"The girls are a little sad."
Translation:Las chicas están un poco tristes.
LOL! I'm no "kid," but Ahora soy una anciana! I use the app because I can squeeze in a lesson wherever I am, to do more per day. I was taking the "casual level" so slowly, I realized I would never be able to converse before I died if I didn't do 5-6 lessons a day, at least, so am attempting that pace. It is helping to do more at a time; my brain needs a lot of repetition. Hats off to seniors who want to keep learning!
There are a surprising number of seniors taking this course of study. I seem to remember that this is one of the changes futurists predicted 20 or 30 years ago: that because seniors are living longer, we won't be content to just sit in front of the TV, but will be looking for new challenges to fill the extra decades.
Full disclaimer: I am not a native speaker and I can only speculate here: In Yo estoy un poco triste, un poco triste is a phrase using the indefinite article un and such a phrase (at least with poco) puts the adverb un poco before the adjective it modifies. It's really the same as in English: we would normally say, "I am a little sad." We might say, "I am sad a little", but most of us would recognize that as a peculiar and individual form of expression, not the norm.
Because that isn't the convention.
If I understand it correctly and when both verbs are the equivalent of the English "to be", "ser" usually indicates permanence while "estar" indicates "at the moment".
To wit: "Yo estoy en California" (because although I've lived here for 35 years, I could be in Arizona in a couple of hours). But "Yo soy de Florida" (because no matter where I roam, I will always be from Florida).
A lot of these usages become matters of convention; so even if I somehow know I will remain in California forever (let's say I'm locked up for life without parole), the verb for current location remains "estar".
IIRC, it's the same with adjectives. Some have come to use estar or ser according to custom and we just have to memorize them (which is why it is GREAT that DL now gives us so many more drills).
I don't like the way I worded some of the above. In sentences regarding location, forget about permanent v. temporary.
"Estar" is always used to indicate current location, even in a question where that location is unknown. "Yo estoy en California. Tú estás en tu habitación. Él está en la clase. Nosotros estamos en el sótano. El ratón está sobre la mesa. ¿Dónde están ustedes?" Etc.
"Ser" is used for place of origin. "Yo soy de la Florida." (The "la" seems to be optional now.) "Ella es de España." And so forth.
Tristes is one of those verbs--like interesantes and emocionantes--where there is only one form each of singular and plural and no distinction by gender. (Interestingly, the examples that occur to me have to do with feelings. That may just be a coincidence.)
- words not verbs. See skepticalways' correction below. Thank you, skeptical!
Well, for one thing, since una is modifying pocas, it must also be plural, i.e., unas. (Emphasis added.)
NOTE: I really led you astray here, Michelle. Un poco is an adverb and doesn't change in number or gender to agree with the subject, Las niñas. And tristes is one of those adjectives that doesn't change its gender, just its number.
I am really sorry. Early onset dementia is my only excuse. What you wanted was Las niñas están un poco tristes.
No, it's not a noun. It's an adverb modifying the adjective tristes. Un poco is standard form in both Spanish and English ("a little" in the latter). Adverbs don't change in number or gender. The adjective tristes only changes in number.
Yours is a good question. We don't say "a very sad" or un mucho tristes. I don't know why, but it's curious that it's true in both languages.
Chicos/as and Niños/as overlap, but they are not precisely the same. Niños/as can be any group of juveniles before the age of adulthood, but is particularly used for preteens. Chicos/as is used for teens (and by teens) and young adults (early to mid-20s).
Muchachos/as is a third choice; my gut response is that it is more analogous to chicos/as, but I don't have any proof of the matter.
The above may not be true in every Spanish-speaking country; but it is true for DL, Cuba, Puerto Rico and México, the cultures with which I am most familiar.
Because poco and tristes--in the prompt sentence--are different parts of speech (or "kinds" of words).
tristes is an adjective, which in Spanish must agree in number and gender. So tristes becomes plural to agree with chicas. (tristes happens to be an adjective that doesn't change gender; if it were like most adjectives, you are right that it would have to be feminine in the prompt.)
un poco is an adverb here. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives (including tristes) and other adverbs. Adverbs do NOT change to agree in number or gender; they generally remain in the masculine/singular form.
(To make matters more confusing--feel free to stop reading now--poco, like mucho, is the rare word that can be an adjective or adverb, depending on context. In the prompt, we know it is an adverb because it modifies the adjective tristes.
A lot of adverbs end with the suffix mente. E.g., Las chicas cantan tristemente. "The girls sang sadly." Poco and mucho obviously do not.)
If you are just sharing, fine. But if you want to fix the error (and I agree "girls" can be translated as niñas o chicas, depending on context), you have to do so at the response menu available at the prompt itself. DL writers don't read these discussions.
ETA obviously some of we mods DO read these discussions. The point is that the program writers don't necessarily do so, and they rely on all user to report additional correct responses.