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«é» never means "are." «é» always means "is." As you can tell by the article before "jeans," when adopting the English word into the Portuguese language, it was understood as a singular object (this is why it is not «os jeans»).
As a European Portuguese speaker, I prefer to avoid this confusion (as, if I did say "jeans" if I were speaking Portuglish, I would probably say «os jeans») altogether by calling "jeans" «as calças de ganga», which literally means "denim pants."
When you say it in Portuguese, you have to use the singular form as "jeans" is considered in this case to be ONE piece of clothing (denim trousers=jeans). If you want to translate from Portuguese to English, you must say the jeans ARE mine because that is how it is grammatically correctly said in English
The é has an accent and the verb is singular because "jeans" in Pt is singular. In English they are always treated as plural, though a jean would be pretty useless, so the sentence means "The jeans are mine". Duolingo thinks "The jeans is mine" to be correct. I hope the Portuguese they are teaching me is better than their English.