The English translation should be recognized as: the little dog is drinking water.
You left out the/l' which is present in the French example and is important to the meaning of the sentence.
Had the French speaker wanted to talk about the dog drinking some water rather than the water, as your sentence suggests is intended, he would have used de l'eau.
You are right, it should. I know I should regonize ''Le'' as ''The'' but its not a good sounding English sentence.. ''I am drinking the water??''
What are you drinking?
I am drinking the water....that was on the table, that we just talked about tasting strange, that cost money so will be put on our tab.
I am drinking water.....some water, that holds no interest for us other than it is water. It may be the water we just talked about or it may not because we don't care which it is in this part of the discussion.
In most situations English speakers don't really care and so don't make the point. But French speakers have an obligation to make it clear for the listener/reader so they have to include the appropriate article or modifier.
I wrote 'la petite chienne boit l'eau' Could this not be a correct answer, as well as if it were a male dog?
Petit is a BANGS adjective. BANGS stand for: Beauty,Age,Number,Good or bad, Size. These adjectives usually come before their noun. Petit here shows size.
It can't sound the same, because there are two differences in sound:
le vs les = LEUH vs LEH
boit vs boivent = BWA vs BWAV
Thank you, Sitesurf. I did some careful listening on other website, as I'd never noticed difference in sounds between chien and chienne, or heard the 'v' in boivent. Great help!
Conjugaison: je bois, tu bois, il/elle/on boit, nous buvons, vous buvez, ils/elles boivent.
Every noun in French has an assigned gender. Fortunately it is binary. They are either masculine of feminine. All adjectives modifying that noun must match it in gender and number. Petit is an adjective. The masculine form of petit is actually petit. The feminine form of petit is petite.
All nouns in French are gendered in a way that has no logic as we would currently apply it. That means you have to remember what the gender of every noun is in French. There are some guidelines to help you with that. Unfortunately, there are so many exceptions that most of them don't work.
Nouns for things which actually do have a gender such as man, woman, dog, cat, horse carry the rule which accounts for their gender. In this Duo example both the noun and the adjective have a masculine form because the dog itself has an assigned gender. The spelling of the words tell you which one it is. Petit chien makes it masculine. Petite chienne would make it feminine.