"The students went to school at 10 yesterday."
The plural for students is usually "xueshengmen" in my experience. The "men" is missing here. (Apologies - no pinyin accents available.)
There is really no need to specify plural property of nouns in Chinese and Duo's sentence is just fine. Depending on the context it may be better to add 們 to emphasize the collective idea. The difference is never a substantial one.
where is 了 or something to indicate the past tense? 在 is a 'state' verb, so it doesn't require '了' in the past sentence. e.g. 我昨天在纽约。 Are 上 and 下 ’state' verbs which don't require 'le' to indicate the past tense?
Again 了 is not past tense. Chinese does not have tenses. Don't get fooled by Duolingo's notes or anyone asserting that.
了 is either an indicator of change of state, or a modal interjection about a state.
Question: When did the students go to school yesterday?
The answer provides the time only so 了 is not necessary.
Question: Were there any students in the dormitory at 10:30 yesterday?
Answer: 学生昨天十点上学 了。十点半没有学生在宿舍里。
The answer provides a change of state of the students (staying in the dorm => gone to school). 了 is required.
So it only depends on the context you want to express.
If I were to re-translate the answer back into English, it would be: The student went to school at 10am yesterday. As someone who actually speaks Chinese, but lack the fluency in recognising enough characters, I think the Chinese sentence is too general to be interpreted into the stated English statement
But don't we need a 'qu' before school? Like xuesheng zuotian Shi dian qu shengxue
You dont need qu because the shang in "shang xue" is used to say they are going. It would be the same when saying I am going to work. You would say "wo shang ban" not "wo qu shang ban"
Why are there different characters for "school?" I thought that we were using xuexiao for school. Or are we talking about a different kind of school?
There is literally no word here that means "school". 上学 means "go to school" and more accurately refers to going somewhere for the learning.
WHY IS PINYIN ALWAYS "PINYIN!" WHY NOT "TRANSLATION!" I! HATE! DUOLINGO! I AM ON SPRING BREAK! #pant pant# AGAIN, I! HATE! DUOLINGO (Even though Duo teaches me Lingo (#haha). It is the only thing that teaches me that I like, so I am friends with Duo.)!