Translation:Although that pair of pants is cheap, it is not comfortable.
Yes I was wondering if I should put "it is not comfortable" (which most native English speakers would not say) to match the verb, and I thought they must surely accept "they are not comfortable" which most people would say, but sadly it was not the case. This course requires more input from native English speakers.
The English translation is pretty strange. It send to imply that all cheap pants should be comfortable, with this being said exception. Would "those pants are cheap, but not comfortable," be a better translation? Or is the Chinese version making the same strange implication?
The Chinese phrase is correct. The 虽然, 但是 construct translates to either "although" or "but" in English. If one of them doesn't sound right, you can try the other one.
Although those pants are cheap, they are not comfortable.
Those pants are cheap, but they are not comfortable.
It's hard to directly translate this sentence structure directly because it's not how we use "although" in English, but that's the closest translation word for word. I would say this structure would be used to present contrasting points. The best way to understand the idea of the sentence in English would be like if someone was like "Wow, those pants are cheap" and you respond "Yeah they cheap, but they're not comfortable. I wouldn't wear them". (As always would love if a native speaker could confirm this?)
tl;dr Your translation is right, but no direct English translation quite captures the idea of "although this is a valid point, this is another thing to consider" the way the Mandarin sentence does.
It's not in beta any more, and yet this is still a huge issue.
The people making it can and should account for some of the more obvious variations, especially if they are similar to other corrections that they have had to make. This question is a classic example. Here we have a collective noun (a pair of pants) that is referred to as singular, but really it's equally valid to refer to a collective noun as plural. It can vary with region and context, but most of the people I know would say, "That pair of pants are uncomfortable."
It probably does make sense for the verbs in the two halves of the sentence to be consistent for stylistic reasons.
Interestingly, because of the phenomenon in English and other languages called (among other names) "synesis" or "notional agreement", this is a sentence that people will probably have different approaches to, on the basis of individual or regional preference, when it comes to making the verbs singular or plural. With this in mind I think both "that pair is" with "it is" and "that pair are" with "they are" should be marked correct, and it's even possible that one or more combinations of the two conjugations will seem natural to a lot of English speakers.
In any event, as of the original date of this comment, there was a lot of inconsistency in the course as a whole, but 10 months later as I edit, I do see things improving quite a bit.
Yes, but in English, where you have two clauses and one is meant to be the main or independent clause (i.e. the main clause is explicitly stated and not merely implied), you can't start the first clause with "although" and the second with "but", as that would give you two dependent clauses and no main clause, which is ungrammatical.
So if the Chinese sentence starts with "虽然", use "although", but if it only has "但是", use "but".
Your translation is incorrect for two reasons: first, it would be their instead of there, second, the Chinese sentence does not imply who owns the pants, so it is incorrect to assume "their" pants. They might be his pants, our her pants. But specifically, according to the Chinese sentence, it says: this pair of pants.