Sorry, this does not work in modern English, though it would have been appropriate in past eras. "Persons" is correct in legalistic terms (legal documents) or to specifically differentiate between the people in a group or refer to them individually. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/persons-people-peoples/ Otherwise the use of persons has fallen out of favor and Oxford does not recommend its use.
I wrote “Six persons were absent yesterday” and it was accepted, so it is likely that Duo didn’t like your “6”.
In "six personnes sont absentes," absentes is not the verb s'absenter, but the adjective.
Absent(e) can also be a noun meaning the person who is absent.
You could! Six personnes s'absentent.
I just wrote what came more naturally to me at the time. Now you know two ways. ;-)
So could you also say 'six personnes etaient absentes hier' with the same meaning. And if so, does it sound natural in French?
Why is "absentées" used and not "absentés" ? I'm sure I'm missing a rule here...I was choosing the masculine plural, why is the feminine plural the correct choice? Thanks
Interestingly, the noun «personne» is always feminine (even if used to refer to a male). Just one of those quirks of French.
In this case, «absentées» is the past participle of the verb «s'absenter» (not the adjective). «se» is the pronoun associated with the pronominal verb.