"How many minutes are there in an hour?"
Translation:एक घंटे में कितने मिनट होते हैं?
Also, check out this discussion.
I'm very confused about when duolingo wants a literal translation, for which te he English equivalent would be "in one hour, how many minutes are there?", vs a more natural expression of the idea. When doing comparisons they preferred literal ones (making distinction between "this book is the best" and "this is the best book"!
I have looked at the link Vinay92 provides but it still does not address this query? One hour is a single unit, it is singular but we are still expected to understand that it is spelled as plural because of the oblique 'me'. I wish someone would break it down in a simple form or quick rules to adhere to.
Think of it this way. In English, nouns have two forms, one when they are singular and another when they are plural.
In Hindi on the other hand, words will have four forms. This is because their form changes not just depending on whether they are singular or plural but also depending on whether they are an object of a postposition (this is called 'oblique case') or not (this is called 'direct case').
So, you have four forms ('cases') - singular direct, singular oblique, plural direct, plural oblique.
As it happens, not all these forms are distinct for all words. With घंटा for example, both the plural direct form and the singular oblique form are the same (घंटे). We have:
Singular direct - घंटा
Singular oblique - घंटे
Plural direct - घंटे
Plural oblique - घंटों
The plural and oblique forms for all masculine nouns ending in ा will be similar. The singular oblique and plural direct forms will end in े and the plural oblique forms will end in ों.
To see what happens for masculine nouns not ending in ा , let's take घर (house) as an example. We have:
Singular direct - घर
Singular oblique - घर
Plural direct - घर
Plural oblique - घरों
As you can see, three of the four forms are the same and the plural oblique form ends with an ों. This is true for all masculine nouns not ending in ा which will have their plural oblique forms end in ों/ ओं. (Masculine nouns ending in ी are the exception and have their plural oblique forms end in ियों instead of ों/ ओं. Everything else is the same)
For feminine nouns ending in ी, let's take बिल्ली (cat) as an example.
Singular direct - बिल्ली
Singular oblique - बिल्ली
Plural direct - बिल्लियाँ
Plural oblique - बिल्लियों
You can see that for this category of nouns, the singular oblique is not the same as the plural direct but is the same as the singular direct. The plural direct ends with a ियाँ and the plural oblique with a ियों. This is true for all feminine nouns ending in ी.
For feminine nouns not ending in ी, let's take औरत (woman) as an example.
Singular direct - औरत
Singular oblique - औरत
Plural direct - औरतें
Plural oblique - औरतों
For all such nouns, the singular oblique form will be the same as the singular direct, the plural direct form will end with ें / एँ and the plural oblique form will end with ों/ओं.
If you can remember the rules for these four example words, you will know the oblique and plural forms for all words in Hindi.
Old English had this same grammar, but it has been lost over time, except for a few pronoun relics. "He likes ME, I like HIM, To WHOM it may concern" are all example of the oblique in English. It's something native English speakers learn, typically without ever understanding why.