Translation:The animals are drinking the water, alone.
"animal" is masculine.
In this sentence, "animaux" is the plural form of "animal".
"Animaux" being then masculine plural, we use "seuls".
"seules" is used for feminine plural. Ex : "Les filles sont seules." / "The girls are alone."
How would you say "The animals drink water, only."? (or "The animals drink only water.")
"The animals drink water only" = "Les animaux boivent seulement de l'eau" or "Les animaux boivent uniquement de l'eau"
Yes. If you take it off it makes "Les animaux boivent seulement l'eau" = "The animals drink only the water."
I believe that this sentence means "Only the animals are drinking the water."
Because in French, adjectives change according to their nouns. There is nothing odd, it's just how French works.
to make sure it's understood to apply to "the animals" and has nothing to do with the verb, although "the animals drink only water" would be something like "les animaux ne boivent que de l'eau".
It just seems weird putting seuls at the end of the sentence, as far as possible from animaux.
isn't it a wrong sentence? shouldn't it be' les animaux boivent de l'eau, seuls'? and translation:'the animals are drinking water alone?'
No, the sentence is correct, it can be used when we know which water we're talking about. But if indeed we talk about any random water, we would use "les animaux boivent de l'eau, seuls".
How can they drink alone? Are we talking about each animal drinking alone at different times or spaces or both?
Mind blowing, this concept of multiple beings being alone. Very existential.
What a horrible sentence. I am sure this means something, but no respectable editor should allow such a travesty to survive.
While it is obvious that you don't think it makes sense for a group of animals to be drinking water by themselves, most groups of animals would be happy to know they are alone and free from predation at the water hole. The water hole of course is when they most exposed to attack and least able to respond effectively.
If you watch a group of animals approach a water hole you will see they considerable time and energy trying to confirm that they are alone before putting their head down and drinking.
Even major predators like lions and large animals like elephants and horses look around to make sure the group is alone before they start to drink.
Precisely -- animals drink water by themselves (plural), not alone (singular).
But the group (singular) drinks (singular) alone (singular) on occasion. No other groups are present, only the one being discussed. The group may well wait until it is alone before proceeding to drink.
It is common in English to refer to a group as single unit. As such it is possible for that single unit to be alone. Seems pretty strraightforward really.
A HERD of cows, or a GAGGLE of geese, or a FLOCK of birds, or a TEAM of horses, or a GATHERING of tribes comes to minds in english. Like in the french example, there is agreement of number, with the singular noun representing the group.
Your term 'by themselves' clearly translates intent, and I like it. And perhaps in a context, a group would be inferred, but I see no basis for inferring a group.
Other uses of ALONE as a plural predicate adjective would also be clear, eg. THEY ARE ALONE because THEY provides a grouping.
But I read les animaux as a pluraility of animals, not as a group. So I find the use of ALONE in this context to be strange.
The horses are in the corral, alone. As long as they are alone there is no problem and won't be until the bulls arrive.