Translation:How much is it?
Wow! After years of studying Spanish through various courses I just now got it that cuánto, cuándo, qué, por qué, dónde, quién, and cómo are the question versions of the statement words cuanto, que, porque, donde, quien, and como. All this time I've been confused by the presence or absence of accent marks in those words. Thanks DL!
Yes, it appears that there is a "more correct way" of writing them (I usually find "porque" and "por qué") but, they are both accepted/understood and the different writings may (or may not) be region dependent.
I thought it would be a more literal translation, "how much does it cost", but i was given words to select, and duo wanted "how much is it." I think duo should accept "how much is it", but its translation should reflect the actual words, and cuesta isnt translated at all.
Yes, I agree. We still are in the early stages of learning the language. Once we get into the 4th or 5th block of lessons (marked by the castles), maybe Duolingo could get more "strict" and stop accepting literal translations. Given where we are, for me, it is frustrating and discouraging when Duolingo does this. Not everyone is a "speed" learner.
Very interesting discussion. I always interpreted the sentence as: Cuánto = how much, and cuesta = conjugated form of the verb costar (to cost) third person singular (it costs). hence "cuánto cuesta" in question form = how much does it cost. Is there any other way to analyse the sentence?
I live in the Colombian Caribbean and in a year and a half I have never heard "¿Cuánto cuesta?," except out of my own mouth. They all say: "¿Cuánto vale?" "¿Cuánto cuesta?" will work well for you, however, all over Mexico, as you're wandering through a tianguis (a word not used here). I do like using my Mexicanisms here, once in a while, I think it makes me sound exotic. There is a fine line, though, between exotic and idiotic.
In question form, you need "does". After does, "costs" changes to "cost".
We would say, "How much does it cost?" And we would answer, "It costs ....". We can also say "It does cost" (though we usually don't).
How much do they cost? They cost... (no s in question or answer with "they").
Your sentence is missing the subject (in this case "it"). Sentences need at least a subject and a verb in order to be grammatically correct. Spanish grammar allows us to drop the subject when it is understood by the verb's conjugation. This is rarely true for English. An exception would be the understood "you" in a command sentence such as "Close the door."