"The ducks are alive."
Translation:Die Enten leben.
I ran into the same problem. I attempted "Die Enten sind leben" (not knowing I was making an error, and could simply leave out 'sind' as it would be implied if I had just entered "Die Enten leben") and was corrected by DuoLingo with "lebendig". This threw me off because the '-dig' ending was never covered in a previous exercise, and I'm still left wondering why (as there isn't an explanation) as to why 'sind' should have been left out.
I hope I can clarify this for you. There is no implied verb "sind" here. "Die Enten sind leben" simply doesn't make sense. Both "sind" and "leben" are verbs, so that would be sort of like saying "The ducks are live" (where "live" would rhyme with "give", being a verb rather than an adjective).
Unlike "leben", the word "lebendig" is an adjective (like "alive"). So if you use "lebendig", you need a verb (sein) to form a complete sentence: "Die Enten sind lebendig".
However, as has already been pointed out in this discussion, "lebendig" is often used with a different meaning than "alive" is, so it's not necessarily the best translation. This is a situation in which the English phrase may be better translated into German by using a different sentence structure (using the intransitive verb leben, as opposed to the copula is and the predicate adjective alive). In German, you can simply say "Die Enten leben", which is sort of like "The ducks are living" / "The ducks are alive". This kind of difference is similar to the difference in expressing hunger, which you're probably already familiar with. For instance, the sentence "The ducks are hungry" would be "Die Enten haben Hunger" in German. English again uses a copula (is) and a predicate adjective (hungry), while German uses a transitive verb (haben) and a noun (Hunger) to express the same idea.
Another correct answer -- the one marked as the best possible translation -- is die Enten leben.
That is also what you should get if you follow the hints -- I see leben as a hint for the two-word phrase "are alive".
Some correct answers may contain words that are not taught in the course, in case learners who already know those words wish to use them.
But the sentence in English suggests that the ducks are alive, not dead. As a native portuguese speaker it was the first thing which crossed my mind. "Alive" adj = "lebendig" adj = vivo adj. So, "Die Enten sind lebendig." = "Os patos estão vivos." in word by word order. Duolingo returns correct!
Is it possible for it to suggest the mistake Die Enten sind leben (what i made coz im dopey) should have been Die Enten leben, as that would be at this part of the course the phrase the learner was going for most liekly, rather thasn it suggesting Die Enten sind lebendig, which confused me as id not seen that form of leben before. Id wager the vast majority of mistake makers were intending on 'Die Enten leben'.
Why not Die enten sind leben?
- Enten is a noun and has to be capitalised
- leben is a verb (= are living; live)
- German does not need a helping verb in the present tense; adding sind simply makes no sense here. It would be like trying to force a "do" into the English sentence and say "The ducks do are alive" -- simply nonsense. The extra verb doesn't belong there.