It's because the context makes it more plausible that they love their children than that they like their children.
And yet there are other places where they won't take "love" for aimer. pouts
you translate 'aime' as 'love' when you are referring to a person(s)
e.g. 'ils aiment les femmes' is 'they love the women' you translate 'aime' as 'like' when you are referring to a thing(s) e.g. 'ils aiment les livres' is 'they like the books'
I also did not hear the plural form. I went back and played the "slow" and you can't hear it. You only hear the "s" at regular speed.
"Ils" by itself should sound the same as "il". The only reason you hear the "s" is because of the liaison between "ils" and "aiment" which makes it sound like: "ilzaime".
When you click the slow it just pronounces each word one by one - so "ils" is pronounced by itself (i.e. like "il")
There is a liaison between the "leurs" and "enfants" so it will sound like "leurzenfants" which means it must be plural, if it was "enfant" it would sound like "leurenfant".
Also note, that the liaison doesn't usually get pronounced if you listen to something slowly, it's only pronounced at full speed.
aimer can be translated to both like and love, but those two words have distinct meanings. For example, how would one translate the following sentence: "I still like you but I don't love you anymore"
Something like Je t'aime bien encore, mais je ne t'aime plus.
(Or perhaps Je t'encore aime bien, mais je ne t'aime plus? - I'm not sure of the order of the words. Something feels wrong with my attempts - please help! :))
Je t'aime bien = I like you (much)
Je t'aime = I love you
Earlier i ran across this sentence "Ils aiment leur femme" which was translated to "They love their wives". The commenters pointed out that "Ils/Elles possess the same thing so using singular noun is the correct solution".
Now I see this, which is really confusing. Can anyone help ?
"Ils aiment leurs femmes" means they love their wives. If it is Ils aiment leur femme, then they all have the same wife which they love.
Is the -ent always silent in the ils/elles form? Or are there times that is it pronounced differently than the je form?
Yep always, only time itll be different will be with irregular verbs like pouvoir (je peux/ils peuvent) or -ir verbs as their ils/elles ending is '-issent' compared to the '-is' ending for 'je'
like should definitely be accepted - there is nothing to say we are talking about their own children: they could like someone else's children.