird's voice acted'). Any attempt to indicate plurality of birds, the past progressive tense or other verbs meaning 'sing' ( 鳴く or さえずる) are roundly rejected.


Has anyone found a single answer that's accepted other than ”"朝、鳥の声がしました"? There's a bunch of ways you can say the same thing...


Birds were singing in the morning. 「朝、鳥の声がしました。」I think this japanese translation is not correct. Birds were singing in the morning. 「朝、鳥達が鳴いていました。」A bird, the bird 鳥.... Birds 鳥たち, 鳥達 I think this japanese translation is correct.


「鳥の声(tori no koe)」.......「鳥のさえずり( tori no saezuri) ....The songs of birds」

<pre> This morning, I heard the songs of birds.「今朝、鳥のさえずりを聞いた」 </pre>


How about " I heard the birds singing this morning" to me that is normal english and I want to learn normal Japanese......john


Would 朝は鳥たちが鳴いていた not be a natural way to express this?


たち is unnecessary as Japanese nouns do not usually differentiate between plural and singular. Duo often seems to want me to drop the "は" from relative times(not specific like 4pm or Wednesday the fifth etc). Not sure if it would still be correct with the particle there. Without, が can be replaced with は, but I think either is perfectly fine. Just changes the emphasis as far as I can tell. Duo likely doesn't like the plain form past progressive verb as well. It generally prefers polite over plain until a little later in the course.


Unfortunately I can't find the sentence in its original lesson so I can't get the current list of accepted solutions, which how I now try to work out what it is that Duo is specifically expecting. It probably is the "たち" that is least natural here, if it was important to specify there was more than one you'd use some other word like "many" or "several" (数羽の鳥). Other than that I believe the sentence is OK, though Duo may disagree.


Are you a moderator of some sort? Or is the list of accepted solutions accessible now?


Been available at least 6 months, Google Duolingo solution viewer


It didn't accept "今日の朝、鳥の声がしました".


There is definitely something off about the Japanese sentence, here. In its current form, it does not mean "birds were singing" but rather "bird's voice did". Might I suggest: 朝、鳥はさえずっていました。 or 朝、鳥はさえずっていた。

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.