I'm not entirely sure why the translation of 'i vestiti' requires the article 'the' and can't be translated as 'clothes' when earlier my translation of 'la colazione' was accepted as correct when I typed in 'breakfast' and not 'THE breakfast'. Is there a hard and fast rule for when you need to include the article in your English translation and when you can leave it off?
I was thinking about the same thing...I am not an english native speaker so for me it's even harder to know whether I should use "The" or not..:( it should be correct either way, because it's kinda frustrating to see the red "WRONG" when it is actually the right translation I used....
I find acceptable 'clothes', 'the clothes', 'the clothing', and others. Don't worry about the 'wrong' answer. While they do a good job of continuously improving, Duolingo can't possibly get all the translations when many are possible.
With regard to when NOT to use 'the', take comfort that the reverse also is difficult. I teach Italian to (mostly) American students, and especially in the first course I have to remind them often that the article is used much more frequently in Italian than in English. Here are some cases to consider:
a specific item, use it in both languages Give me the book Dammi il libro. / Mi dia il libro.
a general idea or conceptual expression, use it in Italian but not English Books were rare in the middle ages. I libri erano rari nel Medioevo.
some unspecified quantity/portion of the total of anything, some/any/a few/no addition in English, depending on the context, usually the partitive in Italian (but usually not in the negative) I'm buying apples. / I'm buying some apples. / I'm buying a few apples. Compro delle mele. / Compro alcune mele. / Compro qualche mela. Do you have apples? No, today I don't have any apples. Ha delle mele? No, oggi non ho mele.
direct address (speaking to someone with a title), don't use it in either language Hello Professor Garibaldi! Buongiorno Professor Garibaldi!
indirect address (speaking about someone with a title), use it in Italian, but not English May I speak with Professor Garibaldi? Posso parlare con il professor Garibaldi?
This won't yield 100% correct speech, but I hope it makes it easier to make fewer mistakes!
Why is it that it was mandatory to have "The" in "The clothes" this time? Normally when the article is there it's okay to ignore it and just write the noun. Like I just had a writing exercise for "Il capelli" and wrote "hats" and it was correct. I don't see the difference?