The hints often give two or three meanings for a word (like dictionary definitions), and we have to choose the correct one for the given sentence. Usually “el” is translated as “the” , but if you wanted to say something like “He washes his hair,” you would say “el pelo” (literally the hair), because it is assumed he is washing his own hair unless it is otherwise specified.
In this sentence, el means the. Usually the first hint is the one Duo wants us to use.
Whenever I hear the female-voiced version of sentences (which are probably closer to reality I suppose), I feel like I will never understand spanish in real time...EVER. Most of the male-voiced sentences I can hear clear as a bell, but otherwise I miss like 19 words. Joe: I think she said "I need a ticket for the train!!" Actual Answer: "I need seven of my most beautiful tickets to board the magnificent green train and I'm going to have a wonderful time"
Hi Keith, Spanish is the same as English in this case, in that all questions have the question mark. So you never need to wonder if it's a question or a statement, just look and see if there is a period or a question mark! Now, where the first (upside down) question mark should be placed is indeed a confusing matter!! (For us non-native Spanish speakers, at any rate!)