"Surely the state is not American?"
Translation:Num civitas Americana est?
Would something like "The state is not American, is it?" sound better to translate the num questions?
I think it's also correct, but they put "surely...not" to make us understand that the question is strongly negative, and really expect a negative answer.
Again, what an odd sentence. I kind of preferred the farm animals drinking beer and such.
How is it odd? This state is certainly not American, is it?
I see nothing odd there.
From a pragmatics point of view? I keep repeating elsewhere that I love making up context for the stranger Duolingo sentences, but with this one, it's hard. See, the thing is that we've here learned the word "civitas" to apply to American federal states (i.e. New York and California) and not other international political entities. So yes, in fact the only "states" we've been talking about have been American states, and on the contrary I'd be surprised if suddenly we were talking about the French republic or the Swiss confederation (which surely are not American indeed :)).
So, in this case, it's not odd, it's only too America-centered. But I'm sure they already realized it, and they will add other countries and cities.
Is civitates a different form of civitas or is it a different word entirely?
Is "surely" really needed in the sentence? Any body knows why its there?
Ngoc, this is all about teaching us how to use the word "num". From the lesson tips: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/la/places/tips-and-notes
The particle num indicates that the speaker expects a negative answer; the speaker would be surprised if someone answered yes.