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  5. "Une petite chienne"

"Une petite chienne"

Translation:A small dog

January 5, 2013



i wrote a "a little bitch'' and its correct :D


That's what our French teacher had told us, that this means bitch! Oh Duolingo, you never fail to amaze me.


Except that in everyday English, both "le chien" and "la chienne" are translated as "dog". In English, we don't refer to the gender whether it is a dog (chien/chienne), a cat (chat/chatte), a teacher (enseignant/enseignante), a journalist (journalist/journaliste), an attorney (avocat/avocate), a baker (boulanger/boulangère), etc. So while it is true that "la chienne" is indeed a female of the species canine, we do not say "female dog", but simply "dog". In France, it is quite normal to talk about your chienne or if you needed to be more technical, your "chien femelle" (female dog). The issue is not with the gender differences of the French nouns but in English it is not quite the same. The colorful language associated with the female dog and the female cat is useful to know from the standpoint that the terms are to be avoided in polite conversation in English since they range from highly derogatory to vulgar. So if you choose to do that, at least you know you did not say it by accident.


The exception to the above is among breeders and people involved with dog shows who use the term "bitch" quite happily. Amongst the general public, however, it is rarely used other than in its vulgar derogatory sense.


Thanks, dkahn. That is exactly the point.


No no no. If I refer specifically to a female dog I use the word bitch. I use dog for a male dog or for an unspecified gender of dog. With cats, the generic word "cat" is feminine and I use it for unspecified genders of cat and females; the male cat is a tom cat.


And the female adult cat is a queen.


Excellent and matured explanation


"A bitch" is, first and foremost, "A female dog, wolf, fox, or otter."


Now the fact that this noun has become derogatory, insulting and offensive is another story.


Well, a "bitch" is also a female dog.


It's now wrong according to Duolingo :(


How could I hear that it is feminine? I wrote "Un petit chien" instead. It sounds the same ;(


The last 't' isn't pronounced in "petit", nor are the 'n's pronounced in "un" or "chien"; rather, they just make the vowel nasalized (said with your nose). Hope this helps!


The difference is in "une" which sounds different than "un" (masculine).


they are almost the same for me (


well, "un" is somewhat sounds like "ang" or something, "une" is sounds like "yunn" or something. It is slightly different.


I'm only now beginning to feel the difference. Thanks )


Why does the adjective come before the noun? I thought the adjective came after nouns in French?


Unfortunately this is an exception (5% of adjectives) ! Please read this: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm


Thanks. Well, that's unfortunately confusing.


You may have learned this already given how long ago you asked but I hope it will help others: to see if you should place the adjective before/after the noun you use the acronym BRAGS: Beauty Rank Age Goodness Size

If your adjective can go into one of these categories then it goes before the noun.


In French class we learnt: B - Beauty, eg. joli/jolie, beau/belle A - Age, eg. jeune G - Goodness eg. mauvais S - Size eg. petit/petite, grand/grande This was the outline of which adjectives go in front of the noun Hope this helps :)


duolingo you're acting like a little chienne right now. why isn't "tiny" acceptable?


I giggled. Tiny = "minuscule" and the French (or at least Duolingo's French writers) prefer that you be specific, that is why.


Somehow I always kind of confused to differentiate between "il mange" and "ils mangent" when the speaker speak. It just sounds the same.


Yes, they're both pronounced exactly the same way.


Why is it double N instead of just one N in the word "chienne" when it comes to femenine?


It is a rule that some masculine nouns double the end consonant to get the feminine version: chat-chatte, chien-chienne.


it should be 'sh' sound for chienne, no? so confused audio!!


you are right, but since you have the word "petite" just before, it may sound peti-TSH-ienne


sorry, I am a complete beginner. How do I know if something is masculine or feminine?


when it comes to human beings, it is relatively easy: une fille (girl) vs un garçon (boy).

for all other nouns (animals, objects, concepts...), you just have to learn their genders as they come.


Why the e on the end of petite now?


The adjectives have to agree in gender and number with the noun that is being described.
"chienne" is feminine, so "petit" becomes "petite" (Notice the e at the end of "une" and "chienne" as well. Many nouns and adjectives become feminine by adding an e or doubling a consonant for a noun and adding an e.) http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_2.htm http://french.about.com/library/weekly/bl-agreement.htm


I am tempted to answer this next time as 'A little b!tch,' just to see what happens. It is a female dog after all - surely they would accept that answer?


Of course!


You realise that your icon scares me? I don't want to blink!


This is NOT a weeping angel from Dr Who. It is a much older, nice and graceful Italian statue of an angel who is just thinking hard... So don't be scared, I am a guardian angel.


Thank you! Now I can blink!


This is the coolest reply section I've ever seen, lol.


I don't get. I answered a puppy and it marked me wrong simply saying It is a small dog. What's the differnce between a small dog and a puppy


A fourteen year old female Yorkshire Terrier is une petite chienne but it is many years since she was un chiot (a puppy). Note that the masculine un chiot is used even for a female puppy.


Une petite chienne ou une chienne petite ? As I know in French, the adjective goes after noun


Mostly, but not in all cases. See Sitesurf's answer to the same question earlier in the discussion.


Is une chienne petite also acceptable?


No. Adjectives of Beauty, Age, Number, Goodness, and Size (BANGS) are placed before the noun they modify. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm


This would sound exactly like "a dog little"


This is what I wrote " A small dog (f)" - but it marked me as wrong


Duo is marking it wrong because it treats the "(f)" as an extraneous word. It could, I suppose, be programmed to accept things like that but I think that would be a slippery slope. You can render it as "a little bitch" or "a little dog". The problem with the former is that it is somewhat jarring in English except perhaps among dog breeders. The problem with the latter is that it loses information from the French original. Adding translator's notes, especially into the body of the text, makes it harder to read. This is the challenge of translation.


No reason at all.


I wrote a short dog......


That would be une chienne courte.


I wrote 'a small cat' :)


I wrote "a small female dog" for une petite chienne. Why is that incorrect? Chienne refers to a female dog. When the phrase has been instead chatte, "female cat" was accepted.


"Un petit chien" was marked wrong why?!??


Because in dictation, you cannot miss the differences between:

  • "Une" and "un"
  • "Petite" where the T is heard, and "petit" which ends with the sound "i"
  • "Chienne" where the last N is clearly heard and "chien" which has a nasal sound.

Please compare the nasal sound "-ien" and the consonant sound "-ienne" on forvo.com:




Why is this female and how do i know?


Un petit chien = A small male dog
Une petite chienne = A small female dog

Un petit chat = A small male cat
Une petite chatte = A small female cat


Why can't I use the male version?


Why can't it be a pretty dog ?


Is this a serious question? Don't you know the difference between 'pretty' and 'small'?

Maybe you were thinking of the term "pretty small"...


Because petite does not mean pretty.


Why is "bitch" not accepted


As you can tell, the word is now censored.

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