"Your mothers are old."
Translation:Vos mères sont âgées.
It was marked wrong. The dictionary definition of the adjective "ancienne" when used of a person means that they are no longer living, and this is not what the given sentence means.
I've also seen it with people to mean "former" (like "the former mayor"), even when they're still alive but just not performing that role any longer.
But it's definitely not what this sentence calls for.
If "ancien" is placed before the noun it means "former" if it is placed after the noun it means "old" (and possibly "antique").
Actually, there's nothing wrong with it.
une vieille dame
In fact, I'm not sure if "agees" means old or older...
Google Ngram seems to agree with you here: http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=vieille+dame%2Cdame+%C3%A2g%C3%A9e%2C&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=19&smoothing=3&share=
AFAIK, vieux is kind of rude. Still, since mères is a feminine plural noun, vielles should be used
You can, if you are talking to a single person who has more than one mother.
Which might be a somewhat unconventional family arrangement - although certainly not impossible. Thanks for the clarification. Cheers, Max.
"Tes mamans" isn't a good translation for "your mothers." "Maman" is what people call their mothers; in English, because there are so many possibilities, it has a lot of possible translations: Mom, Mum, Mommy, Mummy, Mam[m]a, Ma...
I might use "tes mamans" when talking to a child (I know a lot of kids who have two moms, so it's something I actually do use in both French and English) but in that case, the English would be "your moms" or "your mommies" (Heather a deux mamans) rather than "your mothers."
"Your MOTHERS are old" How forward thinking of duo (i'm sorry it had to be said)
No, it has to be the plural "vos" (or "tes") because "mothers" is plural.
I think “âgées“ is a polite/formal word and the assumption is that in a situation where you would use it you wouldn’t use the informal “tes“
No, that doesn't work at all. It's perfectly reasonable to use "vos"--either you're talking to multiple people, or someone you don't know well, but if you were talking to one person you know well, you could certainly use "tes," if that person had two mothers. (Which some people do, of course.)
Given that Duolingo gave "vos" as the translation of "your," it's entirely possible that you are talking to multiple people, each of whom has a mother.
In addition, my godson has two mothers (who are married to one another). Just as my goddaughter has two dads.
Your statement presumes that the words each have only one definition, and doesn't take into account social and legal definitions that have real social and legal consequences in society, in families, and in individual people's lives.
If you need an easy way into understanding this, think of adoption, step-parents, surrogacy, sperm donation, etc. Same-sex couples, for their part, would incorporate one or more of the above.
And in British Columbia, for example, the government allows more than two parents to be registered on a birth certificate and/or birth extract (and has recently provided a registration form for up to four parents). As soon as more than two parents are involved, we're necessarily out of the "one mother, one father" scenario.
Even using ‘tes’, there are many ways that an individual could have two mothers.
Yep. Family relationships are not as clear-cut as we sometimes try to make them--they're both more complicated ("mother" does not necessarily mean "the woman who gave birth to you") and a lot simpler ("she and I agree that she is my mother, therefore, for all reasonable everyday purposes, she is my mother") than that!