"She did not know the number."
Translation:Ella no supo el número.
The translation (él/ella/usted) supo is correct [too #1].
See comment below why "supe" doesn't translate to "know" after all.
The spanish past tens(es) that serve for our simple past tense are
pretérito perfecto simple) and
pretérito imperfecto. They are not entirely the same as our.
indefinido does not overlap with our idea of past tense in English/German, as it describes especially a one-time finished action in the past ("She did not know that number." at that moment in the past.) [or a sudden interruption of another action in the past].
- one-time/at one certain time: as opposed to something habitual/regularly
- finished: as opposed to a narration of something happening in the past
- not necessarily related to the situation: as opposed to describing a situation
You propose (él/ella/usted) sabía, but that is
pretérito imperfecto and normally should not be used for this sentence (see #1 below). It is used in Spanish to describe a situation in the past, or something in progress in the past (unfinished or still in process), or something habitual or regularly happening in the past [,or for asking politely].
- description of a situation: feelings/weather/...: It rained (imperfecto: llovía) at that time (entonces: a signal word for imperfecto). She did not know the number. or He liked football.
- unfinished/in progress: They passed (imperfecto: pasaban) the day looking for the number.
- habitual/regularly: She did not know (imperfecto: sabía) the number every Sunday.
The best/worst of my comment: I know the theory, but the application is harder. El aprendizaje es eterna! :D
#1: Of course Duolingo is free of any context. That is why some sentences don't make any sense. So it might be a description of the situation and that's why 'Ella no sabía.' could be accepted too.
This is all true in general, but there are a few verbs, including saber, querer, and a few others, which are special cases. They have a /different meaning/ in the preterite than they do in either the imperfect or the present.
Saber= to know
Sabía= knew/used to know
Supo= found out
Querer= to want
Quería= wanted/used to want
So, "Ella no supo el número" is a grammatically correct sentence, but it means "She didn't find out the number", not "She didn't know the number".
Conocer is used for people and places; it means something more like "to be familiar with". Additionally, in the preterite tense the meaning changes to "to meet". "Conoció" means "she met" and "conocía" is "she knew", but in the context of a person or place.
Conoció is correct. I wrote that, and was marked wrong. The "correct" answer shown was conocía and I even had a hint saying "You used the usted/el/ella form conoció instead of the yo form conocía". Well the sentence I was asked to translate said "She", not "I". So Duo has gotten confused here. I reported it.
I would like to know why the two options "ella no supo el número" and "ella no se supo el número" can both be right. I must admit I thought it would be "ella no la supo...". Ok so I need to see that the sentence is She herself did not know the number. Its still hard to think this way. I get it and next thing I know I feel I have lost it.
Essentially the two sentences are she did not know the number and she didn't know the number, it is just two ways of saying the same thing. Personally, I feel that the second phrase does not really need the "se". The "se" is better used when speaking in the present tense like "ella no se sabe el numero" (she does not know the number). Using "La supo" would not work in this sentence because "el numero" is masculine and using "la" is feminine. There is not one sure way to figure out which is the best way to answer. I would just recommend keep doing what you are doing and do not get frustrated.