"¿Estuviste tocando flauta en la mañana?"
Translation:You were playing the flute in the morning?
You were playing the flute in the morning? is not right. It's "Were you...".
English also forms questions just by adding a rising inflection (or a question mark) to a statement. That kind of question is used when you think you know the answer, and are asking for confirmation. Or as a combination question/exclamation.
Usually, rising inflection in English questions is only used when the answer would be "yes" or "no".
Sure. (I thought about writing it Sure?) But this is the translation given by DuoLingo. And written, it seems like it was done by someone who speaks English as a second language. My worry is that it could fool a student who speaks English as a second language.
I worry about that too. A lot of the English sentences in Duolingo seem like they were written by a non English native. I used to worry that we would be learning bad Spanish for the same reason but I stopped letting it bother me for two reasons. 1) Even if the teaching was perfect, we would be adding our own imperfections any way and 2) I get the impression that the Duolingo staff is more likely to be Spanish with English as a second language than the other way around.
But in this particular case, the English version seems completely fine and natural to me? (Unlike you, I couldn't resist the question mark? :-)
In one of the previous examples, there was a la included before flauta. Why not in this sentence?
What is the rule that pertains to the use of definite articles with nouns? I know that it tends to vary from time to time.
I agree, but it duolingo does not indicate it how can we trust what they are saying at other times?
Here's a discussion about por vs en here. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071116071009AAreZlD From what they say "en" is sometimes ok but "por" is always ok, and usually better.
usually en la manana implies this morning, optherwise a diffierent structure might indicate every m,orning...
Piensa alguien que esta frase debe ser: "Estabas tocando la flauta..." o "Tocabas la flauta"?
Mañana on its own is "tomorrow".
"La mañana" is "the morning". Without context, there is no indication about which day it is.