"The horse sees the cat."
Translation:O cavalo vê o gato.
Horses can be females too, but they have special names: mare. The same thing happens in Portuguese - we call a female horse a égua. Baby/Young horses (colt in English) are called o potro or o poldro.
"A cavala" is also a Portuguese noun, but it actually represents a type of fish (a mackerel).
Yeah, some nouns for animals vary quite a lot between animals (especially farm animals, since they're usually strikingly dimorphic and have been used by humans for millennia):
- O carneiro (male sheep) > A ovelha (female sheep)
- O boi (bull, in general), also O touro (bull, when uncastrated) > A vaca (cow)
- O bode (male goat) > A cabra (female goat)
- O galo (rooster) > A galinha (hen)
Now you know the difference - "cavalas" belong in the sea, "cavalos e éguas" on land :)
We have similar in english: a stallion (?cavalo) a mare (egua), o carneiro would be a ram, ovelha is ewe, bode is billy goat, cabra is nanny goat, I'm wondering about the overall terms now though, is there a term for horse if you dont know the gender or do we tend to use the male term or always have to be specific?
One answer always leads on to another question!
"Cavalo" is a male horse, but the term for "stallion" is "garanhão" (since it covers only uncastrated horses/horses used kept for breeding, just like in English, it can also be used in reference to men who, well, act like stallions). In that sense, it's similar to the difference between boi (ox) and touro (bull). If you don't know whether the animal is castrated or not (but you can tell it's a male), use the general term - "cavalo" or "boi".
When you don't know the gender, people tend to use the most common name - but it's not clear cut which gender to choose; I'd use "cavalos" for horses, "porcos" for pigs, but "ovelhas" for sheep and "cabras" for goats. A group of roosters and hens will probably be called "galinhas" or "frangos". "Bois" vs. "Vacas" is more of a toss-up, but I'd personally use "vacas".
Thank you very much for clarifying! With most of the words I'm learning I remember them by associating them with the Latin or other root meaning or sound, but some of the words or phrases I can't associate them easily to make them memorable (like cachorro or tubarao which I know the first was a specific type of dog and the second bantu in origin)