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"Ele é um inseto?" is translated literally to "Is he an insect?". It is quite strange in English, right? But actually this answer is accepted by Duolingo because it follows the lessons you were learning until here.
But the very translated corrected answer is also accepted by Duolingo: "Is it an insect?"
Maybe Duolingo will teach you later but "Ele" (He) and "Ela" (She) can also be used for animals and objects in Portuguese, while in English we use "It". We do this because nouns have genders in Portuguese.
Not just pets. Remember the Queen Bee? She's always a she. If we know the gender of the animal or insect, we can identify it as such.
from the internet:
"SEX DIFFERENTIATION IN INSECTS: Knowing the sex of your bug can be enormously satisfying. Fortunately there are some families and whole groups of related families of insects in which sex determination is easy..."
Se eu afirmo ou mesmo pergunto- Ele é um inseto (?) - seria no sentido figurado. Seria uma pessoa que não vale muito, que tem atitudes infames.... Agora, para perguntar se o animal que estou vendo e não conheço seria um inseto, então eu digo: É um inseto? ou Isso é um inseto?
I'm not quite sure what you mean. Both sentences are fine I think. In Portuguese you can ask questions by making a statement and adding a question mark like "Ele é um inseto?" and in speech this is done with a rising intonation at the end of the sentence.
The English is a literal translation and it sounds a bit unlikely even though it's correct. In Portuguese "ele" can mean "it" too, so another translation is "Is it an insect?", although in that case "É um inseto?" would have been a better way of putting it I would have thought.
You are right; I should have been a little more specific about my question I apologyze for that. Anyways you nailed it. My native language is spanish so it sometimes gets a little confusing to me when it comes to grammar. The thing is that sometimes the audio just won´t help at all, like in this case by missing the rising intonation at the end. Thank you!!! Bless!!!
We have previously learned that the only difference between "Ele e um inseto" (He is an insect) and "Ele e um inseto?" (Is he an insect?) is the intonation of the pronunciation, i.e. the upward inflection at the end, however listening to this, there is no upward inflection. Is the pronunciation in this case incorrect? Or am I missing something?
Try this text-to-speech demo instead: http://www.oddcast.com/home/demos/tts/tts_example.php
Choose "Raquel (Brazilian)" and get her to say the sentence with and without the question mark.
It should, especially if you use the question mark. Report it if DL counts it wrong. again. But in English we normally change the word order to make a question. We put the verb (or part of the very) in front of the subject. So it would "Is he an insect?" (a bit strange in English) or "Is it an insect?" (more common).