"L'animal du zoo"

Translation:The animal of the zoo

March 5, 2013

This discussion is locked.


why does "du" have so many meanings? Can anyone give me a list of all the meanings it has/explain the word?


"du" = contraction of preposition "de" (of) and definite article "le" (the).

The trick is that not all "du" match the English "of the".

  • the animal of the zoo = l'animal du zoo
  • the bottom of the glass = le fond du verre
  • he talks about the weather = il parle du temps
  • there is still some milk in the bottle = il y a encore du lait dans la bouteille
  • he is pouring sand = il verse du sable


Is there any sentence in the French course you haven’t commented, Sitesurf? Every time I check the discussion, I’m scanning it for your name, and I always find you giving some great input! Duolingo would be half as good without you as it is with you now!


Thank you so much! Also, "du" can only be used for masculine nouns, am I right? In the case of a feminine noun would it always then be "de la"?


yes, exactly: "l'animal de la jungle"


Thank you for this explanation. Up until now, I was confused of the difference between 'de' and 'du'.


Got this right through shear luck! Have no idea why anybody would say this or what it means...


It means a specific animal that lives in a zoo. The word you are looking for also, is 'sheer'. 'To shear' means to cut or trim.


I translated "the animal of A zoo" which is wrong. How would this sentence be in French?


l'animal d'un zoo.


This is the first time i've seen "du" mean anything else than a replacement of "de la". So it didn't make sence at all..


It IS a replacement of 'de la'. This is the French construction required as French does not have noun adjuncts, whereby a noun can be added to another noun to act as an adjective, as in 'zoo animal'.


It's not of "de la" - that can be said as it is. It's a replacement of "de le"; we don't use "de le" in French.


Please explain why du has so many meanings


"du" has 2 meanings: "some" or "of the", both in front of a masculine singular noun starting with a consonant sound.


Please explain why 'set' has so many meanings in English. See?


I have a question. Since in the English language we don't have to use articles like in the French language, why wouldn't this simply translate into "Zoo animal" instead of having to use THE zoo animal? Thank you!


I was wondering the same thing; can this also translate to "zoo animal"?


"The zoo animal" is an example of the attributive noun + noun construction in which "zoo" modifies "animal".

I think that the French phrase "l'animal du zoo" refers to a specific animal of the zoo (zoo animal), but does not express a generality.

In contrast, depending upon the context, the term "la pollution" can refer to specific pollution (the pollution) or to pollution generally (pollution without article).


The back translation for "the zoo animal" would be "l'animal de zoo", which would refer to an animal living in a zoo, as opposed to one living in a circus or a wild animal living in its natural environment.

Therefore "l'animal du zoo" can only be one thing: a possessive case = the animal belonging to the zoo.


Oh, now I get it! It would be helpful if the "correct answer" offered was "the zoo's animal," because that at least makes sense in English :-)


2018-12-06 I agree! Since Sitesurf specifically states that this is possessive, I believe the "correct answer" in English should be, "the zoo's animal".


I had no idea what this phrase was intended to convey! I have flagged it up Sitesurf's entry with a lingot. To précis:- "l'animal du zoo" Here, du is possessive,- the animal belonging to the zoo It is the difference between the zoo animal,- see above, (e.g. as opposed to one living in a park) and the zoo's animal (possessive apostrophe).
Btw, I should point out that respecting the wellbeing of our fellow creatures is not only our duty but is very much to our mutual benefit.


I hope that hovering « du » in this sentence gives explanation for it at Words. Thank you Duolingo.


Please let me know when I would ever use this nonsense phrase.

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