If it defined comieron as "ate", then it indeed WAS conjugated and you WERE given the accurate definition, since "ate" is the only form of the past tense of "eat" for all subject forms: I ate, you ate, they ate, he/she/it ate, we ate.
Part of the trickery, if this is any, may have been to convert "ate" to "did eat", since this would be the more useful preterit form to use here.
It wasn't highlighted as new for me. And I'm sure I haven't seen it before. But it seems like there have been several words in this lesson that are new to me that haven't been highlighted. In fact, I was told I peeked to see the translation. I knew it had something to do with eating, but I wasn't familiar with the tense.
I made the same mistake, but it was our fault for not paying closer attention to the ending and realizing it was different and that we needed to check the meaning. We have learned a lot of words so they are slowly introducing new concepts and keeping us on our toes by making sure we are paying attention.
I am in the past tense, third lesson. However DL has a way of throwing in sentences from skills we have not learned. I have been fooled a lot but now I usually catch it. I Always report it each and every time because when I started the program, many people said to report it. A lot of these odd ball sentences that are out of place seem to stem from the practice weakest words.
Some adjectives change in meaning (or at least in English translation) depending on whether they're placed before or after the noun. Generally, the adjectives placed after nouns have an objective meaning or one that carries little or no emotional content, while one placed before the noun can indicate something about how the speaker feels toward the person or thing being described. Example: Mi viejo amigo, my longtime friend; mi amigo viejo, my elderly friend.
I suspect this is a glitch in Duolingo, I doubt they would just randomly throw something in there that they hadn't taught us about yet (I see present tense verbs are the next lesson, and past tense several lessons beyond that). I realized it was past tense, but I typed "The poor men haven't eaten", and so I got it wrong.
Just to let everyone know, "pobre" is one adjective in which the meaning changes depending on whether or not it comes before or after the noun it modifies. When it follows the noun, it means "poor" as in not having money. When it comes before, as in this case, it means "poor" as in unfortunate. I typed: "The unfortunate men didn't eat," and my answer was accepted.
I speak portuguese and I've learned that we use the Present Perfect for actions that have not finished (like your example) and for past actions in an indeterminated time (my example)
Los pobres hombres no comieron = The poor men have not eaten Los pobres hombres no comieron en la noche pasada = The poor men didn't eat last night
Could we please have an alternate sentence that indicates that rich, gender-ambiguous people also sometimes skip meals? I think this sentence perpetuates a stereotype. Duolingo needs to accurately represent a crosscut of the American "99%".
Sorry. I'm still a little traumatized by the tomfoolery in the comments for "My mother cooks for my father."
"did not eat": simple past ... "have not eaten": present perfect
I gave the same wrong answer. since we were treading into new and unexplained territory, I just entered something that made sense to me. "Did not eat" and "have not eaten" are essentially the same meaning. I'm not complaining, just pointing out a fact. In either case, there is still hope that the men may eat in the near future.
Your sentence is not standard English. 'Ate' is the simple past tense while ' 'eaten' is the past participle, However the model sentence says the men did not eat. The 'did' makes the sentence past tense. When making a negative statement, only the first verb is in the simple past and the other verb is an infinitive. (Eat)