Translation:The owls learned English a long time ago.
Makes a certain sense. Owls don't flock like many birds, but then that's true of all raptors. However, they also are usually seen sitting alone in late evening and at night, and I've never seen an owl's nest. Un búho aparece como un solitario.
But what about the construction 'Hace dos años que estudio español' = 'I've studied Spanish/been studying Spanish for two years' (It makes two years that I study Spanish). How does that fit into the 'hace is the clue to ago' idea? I've been struggling to figure out when to use which, so any insight would be appreciated!
Spanish and English use different ways of thinking here, so you can't get one solution that encompasses everying. "Hace = ago" only applies literally when the hace phrase is used as an adverbial of time. In those cases hace works like a preposition.
In your sentence, on the other hand, the hace phrase makes up its own proper clause and functions as a full verb. For "Hace dos años que estudio español", you can get closer to a meaningful English interpretation if you use the literal translation of hacer: "It makes two years (now) that I'm studying Spanish."
If you're talking about the English verb: "to learn" is typically irregular in British English, but regular in American English:
- BE: learn - learnt - has learnt
- AE: learn - learned - has learned
Both versions are accepted.
Learn is a regular verb, not irregular.
Present: aprendo, aprendes, aprende, aprendemos, aprenden.
Preterite: aprendí, aprendiste, aprendió, aprendimos, aprendieron.
If you're using the word "time", you also need to give it an article. "They learned it a long time ago.
I thought aprender is a verb that always has a 'a' after it..... does this rule cease in the past?
Aprender only gets an a if it's followed by another verb:
- Aprendo a conducir. - I am learning to drive.
- ¿Aprendiste a escribir en la escuela? - Did you learn to write in school?
Never heard an owl talk. Duolingo where did you get such amazing animals and birds
Well, Duo himself is an owl that speak English, so there you go.
Also at this point you might remember that furries are a thing. :)
Bueno, yo creo que todos los comentarios acerca del buho, tienen una buena razon para aceptarse. Sin embargo, creo que Duo pone esta clase de oraciones en un buen sentido del humor, para que aprendamos el idioma; porque, en realidad, esos animales no tienen la capacidad de aprender, y eso lo sabemos, verdad. hehehehe
Yo creo que esto búho es nuestro Duo!
I think this owl must certainly be our Duo!
Learnt is British English; learned is American English. Neither are incorrect.
Se puede omitir el artículo "the" en inglés, cuando se habla de un sustantivo en general, en este caso "Owls learned English". And yes, it is true: "Owls learned English a long time ago", but Duolingo's team didn't.