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The "are" is very necessary. If one uses the word 'pants', one must always say "Are those your pants?" because 'pants' is plural in English. It is always plural because ONE pant is a garment of clothing that covers ONE leg; therefore, you need TWO pants to make the ONE article of clothing, "pants", that we know and love! I hope that this helps! :-) P.S. In English we sometimes say "a pair of pants" which takes a singular verb because the word 'pair' is what takes the verb. Example: Is that your pair of pants? (I don't know if Duolingo accepts this or not). I'm not trying to degrade you or talk down to you, but I'm not sure if you're a native speaker. :-)
Dwingo: Your explanation is great for non-native English speakers (though there wasn't really any need for you to point out your assumption on whether they were or were not natives to the language), but the real point we all should be making here is whether or not Arcolithe's translation hinders how we would interpret the sentence if we were communicating with him/her verbally. "Is that your pants?" was just a literal interpretation of the German sentence, and is a common mistake among both natives and non-natives to English when it comes to this question, because we're All trying to interpret this new language 'word-for-word'. As long as the English is correct in context, I don't see why people should get the question wrong based on grammatical errors in translation. This lesson is solely to learn and comprehend GERMAN. They could correct the person's English briefly in a side-note if it's seriously botched enough.
I don't see why people should get the question wrong based on grammatical errors in translation
That's just not feasible. Adding the correct translations is enough work as it is. Remember that each accepted translation has to be added manually. There are literally millions of possible translations that are not quite right but get the meaning across.
You're right about that. I hadn't considered the manual labor involved with the correction process . I just threw one suggestion out there; but in the future it'd be cool if they could at least allow one word-for-word literal translation for the more ambiguous questions, while displaying the correct phrases like they did in the red section below (since 'ist das deine hose' does technically translate to 'is that your pants' word-for-word). I'm only saying that because I see on here that it's confusing for non-native English speakers, and it would suck if English kept someone from learning German ^_^.
Thought this was one of the missions of duolingo. In my simple understanding duolinge is trying to teach translation to the internet, It must continue to learn from people. Which makes teaching them at the same time difficult. My thanks to the amazing people running this! You are all insane! Perhaps It would be prudent to incorporate fluent suggestions into your frame work with the same fevor you are throwing fluent phrases at us.
But is it ok to mark it as wrong because of english grammar when I try to learn german? The translation was correct except the english grammar which isn't what I try to learn now. It should show that the correct answer is different but it shouldn't take points. It was my last heart
As a native English speaker, I casually say sentences like "Is that your pants/glasses/scissors?" all the time without it sounding too weird for me, but yes, when I try to follow the proper prescriptive "rules" of English, one should really say "Are those your pants/glasses/scissors?".
I like your comment Andre ^_^. I don't know why some of the other English-speaking natives on here get all hyped up over proper English usage for a GERMAN translation. I see the same thing happening in the Spanish section, and it's kind of amusing and annoying all in one. I've heard every possible phrasing of this sentence right down to "dem yo pants?" in conversation, and I still know exactly what the person is saying to me. I am not -by any means- saying that we should just up and allow "dem yo pants?" as an alternative answer to this question lol (though it would totally be hilarious!); I'm just saying that I don't think any natives should bash anyone for the misuse of English. I'm American, and I live in the south. I see the growing misuse of our language everyday by our own people, so I definitely don't see the need to bash our foreign visitors over one grammar mistake that they'll eventually learn about anyway.
I find this very confusing (it's also confusing in English if you think about it). I thought Hose was singular and Hosen was plural. On the other hand, I have never seen the word "pant" used in English refering to something used to cover your legs. In any case, although it is not explained, I think that this must be one of those cases that you just have to learn it and use it properly. However, there seem to be a myriad of explanations so maybe it's take your choice and hope you get your pants in the end. PS aside. These comments on Duolingo are really really helpful. So can't complain.
I think it's primarily in the german singular Hose, versus the English plural pants one being plural and one being singular, but ultimately talking about the same object: just in different terms. It makes sense for duolingo to ask for the correct English translation, too, instead of the literal translation. I've seen examples of this in other lessons and languages as well. For example, in Irish, there is no equivalent to the English article "a", but duolingo still expects you to write it in when translating. This practice is debatable, but I think it's more of a matter of preference in learning than there being one true rule
It's kind of annoying that when you hit "ist" in this sentence there is no reference to the English word "are" as an option. That's the confusing part to me. I want to write "are they your pants", but I write "is that your pants" instead. Which would be improper in English, but that seems to be the only option. What I just said probably makes no sense without my physical demonstration.