Is it really an adjective? In the English translations, it seems like a verb to me (summer did something).
So for those certain cases, essere is always used followed by the adjective/past participle? " the spring ended" = la primavera e finita?
Personally, I wrote "summer is ended" and it wasn't allowed. It seemed OK to me, familiar somehow: then I remembered that it's the title of a Christina Rosetti poem. If it's good enough for Christina then it's good enough for me, whatever DL thinks.
A lot of variations are marked incorrect. I said "Summer is done" which is similar to yours and acceptable English. Summer has ended, summer is over, summer is done, summer has finished, summer is finished. It seems that there is very little effort made to allow variations leaving us to play guessing games with Duolingo.
Is this sentence an example of finire when it is used intransitively?
'finire: Transitive verb (takes a direct object) or intransitive verb (does not take a direct object) (conjugated below with the auxiliary verb avere; when used intransitively, it is conjugated with the auxiliary verb essere)' (http://italian.about.com/library/verb/blverb_finire.htm)
I said: Summer is ended, and DL said I was wrong! What is incorrect, please?
If "The summer's finished" is accepted, "the summer is finished" should be as well.
I disagree. The contraction "summer's" could mean "is" or "has" was shortened. I think it is more correct (in English) to say "summer has finished" than "summer is finished".
"Summer has finished" is a completed past event with no specified time frame for when it was finished.
"Summer is finished" doesn't work because the two verbs contradict each other: "is" is in the present, "finished" is in the past.
"Summer is finished" is perfectly good English, is even slightly poetic, and is a more accurate translation of the Italian. "Summer has finished" is also quite valid, and is probably what many people would say. Both are correct. The nuances of using "is" vs. "has" are quite distinct. "is finished" is more immediate (an adjectival use rather than a past participle), carrying with the the idea "is finish [right now/at this moment]", while "has finished/ended" (past participle rather than adjective) is less focused on the time-frame.
I find it peculiar that Duo's "correct" translation is "The summer ended", which has none of the nuance of either "has finished/ended" or "is finished/ended". Duo's "answer" looks like a cheap way of avoiding the issue altogether. I find it especially irritating because, on more than one occasion, I have been marked wrong for using simple past to translate compound tenses.
Well, technically you right but you will hear english people say 'summer is finished' .It is like the example you gave above where finished is used as an adjectives rather than as a verb.
I'm finding it hard to hear the difference between the end of "estate" and "è." Any advice, or do I just need to practice listening more?