Clothing is an uncountable noun so therefore is treated as singular in English. It should be has been or was washed.
True; however, clothes is plural, so "The clothes have been washed" should have been accepted
It wasn't an option. I notice that a year later, Duolingo hasn't fixed this and provided better choices.
Could an alternative be "The clothes was washed by Rehema" or "The clothing has been washed by Rehema"?
"Clothes" is plural so it would have to be "The clothes were ..."
But the -me- tense is generally translated as the present perfect in English (as both indicate that the results of the action are still current, i.e. the clothes are still clean now), so I think the answers accepted should be:
The clothes have been washed by Rehema
The clothing has been washed by Rehema
... and nothing with "was" or "were", which don't indicate that the clothes are still clean.
From my point of view your comment is very correct: Hence I used the report button today (11-June-2018) and requested that the me-Tense of passive needs a translation with "has/have been ..." and not "was/were ...".
So -me- is really much more of a perfective aspect than a perfect one? I know US and UK English use the perfect somewhat differently, but I think any native English speaker can comfortably attach something like "for the past year" onto the back of "The clothing has been washed by Rehema," which shows the difference between perfect and perfective and, more to the point, the difference between English and Swahili on this point if -me- necessarily means that the referenced clothes are still clean.
At least in US English you don't even need something like "for the past year" to yield this different sort of interpretation; all you need to do is stress the "has," often implying that she might no longer be available/willing to do it or some such thing.
I assume these broader uses of the English present perfect are off the table for -me-?
When we talk about clothes, we use Have in English. HAS is used for singular nouns, in this case Cloth, not clothes.
Unfortunately it seems you can't report a bad translation when yours has been accepted...
Clothes have been washed by Rehema
In addition to the comments below, the author is using "zi-" which is plural and therefore the verb should agree: "have been washed."
I am japanese. and i am not able to use English enough. So i can't understand why clothes has. This complicated matters more . . .
I am glad that i am not the only one confused about this. Oh and thank yiu all for helping me understand this one a little better :)