Yup, I had to get my puppy stomach pumped after he ate my Valentine's present for my lady... Extra dark (70% cocoa)
Is the article is necessary here? In other sentences without article were also correct
In Italian, it's more common to see the definite article used to indicate the general case. In English, we'd say "Dogs do not eat chocolate" as a blanket statement. In Italian, the same blanket statement is expressed as "I cani non mangiano il cioccolato."
You can say: I cani non mangiano cioccolato if you want to state that chocolate is not part of dogs' diet.
Is this like how in French the statement would be "Les chiens ne mangent pas le chocolat"?
I don't think so. I think in French they just use the definite article more in general.
Because we are (probably) talking about an action that is taking place right now. "The dogs are eating the chocolate (which was not meant for them)"
I don't think so, because the sentence is "the dogs do NOT eat the chocolate" and given a choice, I've never seen a dog not eat something.
It could be sort of a culture kind of thing. Like it's correct even if you don't include the article, but the typical Italian will include it. Itd be sorta like having an american accent to not include the article maybe, if you will...
besides the owl, of course. unless the green owl we see is a ghost... (turns on proton pack)
Why, in this case, for the phrase "the chocolate" is it "il cioccolato" and not "al cioccolato"?
"Mangiare" is a transitive verb and requires a direct object (ie that answers to the question: who/what), therefore the simple article is required. "I cani mangiano [cosa?] il cioccolato". "Al" is the contraction of "a + il" and means "to the" :-)
To add to what Muttley71 said, perhaps you're thinking of previous lessons that spoke of "banane al cioccolato"? In that case it's because chocolate is a component part of the banana (banana prepared with chocolate). Here, the chocolate is all there is.
"The dogs can not eat chocolate" would be "i cani non possono mangiare il cioccolato."
English uses the auxiliary "do" when we want to emphasize something (I do eat chocolate), negate something (I do not eat chocolate), or ask a question (Do I eat chocolate?). In Italian, they just negate the verb directly: non mangiano, literally "not eat." To say "can not eat" involves bringing in an entirely different verb, one that means "is able to," and then negating that.
While that is all technically correct, in English the meaning behind the phrase is the same. "Dogs do not eat chocolate" = "Dogs cannot eat chocolate". At least to dog lovers/dog owners it is. So if I were translating this from Italian in some pet journal, I'd translate it either way depending on the context.
"Dogs cannot eat chocolate because it..."
"Dogs do not eat chocolate because it..."
would be the same context.
That's irrelevant. Duolingo is teaching us vocabulary and grammar/syntax. That's it. We're given single sentences at a time, sometimes just noun phrases. Gleaning greater meaning from those, where there just is no context to inform a broader interpretation, is a bad idea.
Even in your previous comment, where you equated "do not" with "can not," you were also implicitly equating "can not" with "ought not," and all three are very different concepts. I do not swim. It's just not an activity I participate in. I have the ability, and there's no reason why I shouldn't. I just don't. I can not speak Chinese. I never learned how. There's no reason why I shouldn't, it's just not something I pursued, and if I were to attempt to do so right now, I would fail miserably. Dogs ought not eat chocolate. They most certainly can, and occasionally they do, and that's how we know it's bad for them.
This is exactly why, for now, within Duolingo, we should stick to translating and not try to dig deeper. Duo's not giving us animal safety lessons. So it gave us "Dogs do not eat chocolate." So what? It also gave us "The monkey reads a book." There's no commentary being delivered there, just a sentence to be transformed into its closest English equivalent.
I'm not saying it can't ever be done. I'm saying it shouldn't be done here or now. I keep coming back to a lack of context to inform an interpretation. A body of work can be interpreted. A single sentence must only be translated, because anything more is making unwarranted assumptions.
If I recall, this sentence was an Italian to English translation, and English has its allowances for utilitarian purposes when translating from their "foreign" languages. By implying that this can't be done in the languages we're trying to learn and it's to be adhered to <sub>strictly</sub> to grammar and syntax then we're never going to learn the language for its broad utilitarian purpose.
Why <sub>shouldn't</sub> it be done here? Some of us are here to learn a language different from our own native tongue, for our own purposes. If we can learn that there's really no difference when you leave out the "io", we should be able to learn other things too. But fair enough, your argument. A bit strict, but fair in its own right.
My dog once ate my whole chocolate cheesecake and somehow she remained scot-free
Well of course it depends on what type of chocolate and how much theobromide it contains in relation to the size of the dog and the dog's general health. White chocolate is pretty safe, at least more than any dark chocolate. BTW, I'm a veterinary technician. Your dog must not have ingested enough to make him sick, thank goodness for that. But chocolate is still bad for dogs because their liver does not metabolize it in the same way that a human's does.
Would that be because white chocolate doesn't have any cocoa per se, and it's the cocoa that contains the theobromide? (See also why chocoloate purists deny that white chocolate is actually chocolate.)
At first I thought it said the dogs eat the chocolate. What are they teaching the children!? And then I saw "non".
I have double checked my spelling in this sentence and it appears correct and yet it is telling me i am wrong, i have had this several times, has anyone else had this problem?
Some lessons, "il" is accepted in front of the word (il pane, il cioccolato" and sometimes not. Why is this?
Here is quite an extensive explanation about the Italian definite articles:
That's not the point. The point is that now you know how to say it in Italian.