Translation:Things had not gone well that year.
I think it should be accepted. It wasn't probably included in the translation because this sentence is included in the lesson for past perfect.
If somebody thinks it is wrong, please let me know it. I am Italian, and my English will never be spotless as if I were a native English speaker. :)
I'm not a native either. I think the past perfect sounds more distant in time and give a sense of completion than past progressive.
“Things were not going well that year“ would be “Le cose non andavano bene quell‘anno“, according to other lessons in Duolingo too. At the same time, this Italian sentence is supposed to be translated as “Things didn't use to go well that year“ or “Things didn't usually go well that year“. :|
The difference in English is that when you say "things were not going well that year" it means that the things being referred to are still ongoing at the time of speaking, but when you say "things had not gone well that year" it means that the things being referred to are over or completed, even though it allows that other things that haven't occurred yet might also not go well. This is consistent with the past perfect tense referring to completed actions in the past that occurred before (an)other event(s) in the past.
Figured it out as I progressed down the tree, so for anyone else wondering: 'andate' is also the imperfect tense plural form of 'andare'.
So, given that 'erano' is the imperfect tense of the 'loro' form of 'essere' ("they were" in english) and given that the 'essere' form must match gender and plural (unlike the 'avere' form which would just have been 'andato' - which is all I had figured out when I last hit this question and why I was confused) and 'cose' is feminine plural of 'cosa', 'andare' becomes 'andate'.
Hope this is right, and hope it helps. :)
"Ci sono (delle) cose che non si possono esprimere con le parole" "There are (some) things you can't express with words". In this case... the article goes away, "some" is either translated with the partitive or with nothing at all for countables!
(I thought of an example.) :D It took me some time, but I made it!