Translation:These towels are different colors.
"to have different colo(u)rs" is not wrong in English, it is just less usual than "to be different colo(u)rs". Also, the latter implies a predominance of a color and the former does not.
I don't think that that is correct. The colour that you see is the wavelengths of light that are reflected from the object. Hence the object has the property that it reflects those wavelengths, so it is more correct to say that it has the colour rather than is the colour, although both are an approximation to the actual physics.
Actually "are different colours" is a lot more clunky & unnatural than "are of different colours". I have never heard such a statement. I suspect you meant "have different colours" as the more natural form.
I don't think that the translation duolingo gives us is correct for this sentence. There must be the preposition "of" before "different colours", if you pay good attention you will notice that in the Italian sentence, there is the equivalent preposition "di" which stands in front of "colori differenti"
these towels have different colors or these are towels in different colors Please mend the mistakes! The pupils should learn the correct translation, and it is anoying to get a "mistake", if you did it right. This is only one of many sentences where this happens. If you implement a "correct" button, the community will fix these things without much trouble for the administrator.
"to have colors" and "to be/have different colors" are different expressions. The first one only works with "to have", but the second one also works with "to be". Examples:
- Birds have several/many/few colors.
- Birds have/are different colors.
"differente" and "diverso" usually mean the same (different/various), but "diverso" is more usual (the contrary of the corresponding words in Spanish and Portuguese).
When "diverso" precedes a plural noun, it indicates multiplicity, not necessarily diversity (eg in diversi casi - in several cases).
Ariaflame, for someone who is not a native english speaker, that argument is hardly convincing. In many other languages, "to be a colour" is also the correct form but english is the only one where you can say "they are different colours" and mean that they are two things of different colours. In italian saying "sono colori diversi" would only be correct if you are referring directly to the colours and not the objects displaying them.
in english you can say something is a color. the color would be used as an adjective in that case. If I say "the horse is fast, that means I am modifying the noun, horse. When saying the towels are different colors, "colors" is modifying towels. Just because other languages don't use that grammar doesn't mean english doesn't either.
Perhaps that's true in British usage. It's certainly not true in American usage. I have never said and and would never say that an object "has a red color" or that two things "have different colors." The normal American way would be "These towels are different colors." To say they are "of different colors" doesn't sound wrong, but it does sound stilted. I doubt that I would ever say it, and if I heard it, I think it would sound odd.
All three of them are correct. "to be different colors" is usual in US.
Both "to have" and "to be" are valid in this context.
I don't know why this comment has been downvoted. Native English speakers agree with it at https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/82535/to-have-different-colors-or-to-be-different-colors