The slowed down version (il achète) does not match the normal speed version (ils achètent)
The slowed down version pronounces words in isolation and thus skips all the laisons, which may cause the sentence to sound differently in slow speed.
Not in this case. There is no laison for achètent in this sentence, in fact the woman pauses after the word even in the fast version. She just pronounces the "è" differently in the two versions -- incorrectly in the fast one.
I hear the liaison clearly with the female audio. Liaisons will not be heard at all on slow audio because each word is pronounced in isolation.
In any case it's 'è' in both instances. So for writing what you hear, 'ils achètent' and 'il achète' sound the same.
"they buy some long yellow beans" is marked incorrect but should be correct, no?
Agreed. Seems to me, in Canadian English at least, the most common way for people to say this is "some long yellow beans". Maybe in response to a general question 'do they buy short green beans?', then "No, they buy long yellow beans", without the "some" would be said.
There is nothing wrong with translating words that are actually in the French sentence if it is a very common, perfectly grammatical way to express it in English.
Duo should be encouraging the practice not discouraging it. They should be encouraging it because it will help students deal with the absolute requirement for those words that are not always present when translating from English to French.
Duo contends that if an adjective intervenes between the de/des and the noun, 'de' must be used.
It is not just that Duo contends that, it is correct when an adjective precedes a plural noun, "des" changes to "de".
- un garçon, des garçons = a boy, boys
- un grand garçon = a tall boy
- de grands garçons = tall boys
Sometimes Duolingo translates the article as sometimes not. I translated this: they are buying SOME long yellow beans and it was deemed incorrect.
I have added "some" here but be aware that the plural of a noun in English is usually accomplished by adding an "s".
- un livre, des livres = a book, books (the plural of "a book" is not "some books"--just "books")
- un homme, des hommes = a man, men (the plural of "a man" is not "some books"--just "men")
Can someone just go over why only in sone cases will "de", "du", "des" e.t.c translate as "some" and in others is entirely absent in English as it acts to inform of the structure of the sentence?
Explained above but "some" is not needed and is usually ignored in such a sentence in English.
how am I to know that they are buying more than one bean? I am referring to when it is spoken. It is obvious when it is written.
When there is an adjective before a plural noun, "des" changes to "de". So singular is "un long haricot jaune"; plural is "de longs haricots jaunes".
C'mon duo! Really. Explain to me how in English there is a difference between "They are buying" and "They buy"?
There is no difference between "they buy" and "they are buying". You probably said "some" which was previously not included. Although it is technically not even correct here, it is not accepted. Many learners have been taught to translate "des" as "some". But be aware that the plural of "a book" is "books", not "some books". In Duo's early days, "des" was almost always translated as "some" in an effort to ease learners into the idea of translating every word. In fact, English has no equivalent for the plural of "a/an". This use of "some" is almost always ignored in English.
Impossible to know if it should be singular or plural. So of course I guessed wrong this time and missed this for no good reason. There is absolutely no difference in the way singular and plural versions of this sentence are pronounced.
Yes, they are pronounced differently. Note that when an adjective precedes a plural noun, the normal "des" is changed to "de". These two words sound different so you may need to tune your hearing for it.
- un haricot, des haricots = a bean, beans
- un long haricot, de longs haricots = a long bean, long beans
So bloody confusing, are these yellow bean that are long or are they called long beans that are yellow. From the translation I know they are yellow beans that are long, seems when I apply that to translated in french, it becomes long beans that are yellow. Subtle difference.
How would it be in french if the name of the beans where "long beans" that come in different colours one being yellow.
I don't understand why duolingo uses 'they are buying' instead of 'they buy' since french has the 'être en train de' which describes doing something at that very moment
Because "être en train de" places far more emphasis on the fact that it is happening right now than English's "are buying".
In English the -ing form is the most usual form of the present tense for things that are not habitual. (It's called the continuous present.) French does not have this form.
So "ils achètent" can be translated equally as either "they buy" or "they are buying".
Is there any good reason why "yellow long beans" is not OK and only "long yellow beans" is correct?
Adjectives that come after the noun in French classify the noun. This Duo sentence says that beans are a type called jaunes/yellow. They are the product of a crop of vegetables called yellow beans. Those yellow beans have inherent qualities...long, short, fat, narrow etc. Inherent qualities go in front of the noun.
So we know that the the beans are of the yellow type and they happen to be long. Now how to express that in English. The English part of the Duo example does not have a comma between long and yellow. That means that long does not modify the beans but instead modifies yellow.
So both the French and the English tells us that there are a bunch of the yellow kind of beans and that they happen to be long. Your English sentence with yellow modifying long means that beans are of the long variety and happen to be yellow.
If you ordered a bunch of yellow beans, believing them to always be short and got instead a bunch of very long beans most of which were yellow, you would be upset because there is, in fact, a difference. Ok. Maybe you wouldn't be upset except for saying....damn that comma thing got me again! Or maybe more tolerantly......gee, that adjective in front of or after the noun in French is tricky to apply when you are just talking about stuff.