"I read, but not during dinner."
Translation:Leggo, ma non durante la cena.
I'm also very confused by this. Sometimes Duolingo demands articles in english when there are non in italian, sometimes it demands articles in italian when there are non in english. It seems extremely inconsistent and confusing. My suspicion is that duolingo's understanding of articles is incomplete and it will sometimes mark correct answers as wrong?
can someone explain "mentre si" to me? Not sure why "mentre la" doesn't work there.
Where do you see "mentre". It's a conjunction that means "while" (not "during").
When I got it wrong it showed two possible correct answers. One was "Leggo, ma non mentre si la cena". The other was "...durante la cena."
"Leggo ma non durante LA CENA" (this is a noun: during dinner) "Leggo ma non mentre SI CENA" (this is a verb: while we are eating/while we eat)
Finally, a plausible answer! Thanks! Do mentre and durante always follow that rule? (Mentre modifies verbs, durante modifies nouns)?
I answered io leggo ma non mentre la cena, and it suggested ... Non mentre si cena, which I don't understand. Mentre was one of the peek suggestions.
"a cena" should be a good translation for "during dinner" and in my experience is quite used in Italy. "Durante la cena" is quite cumbersome. They both mean the same thing, of course. Same as "durante la cena", mentioned by DrThos.