1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "The cat is black."

"The cat is black."

Translation:Le chat est noir.

January 14, 2013



Be careful! "La chatte" is rarely used in French and is more commonly used as slang for a woman's vagina, much like the English word "❤❤❤❤❤". If you doubt me, try searching for "la chatte" in google images with safe search off. Just don't do it when you're at work...


Thanks for letting us know! However, I was more surprised by the fact that they assume the translation of "cat" should be female and not male. Although, I wrote: "le chat" and they considered it correct, the answer only shows the female version of "the cat."


No assumption is made. Duolingo shows one possible answer at the top of the discussion page, not even neccessarily the best answer.


Yeah what's up with the gender thing? How and when to tell the difference?


Usually gender depends on the word, chaise (chair) is feminin all the time. However, with words like ami or chat they can be adjusted to amie or chatte to show the gender of the person or animal.


What do you say when you don't know the gender of the cat?


what if we are really referring to a female cat?


Then it is alright to use the version chatte. There would be no confusion.


The articles "la" and "le" don't depend on the objdect's gender, but on the word itself. In French all words are either masculine or feminine - having nothing to do with the gender, thats just the way the language is. If you are referring to a female cat, then you would say "Le chat est fille" (or something along those lines), not completely changing the word and its article.


I thought we use 'noire' and not 'noir'.What is the difference between the two?


Noir describes a masculine noun; noire describes a feminine noun. Determining whether a noun is masculine or feminine is largely a matter of memorization.


what's the difference between est es


With 'tu', you would 'es'. Example: Tu es idiot.

With 'il/elle', we use 'est'. Example: Il est idiot/Elle est idiote.

Just don't mind the examples, I couldn't think of anything else!


They are different conjugations of the verb être. Tu es .. Il/Elle est


i guess this sentence must refer to the one before it. I chose to use the masc. on purpose because I thought the sentence did not refer to the sex of the cat


It does actually refer to the sex of the cat, but the male cat version is considered the general label for "cat" and therefore almost always "right".

Chat is pronounced sha, while chatte is pronounced ❤❤❤❤, so in listening exercices, there is an important difference!


In this sentence I noticed that the definite article "le" is used but we hear the 't' at the end of the French cat, even the male, because of liason with the verb "est" which of course starts with a vowel. In other words, "chat" is pronounced "sha " except when there is a liason to a following word that starts with a vowel, then its 't' is heard starting the next word. This may be confusing to some people, so I am providing a site that explains liason: http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons.htm http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons-r.htm


I'm sure there's a perfectly obvious answer as to why we can't say "L'chat," but I certainly don't know it. Help!


l' is used instead of le or la in front of a noun that starts with a vowel. "l'eau" which means water is a good example.

That isn't to say that some French people speak so quickly that you might think that is what they said. Of course, chat starts with a consonant and is masculine so it is "le chat" and the feminine would be "la chatte". The plural article "les" is never contracted, instead the final letter ( 's' in this case) which is normally silent is loaned to start a following word that begins with a vowel. The 's' sound changes to 'z' sound in this liason. "les amis" would be a good example of this. (Please scroll up to my other response to someone else for more on liason.) http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/articles_2.htm


Thank you very, very much! :)


If it is rare but correct, I dont think you were right to determine it was incorrect for me to use the female version of the word and thereby lose a heart!! Thanks for the caution though.


If you do not know the gender of the cat, masculine is used.


I love black cats, aspeshaley tabby cats!!


Et la coccinelle est rouge and noire


Why "est" and not "C'est" ?


I am confused about the use of noir vrs noire


When the cat is masculine, you would use "Noir" like "le chat noir" however, if the cat is female you would use "noire" so "la chatte noire." Hope this helps.


My problem is with noir or noire


If the cat is masucline, you would use "noir" as an example "le chat noir" and if it is feminine you would use "noire" using the same example "la chatte noir." Hope this helps.


I don't understand.. In the begining "la chat" is correct and now it is not. "la chatte" is right now. Why?

(sorry for my English)


It's correct but( la chatte noire ) is also correct because it refers to a female cat. And in the question they ask you to select ALL the right answers.


Je suis un noir enfant. Translation: I am a black child.


this sucks so much I hate this stupid question


Why is it "les" and not "le" or "la"? What is the difference between all of these?


kinda ❤❤❤❤❤❤ lesson when the word chatte never came up before and all other translations of it were le chat


I was confused and didn't know what to do.


It had "La chatte est noire" as the right answer, why is that? "Le chat est noir" isn't even an option, but I picked "Le chatte est noire" and got it wrong. I know why what I picked was wrong now, but why do they have "La chatte est noire" instead of the one here that is "Le chat est noir" ?


i wrote le chat est noir and it is wrong


I hate Duolingo! Bro

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.