In previous sentence I translated "pochi" as "a few" and lost heart, while here wrote "few" for "pochi" and lost either :(
Yes, you can't second guess them!. I suspect that these sentences (and answers) are simply computer generated as some are very stilted.
There is a plague raging in Duolingo's Italy -- first, people were dying in the street, then the dogs were dying, and now it seems everybody is dying in just a few months. What can we do?
'after A few months' sounds much more natural in English than 'after few months'.
I agree, best translation. Accepted (11/15). We just don't say "after few months".
but why "used to"? this is not a habit.. the habit of dying, or at least none that I heard of
Alex...Think e.g. of lab mice that in given tests used to die after a few months, but now in the latest tests they're living longer. Or patients with X disease, perhaps AIDS, who used to die after a few months, but who now are living longer thanks to improved methods of treatment.
About the audio - I know that in Italian you usually emphasize the one-before-last syllable, but here the audio emphasize the 'ri' and not the 'va'. Is that the way to read this word? And it's not the first imperfect verb that is read like this, does it have something to do with the conjugation?
You're right, the most of the Italian words are stressed on the penultimate syllable (and they're called "parole piane", something like plain words), so we must put the accent on that syllable. However, not every word is "piana"! For example, some words are stressed on the last syllable, and you recognize them by the graphic accent (except for some monosyllable) which you don't find in other words, unless you're looking up in a dictionary. There's not a general rule to understand always where to stress, but fortunately there's one to answer your question! In fact the accent NEVER goes on "vo/vi/va", but always on the syllable that comes before it (ex. an/dà/vo, cor/rè/vi, di/men/ti/cà/va, dor/mì/va/no).
Sorry if took too long to get to the point (:
How should I know if I should say it like this , in this tense or to say it like this : Sono morti dopo pochi mesi ??
It depends on what you want to say. Morivano describes a more prolonged continuous action. Sono morti means it happened, it's done and over with.
I thought "pochi" is "few" and "alcuni" is "a few". Poco, un po', piccolo, I thought they all refer to something little.
My answer of "they died after a couple of months" is valid UK English of the past imperfect tense. I'm pretty sure that "They used to die after a few months" is wrong.
JeffWhite: Out of context it's impossible to say that Duo's translation is wrong. I could easily imagine a situation where the discussion is of individuals suffering from a particular illness who "used to die after a few months" of contracting the disease, but who now have a longer life expectancy given the experimental drugs they've been receiving.
Why not "after some months" or is that a longer period than "a few"?
I used to be able to figure out what a sentence said by taking an educated guess. Since there are so many nonsensical sentences, my success rate has drastically decreased.
I didn't try this, but would they "would die after a few months" work if using "would" as past tense rather than conditional?
As in, "we tried for many years to grow geraniums, but every season we bought a batch, they would die after a few months".
Huh? "They died after few months" is correct English. It means not many months — I'm not sure if this is an accurate translation of pochi.