"People were coming and going in the large park."
Translation:Les gens allaient et venaient dans le grand parc.
I wrote: Les gens venaient et allaient dans le grand parc, and it was marked wrong. Then I understood!!! It's an idiomatic expression which reverses the words from the way it's said in English. In English there are many word combinations like this, for ex., "bread and butter" but we never say, "butter and bread," :)
How come you can change the coming and going around in French and mark it as incorrect? I think there is an error here as English says coming and going!!
A Swiss friend of mine always used to say (in English), "forth and back" instead of the English idiom "back and forth". I always thought her version made more sense because, logically, you have to go forth before you can come back. If it's the same people, it makes a lot more sense for them to first go (away) then come (back).
is it true that "allaient et venaient" is correct but "venaient et allaient" is not?
Yes, because it's idiomatic. In English we say, "It's raining cats and dogs," and not "It's raining dogs and cats." It just sounds strange and probably also sounds strange to native French speakers.
I, too, wrote "venaient et allaient" which I understand to be the correct French idiom for "coming and going". My biggest quibble is with "People" translating to "Les" gens, which I would translate as "The" people. If you said, "There were people in the park", wouldn't it translate as "Il y a eu des gens dans le parc?
Here we are talking about all the people who generally come and go from the park. Not specifically some of them or a countable number and so because the amount of people is uncountable, we use "les." In your example, if you can put "some" in front of the noun and it does not change the meaning of the sentence then "des" is used. You could say that there were "some" people in the park and the sentence does change because instead of just thinking of many people coming and going, it implies that some were going and coming and others were just coming and never leaving. From lawlessfrench: "You can use indefinite articles in front of unnamed, unidentified, or unspecified nouns, as long as they are countable." We cannot count the number of people that are regularly coming and going from such a large park, so we would have to use the definite article which in this case is more of the "general" article. It becomes tricky because we automatically think "the" when we see "les," but you have to think of it in French terms and not English terms because it will simply confuse you. I hope this helps!