In short, i think most problems are not all related to the meaning of this,these, that or those in portuguese. Truly, even portuguese speakers dont use them correctly and some of them dont even know the difference in uses, even after learning at school. Who remembers that? The most important is being able to express your desires especially for non-native speakers. I know many of them want to know them correctly, but it gets harder when duoligo doesnt accept some other uses and changes from time to time the meaning of them. I know it can be quite frustrating. Thats the biggest problem. Duolingo should pay more attention to that!! Or else, losing hearts by no obvious reasons will go on
Agreed - at least one large Brazilian Portuguese grammar book of recent vintage (Whitlam) notes the use of esse/essa as "this" in the spoken language is correct and that este/esta are not used as demonstratives in the spoken language. The fact that this app makes people think about and sometimes critique answers is a positive and not a negative in my opinion.
Here we go again. "that" is wrong for "esse" Are we to understand "este" is now redundant in Brazilian speak? Duoling is so far removed from the three dictionaries I can get hold of, it seems "esse" means "this" and "aquele" means "that" . I can bet if I translate "this" with "esse" I'll get a "Oops, that's wrong" you should have used "este".
There's clearly a mistake here. "This" is used for "este" (plus feminine form "esta") and "that" is used for "esse" and "aquele" (+ feminine forms). When someone's talking about time (years), you use "este" to talk about the current year, and "esse" or "aquele" to talk about some other year. So "I have not seen you this year" will always translate to "Eu não vi você ESTE ano" ("Eu não te vi este ano" is also possible, informally).
When you used "that" for "esse" did you change the sentence to "I DID not see you that year"? If you did and it was wrong then....well, I can understand your frustration, this happens to me too, but I do think that part of the reason (Besides it being Beta) is because of the concepts behind esse/este/aquele and their feminine counterparts that don't exist in English, so it gets confusing sometimes. I made a topic about that with the rules about it explained in a book I have. Take a look if you want to. :) http://duolingo.com/#/comment/233580
I don't see how "Eu não vi você esse ano" can be translated as "I did not see you that year". Well, if we push it a little bit and produce a situation like "1999 was horrible. I did not see you that year"... maybe. But it would be more appropriate to use "aquele", instead of "esse".