Translation:It's a quarter to seven now.
In english it is not necessary to say 'now'/ 'right now'. In fact it sounds a bit unnatural. Answers should be accepted without 'now'.
Yes I agree. This is what happens when non-English person does the translation
No it depends on the context and in the Duolingo courses there are no explicit contexts so we can imagine anything that fits. One possible context is that you previously asked somebody to tell you when quarter to seven.
"Right now it is quarter to seven" is also a correct translation. I was marked wrong on this for omitting the "a" - that "a" is not necessary and is often omitted. "Right now" is also an acceptable translation for "现在"
There's no way to learn that "差" means "lacking" something here. Hovering on that character only suggest me "worse".
In British English you omit the 'a'. It's quarter to seven is perfectly acceptable.
I think because Chinese also has a way to say 6.45 but this one is teaching us how to say "quarter to seven".
"It is quarter to seven now" was marked wrong. Never heard of anyone using the article here.
Side note: The Chinese sentence could also be 现在 七点差一刻. (IMO this is more natural.) 差 means “lacking”.
To add more details it is like saying “到₁ 七点 还₂ 差 一刻” (till₁ seven o'clock there are still₂ fifteen minutes).
The original sentence is like “还₁ 差 一刻 到₂ 七点” (there are still₁ fifteen minutes till₂ seven o'clock).
In English it also makes sense to say "it is.... o' clock." we usually do not say now
Which regions of China use "cha" for "to the hour"? I have never heard this before.
I live in Henan. I've also never heard this. I was also told by my Chinese teacher here that people don't usually say 六点三刻, for example, to say quarter past six. They always use the numbers. I often use 刻 when giving the time because it's easy, and I learned it when I studied Mandarin back in college. Some people understand me, and others ask me to repeat myself. My teacher last year said that it's more common in Taiwan.
It also appears in some of the fluentinmandarin material, so I'm guessing it's standard in Beijing too.
Although I too remember my teacher only telling me to use 刻 for quarter past.
"it's now a quarter to 7 o'clock" was marked wrong because I had included "o'clock" ... weird.
It's not weird. In English, you don't say "o'clock" when you say "quarter til" or "quarter past."
I just want to point out that that "now" is not only unnecessary in English, it is not consistently required in DUO. If DUO is worried that we won't figure out what 现在 means or how to use it in Chinese, they needn't. It's ubiquitous.
It is now a quarter of 7. Tried and fried. FYI.