Translation:I have a bad headache now, it must be a cold.
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In flexibility in the English renderings is the big problem with Duolingo. If you're a native speaker it hurts to have a heart ripped out for saying a perfectly serviceable bit of English to express the Chinese idea. But it's free, and if you watch your heart supply you can always refill by practice, and practice is good on its own.
I does not accept it for me, I wrote "I have a headache right now, I must have caught a cold".
According to their own advice 一定是感冒了 can mean "caught a cold". Just hover over the Chinese characters with your mouse and it says that.
This is dumb, it seems we are in the business of learning English here, not Chinese. The only way to get the questions all correct, is to remember the English answers by memory. How that fits with effective learning I have no idea.
And how many years will go past before they do anything about it?
I know it is free but this is always irritating. And once you start the course and want to finish it as I do, it is a continual problem. Getting marked wrong for something you know you have got right.
If I understand correctly, there is a confusing resemblance between this and previous sentences.
We have previously seen sentences where 感冒 means to catch a cold, but that is not what is going on here.
We have previously seen sentences that go Subject Predicate comma Predicate, like 我觉得不好，不要出去, where the second predicate has the same subject as the first. But that's not what's going on here either.
In 一定是感冒了, the predicate is 是感冒. We know that 是 forms predicates out of nouns, so 感冒 has to be the noun "a cold" rather than the verb "catch a cold." And if the predicate is "be a cold," not "catch a cold," then the implied subject is not 我. It's the headache, or rather the disease that the headache is part of (part standing for whole is called a metonym). [Edit: or it's an impersonal clause, where in English we would use the dummy subject "it," as suggested here.]
If 是 has some secret adverbial use that I didn't know about, I could be all wrong about this. But I don't see any use here that matches this sentence.
The hover hints are extra unhelpful in that they make it look like 了 is part of "catch a cold." In 我感冒了 it marks that the change of situation, from health to having a cold, is currently relevant. In 一定是感冒了 it marks a relevant change in understanding about the situation: "Oh! The headache is a cold symptom." Duolingo has some kind of automated system for aligning words and phrases of English and Chinese, which made a mistake because it saw 了 right after 感冒 too many times and assumed they were all one word.
Your problem may be "right" now. That's not the same as now. Though in reality I think Chinese is really flexible on the ground. Sometimes very means very and sometimes it needs more emphasis I not Chinese but I know that China has more dialects than Europe has countries.
I was accepted for " I must have caught a cold" but as a native Canadian English speaker it infuriates me that good English is rejected over fractured English that will hold an immigrant back both socially and economically. The prize for fractured English in North America is to be kicked to the service rung of the ladder . I think the problem is it's near impossible to find someone fluent in both Chinese and English.
I don't know why there is a 是. I have had many colds this year (感冒, and no one ever uses 是 when they tell me that i have a cold again or am getting a cold or any other thing that people say when you are coughing a lot or don't feel well. btw, 感冒 does not mean the same thing as when we say "I have a cold" in English. You can be 感冒了 without any congestion, whereas when you have a cold, congestion is a required symptom.
感冒 means to catch a cold, or to get a cold. 发烧 means to have fever. Also 生病 means to get sick, it's another example where is meant to use the change of situation.
The difference in the verbs is that one implies "to get" or "to catch", and the other to "have". So you must memorize the true meaning of the verbs to know how to use a change in situation "了" properly.
When we say we get or catch a cold, we mean we didn't have the cold and now we have it, and that is what in Chinese is understood as a change of situation, that change of situation is what "了" means here, in presence of "感冒".
The subject of the second part is omitted, it refers to the whole previous situation of having a headache. Can be re-written like this: 现在我头很疼，这一定是感冒了, which corresponds to the translation (IT must be a cold), but feels a little verbose. In English the "it" can be omitted too, and it would still be grammatically correct.