If we are going for translation of meaning, I think "They might be men" is a reasonable English way to express "Forse sono uomini".
But I expect Duolingo has probably classified the English "might" as indicative of the subjunctive mood. And so they would have it in their system that you must translate "they might be men" into "loro siano uomini" (the subjunctive is typically not covered until you get a long way into Italian).
Just a thought. Take it with a pinch of salt since I'm not on the official team or anything like that.
Having learned Spanish quite well, I know of the subjunctive mood. Does Italian not use subjunctive? "Tal vez sean hombres." <- like that.
why did it not accept my translation "possibly they are men" ? the word means maybe &/or possibly, so?
That would be more accurately translated as "possibilmente", I think.
The only problem is that Duo often has chosen one answer as correct and the robot doesn't accept other answers. So, if you want to help update the robot you need to report it on the Report a Problem or Support options. See the link for more ideas on using Duo: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Duolingo_Wiki#Getting_Help
Another thing I've learned. When you look at the hints shown under the word ALWAYS use the first word.
Possibly they are men should work in my opinion. Perhaps they forgot to include that option as one of the correct answers.
'are possibly men' isn't how you would say it in English. The best translation of 'forse' in this context is 'perhaps' or 'maybe'.
How am I supposed to know whether or not 'sono' is 'they' or 'i'? In this sentence, there were no ways of finding out.....
"Uomini" is "men" i.e. plural. So "sono" has to be "they are men" since "I am men" would not work. Look for clues in context with the nouns or adjectives that follow the verb.
"Sono una donna." = I am a woman. "Sono donne." = They are women.
"Sono pazzo." = I am crazy. "Sono pazzi" = They are crazy.
I wish they made sentences that i could use more often in daily life. When am i gonna use "Maybe they are men" ?
I strongly doubt Forse sono uomini is a common phrase...
However forse is a common word/concept that they probably want to teach at this stage. And they have to teach forse to us using vocabulary that we already know (not many choices at this point - considering you can start this unit after only doing basics 1). Hence sentences like this.
It's not supposed to be a common phrase. Duolingo is trying to teach you a language, not just tell you phrases. That is why they start you out with learning words like, 'donna, uomo, mela, soon, tu, acqua.'
While enjoying your holiday in Rome, you are returning to your hotel after visiting the Vatican so you can shower and change your clothes before dinner. Turning down a backstreet, you suddenly stop in your tracks when you see a young boy slumped against a wall crying.
Placing a reassuring hand on the boy's shoulder you ask him what's wrong. "My new bicycle," he says between deep sobs, "they took it! I'd saved for months to buy it and ... and they just took it from me"
"Who took it?" you enquire, patting the boy on the back. He raises a quivering hand and points to a group of young ne'er-do-wells at the end of the street, one of them holding a shiny red mountain bike, far to small for him to use.
"Those men. They took it" the boy sobs. You stand up and your eyes narrow, focusing on the hoodlums.
"Maybe they are men," you say to the distraught boy, rolling up your sleeves and marching towards the thugs, "we'll soon find out..."
While sono does also mean 'I am' the sentence as a whole has to be taken into context when translating.
You guys HAVE TO tell us who is the subject... You need to start adding io and loro when it comes to "to be". sono can be used for io (I) and loro(they).
I think we need to improve our ability to understand the context of the sentences, rather than being given the subject. In reality the subject wont be used all the time.
Yes, it can be used for both, but the subject is rarely used in actual conversation. Context is necessary. Usually, duolingo accepts both. I don't know if it would accept "maybe I am men" for this one, though because that sentence is nonsensical.
The plural "uomini' gives it away as to whether it is 1st person singular or third person plural. It's a good way of getting us to think hard!