This is as bad as it gets. "The present conditional tense (condizionale presente) is equivalent to the English constructions of "would" + verb (for example: I would never forget)..." while... "The conditional perfect (condizionale passato), like all compound tenses in Italian, is formed with the condizionale presente of the auxiliary verb avere or essere and the past participle of the acting verb..." So, the sentence: "People would enter whenever they wanted" translated to Italian would sound something like this: "La gente sarebbe entrata quando voleva." or maybe "La gente entrerebbero quando voleva." But definitely not Would Enter as a translation for voleva. On the end, actual translation for the Italian sentence "La gente entrava quando voleva" would be "The people used to enter whenever they wanted.".
Sorry, but "would enter" is another way of expressing the imperfect tense in English; it means the same as "used to enter". Another example, "I would eat spam during rationing in the 1940s, but not now". Or "they would put their mobile phones away when the teacher entered the room". There is nothing conditional about any of those; it is a description of what used to happen. In English an equivalent sort of phrase in the conditional tense is: "Would you enter the building if it were on fire?"
It doesn't necessarily mean the action in the past isn't done anymore if you ask me. There's a subtle difference between "People would go to the game" and "People used to go to the game". I feel that the first one leaves the possibility open that they still go to the game but you don't know one way or the other.
No, Craig, neither is conditional. "Would" in English is frequently used as the imperfect tense, the same as "used to" (as Ariaflame says above). For my examples to be conditional, they would be : "I would eat spam if there were rationing" [but there isn't, so I don't], and "I would put my mobile phone away if the teacher were to walk in" [but he hasn't, so I haven't].
Ok. But I offered two possible translations. One in Condizionale Presente and one in Condizionale Passato. Well, it is obvious that one in the Present is not correct as the sentence is in the past. But on the other hand, I just wanted to show that Duolingo's translation cannot be correct.
Except the 'they' here is representing 'the people' which in Italian is the singular 'La gente' hence voleva. It's they in English, but not in Italian.
And no it can't be "Le persone entravano quando volevano" because that would be "The peoples entered whenever they wanted". In italian la gente = the people is a singular noun. The least awkward wary of translating it into English does have the 'they wanted' but that doesn't make the Italian noun and thus accompanying verbs plural.
But, it's being translated to English. Even if it wasn't, it's ridiculous that a language should create a situation like that. "Voleva means he/she/it wanted, except for when you try to translate it as such, then you''re wrong. It's 'they wanted.'" I have a solution: "Le persone entravano quando volevano."
Yes you can. English uses the plural form when talking of people, Italian uses the singular, hence voleva.
If you turn it the other way round and translate into Italian the English "the people entered whenever they wanted", you wouldn't write "la gente entrava quando volevano".