This sentence didn't make much sense to me at first, but I realized the point is buying OTHER ITEMS for the house, not a strange way of saying that you are buying the HOUSE.
Shouldn't "¿Qué compras?" translate to "what did you buy" instead of "what are you buying?"
Present tense ¿Qué compras? = What are you buying?
Past tense ¿Qué comparaste? = What did you buy?
Because I think in this case, someone is in the process of moving in to a new house, and they need a lot of furniture, so it could easily be the present progressive tense, "What are you buying?" Remember that a verb in present tense in Spanish could very well be present progressive in English. You get two verb forms for the price of one!
"What do you buy for the new house?" was also accepted as correct by DL .
What are you buying? = Qué estás comprando?
What do you buy? = Qué compras?
Not really. The present progressive is used very sparingly in Spanish. For example, ,"Qué pasa?" is more likely to mean "What's happening?" than "What happens?". "Qué haces?" usually means "What are you doing?? rather than "What do you do?"
Jr0007 and ChrisKing, in Spanish, the form of verb using the estar + -ndo endings is reserved for what one is doing at the moment. (I am typing NOW; as I recall, it's called "present progressive.")
So if you actually saw him/her in the furniture store, preparing to buy a couch or lamp (or whatever) for their new house, your conjugation is correct.
But you may be in a coffee shop, at school, or at their old house before they move to the new house, talking about what they plan to buy for their new house, and Spanish uses the simple present tense to express that time frame, a "near future" generalization. So its meaning is, "What (kinds of things) are you (going to be) buying for your new house?"
I hope that helps you clarify when to use the different verb tenses. That's the understanding I have; if I erred in any way, advanced learners please correct me. :-)
I wrote this at first, then I literally copy and pasted the answer and still got it wrong. Can't complete this lesson.
I translated this as "How much did you pay for the new house?" and was judged wrong by the 'system'. Duolingo's translation would be embarrassing in English, sorry.
I'm not sure what kind of correction you saw, but the preferred translation here is "What are you buying for the new house?", which seems pretty splendid English.
What indicates 'are'. Why not: what do you want to buy for the new house?
the verb "to want" is "querer." There is no verb querer in the sentence. (It would be conjugated (tu) quieres or (Ud.) quiere.)
I could be cocky and say that '-as' ending of compras indicates the "are". :)
You shouldn't try to translate word-for-word. Through all their similarities, Spanish and English still have vastly different grammars.
I wrote, What do you buy for a new house?. I think that should have been accepted.