"They are butterflies."
Loro is more for people, you could use essi for butterflies, but it isn't necessary. Keep in mind the subject pronoun never has to be expressed unless that is the emphasis of the sentence, for example Io non sono un uomo, lui è un uomo. The sentence wouldn't be grammatically incorrect without the subject pronouns, but your audience might not understand you without lui.
The use of definite articles (le, la, gli...) and partitives (dei, delle...) is complex, and there's a discussion going on here: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/295808 feel free to follow it. But here are a few examples that may clear up the situation:
I eat bread
Io mangio pane: this is a literal translation. It isn't grammatically incorrect in Italian, it is just that plenty of times the sentence does sound better with a definite article or a partitive. Simple way to start learning the vocabulary, right?
Io mangio il pane: don't confuse this with always meaning the bread. Using the definite article in Italian can make a sentence a generalization (I am a bread-eater) in addition to the function of the definite article you already know (I eat the bread we spoke of).
Io mangio del pane: partitives are like 'some'. They make the sentence flow, and they make sure you understand that an indefinite quantity is being discussed. Again, the partitive isn't absolutely necessary. The use of the definite article and the partitive goes beyond grammar--to speak another language, you have to think differently as well, and when you speak a romance language, you start giving importance to things you wouldn't have in English ;)
Check this out. Loro is used in reference to both people AND animals. It's the third person plural pronoun, personhood not required. I Reported when DL said Loro sono farfalle was wrong.
Thanks. Interesting article. So DL still refuses to acknowledge “Loro” even though so many people have reported this issue. The only good thing is that in real life conversation we do not have to deal with algorithms and this sentence would be perfectly understood by a native speaker.
I am not so sure about that. Plus in one of my previous comments I mentioned the situation when "loro" would be necessary in this sentence.
Here is a link where this quote: "Loro is used with reference to people and, especially in spoken Italian, also to refer to animals." comes from:
This is a link to an article which suggest that “loro” is used for animals as well. (a quote: “ Loro is used with reference to people and, especially in spoken Italian, also to refer to animals.”)
So farfalle is plural and farfalla is singular I'm assuming. What is the rule for plurals according to the endings? I put farfalli which is incorrect. This is my guess for endings: change e to an i for plurals and change a to an e. Is this correct?
I am so grateful for duolingo! I know it doesn't give textbook explanations which can be frustrating, but there are so many other resources we can use for textbook explanations. There are not, however, a lot of places you can practice hearing and seeing in other languages for free.
You have the right idea, but you're not quite getting the articles right. This link should help: https://ciaoitaliablog.wordpress.com/classes/italian-definite-article/
An even better page on that blog is this one, with lot of sing-along songs in easily understood Italian. I learned German and Danish through singing. This is great: https://ciaoitaliablog.wordpress.com/italian-songs/
Understand of you just because, mean always not grammar-good.
"Loro" is for people. According to f.formica, course contributor and native Italian speaker:
I wouldn’t accept “loro sono pesci” because it feels too unnatural to hear: it might work with something like “loro sono i miei pesci” - if someone was showing off their aquarium.
Look again they dont teach that lesson....then they switch...you must have the ARTICLE...then you dont...then this comoany doesnt always ad your hearts up right...qnd by tge way I had native soeakers soeak the lines...and it will show a word in red.....as if not spoken correctly....another issue is when they try to create differences in eating lunch or another examole...when we eat dinner....ceniamo etc. Look rhey cant have it both ways....i qm thinking of switching to a better company...DO NOT TAKE THE CHINESE COURSE....THERE ARE A LOT OF ISSUES.