She may casually explain that they are all female in conversation, but it wouldn't be an offense to the culture like referring to a human male in the feminine. You do want to try to get gender correct, but it's a much bigger deal to get it correct in humans. With humans it is more offensive than a simple grammar mistake. It would probably be safer to just pick a gender than to start feeling her cats up. If you do that, you may irritate her, or worse, the cat!
Like "the cats are drinking milk"? Because the original sentence is "Las gatas beben leche" and, depending on the context, that could be either something the cats are doing right now or something they usually do. "The cats are drinking milk" implies necessarily that they're drinkng right now. Well, "Las gatas beben leche" could mean that they usually drink milk but they're not doing it at this very moment.
Not sure I got it, isn't something you do right now used in present continuous?
I understood this can either be "Cats drink milk" or "The cats drink milk", and judging by recent alternative suggestions also "The cats are drinking milk". Why is the last wrong then? Can't it be that the cats are currently drinking milk, even though they don't most of the time? (Either they usually drink something else like water, or they are drinking at this moment but not all the time)
I was very tempted to translate this as "Cats drink milk" which I'm pretty sure is correct- but didn't want to lose a heart, so gave them the translation I know they wanted. Does anyone know if Duo will accept "Cats drink milk" as a general statement- (as in "Does eat oats"?). Does a Spanish speaker know whether it would be correct to use in this context? Gracias.
Animals In the case of languages which have masculine and feminine genders, the relation between biological sex and grammatical gender tends to be less exact in the case of animals than in the case of people. In Spanish, for instance, a cheetah is always un guepardo (masculine) and a zebra is always una cebra (feminine), regardless of their biological sex. To specify the sex of an animal, an adjective may be added, as in un guepardo hembra ("a female cheetah"), or una cebra macho ("a male zebra"). Different names for the male and the female of a species are more frequent for common pets or farm animals, e.g. English cow and bull, Spanish vaca "cow" and toro "bull".
I decided to look it up. Not a comprehensive list. I thought she told me about horses but I thought I was remembering wrong since no one says anything on here about it.
They do on young age, and even though they shouldn't as adults they are fed (or is it "drunk"?) milk by humans.
It's how you conjugate the verb.
You know how in English you add -s to the end of a verb for he, she, it? And if you sometimes use old English like me, -st for thou? Well, in Spanish you do the same, except there are more groups.
you start with beb.
Now I'm not an expert (yet ;)) in Spanish, but I suppose it's because "to eat" is beber that you subtract the -er.
I know it works this way in French, so there might be a relation.
- yo bebo
- tú bebes
- él / ella / usted bebe
- nosotros / nosotras bebemos
- ellos / ellas / ustedes beben
Now, just like in English where "they" and "you" are different persons,
Ellos/Ellas and Ustedes are different persons. You don't use "they" and "you" as the same word, but you still use "are" with both of them.
Coincidentally, these two share the conjugation in Spanish too, but there could be different (groups) pairing than the English ones; like Ella and Usted(-e) which are conjugated separately in English (she is, you are).
Sorry for over-explaining, but I saw many people being confused with this.
I really wish there was a word for a female cat in English. I mean, a female dog is a bitch, but I was only taught the masculine form of dogs("perros", so I guess the female is "perras"...?), so I have no use in the English female form for now.
I want to be able to let Duo know I understand this is a female noun, and that I can tell the difference; right now even if I don't know the difference between "gatos" and "gatas" I get this right. I don't like not being able to learn from my mistakes.