"Les petits canards mangent du pain."

Translation:The small ducks eat bread.

March 7, 2013

60 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/cdifazio

How can you tell the difference between the plural and singular versions of this sentence? "Le petit canard mange du pain" sounds exactly the same.

June 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/serpientetaca
  • 23
  • 13
  • 13
  • 9
  • 794

Aaah i think i know wich is it, the difference is: The articles 'le' and 'les' have different pronunciation, the fist sounds like 'luh', the second like 'le', that is the unique diffenrence between both phrases.

July 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/E.pele
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6

Thanks

June 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Pranavislearning

If u hear closely, le sounds like la (ryming the) and les sounds more like lay(rhyming bay)

September 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jkitts

Why doesn't petit canard mean duckling, which is a little duck. Petit fille means little girl?

March 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

"petits canards" may mean either that they are small in size (species) or that they are very young.

"petite fille" means "little girl", yes. If you say "c'est une petite fille", it refers to her young age; if you say "c'est une fille petite", it means that she is short (age indifferent).

March 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Well.... ok but doesn't the adjective Jeune have a role to play in describing a young duck? Also doesn't an adjective's meaning change when placed before or after a noun? My brain begins to hurt.

October 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

Depending on the species, ducks can be smaller or bigger.

Therefore, you cannot assume that "petit canard" means "jeune canard" because "un petit canard" can be an adult duck.

In a number of cases, yes, some adjectives can have a different meaning when placed in front of the noun.

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm http://www.french-linguistics.co.uk/grammar/adjectives_position.shtml

October 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Thank you so much. The "French-Linguistics" site is beautifully simple.

October 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

There are these words; "Caneton" and "Canette" for male duckling and female duckling respectively.Have I misunderstood something... am I "Jumping the Gun"? on something which comes later in the course? Forgive me for being so Forensic.

October 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

There is another one:

"une cane" is an adult, female duck

October 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellymae110

Wouldn't that logic go against how adjectives that relate to size have to come before the article?

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

Not before the article, before the noun

May 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

In addition, beware of the words "have to" and "Rule". There are exceptions, especially with the "B A N G S" guide regarding "S" for Size.

May 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/effyleven
  • 25
  • 25
  • 15
  • 868

Don't feed a duck any bread. Bad for it!

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/UKLeafs
  • 16
  • 11
  • 7
  • 5

Du pain est tres mauvais pour des canards

May 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

I live on a boat and I'm surrounded by ducks all year. They breed like rabbits and, so long as they survive, there's no way of telling whether a duckling will grow into a duck or a drake until they are onwards of 2 months old. So... What is the French for duckling to separate it from young duck or small duck and what is the gender? (Cant believe that learning French so that I could understand Cajun music would lead me into a debate around ducks... Ho Hum.) Anyway, any-one know?

October 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

male duckling is un caneton

female duckling is une canette (roasted, with apples, hmmm)

October 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Oh! I see it all now. There I was, all innocent like thinking that it was nature and the pike that was taking them.... :)

October 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/yossishaha

Tre bien

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jennilyn.p

Man it is hard to hear some of the words. I thought "pain" was "pomme" and that's the only reason I got it wrong. How often does that happen? Way too often.

May 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Vegetable_Juice

I had the same problem, but going back to it and listening again I hear the "Pah" rather than the "Poh" it's just a very subtle thing that is going to take time to hear correctly ALL of the time. I'm realizing I shouldn't always listen just the once and write but listen multiple times to make sure my: "Le,La,Les", "De,Du,Des", and things like "Pain" and "Pomme" are not misheard.

July 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/InvertedGo

"Pomme" also has an "m" sound at the end if it. Granted it can be difficulty to hear at times.

December 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AviAdventure
  • 17
  • 10
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 3
  • 3

I love sentences like this. I feel like I am really learning to speak and understand French. I remember on day one everything was hard to hear. It is getting better with practice!!! :-)

July 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Naqerj

only bread and apple

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JenniferHe139477

Taste the pain

October 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlyaKoz

What is the difference between "little ducks" and "small ducks"? Why small is correct and little is not?

June 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jkitts

Thanks. I answer "duckling" for petit canard and it wasn't an allowable translation.

March 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Petit canard is little/small duck. une cane is also a female duck according to our SiteSurf, who knows her stuff... Then again there is caneton and cannette for male and female duckling respectively but chill.... the nouns, adjectives, verbs change and go off all around the houses depending on singular, gender of the subject/noun, plural, past tense, future, definite, imperfect continuous and which friggin day of the week it is!!!! If you get upset at losing hearts then just apply logic to each word, videlicet: "petit" little/small "canard" duck (dont even think about Dake, just dont go there, not yet!) and answer Little Duck. If however you are adventurous and dont care about greed and possessing loadsa hearts... then by all means try an alternative definition... you will learn slower, have fewer hearts for all that they are (??) worth and arrive at the next lesson with so much more depth of understanding.... worth a thousand hearts.

October 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/diacagr

I see that sometimes in french the adjective goes after the noun, and other times it goes before... for example the hot chocolate : le chocolate chaud, but for the little duck it is: le petit canard. Does anybody know the rule? Thanks

March 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

The rule is that the adjective is after the noun (85% of cases)

Please take a look at exceptions: click here

March 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LBKanigan

im seriously depressed, check out my dad chriskann

April 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/carloszoom3000
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 2
  • 12

It is really hard tell when it's plural or singular. If any info please share. Regards.

December 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

The article is the clue. Check previous explanations on previous threads.

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Pomme_Dor

I typed "the small ducks eat the bread" and it was incorrect. Please help!

April 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

"the bread" = le pain.

"(some) bread" = du pain

April 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/t_27french

Why is the adjective before the noun in "petits canards"? I thought the adj always went after the noun, like it should be "canards petits"? Does the meaning change depending on the location of the adj, or is it only placed after certain words as it is in a phrase like "chat noir"?

August 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Some adjectives precede the noun they modify and most come after. There is a guide. "BANGS" Beauty/Ugly. Age. Number. Goodness?Badness. Size come before the noun they describe. As always there are exceptions.

August 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bonny.Newman

surely petit canards are ducklings

October 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

ducklings = les canetons

October 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/laurachiaraa

why is it "mangent du pain" and not only "mangent pain"?

January 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Because, Laura, French must have articles, some of which may be dropped in English. We're lazy here. King Alfred taught what a time waster articles can be. :)

January 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/marthagste

sometimes the pronunciation is a bit "garbled" and sounds the same -i.e., the singular and plural of this sentence is barely notied

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Often Marthagste, the only way to tell singular from plural is from the article. Here it is clear that the sentence is in plural from the article "Les" (s/l Lay) . If it was singular it would be Le Canard "Le" s/l Luh.

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/marthagste

thank you - I know this - believe perhaps the audio in my system does not work well and is not clear enough becoming difficult to tell the difference in certain words

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Hiya again Marthagste. There are so many students here who experience great difficulties with the audio on the French course, so whilst it is no consolation, you are certainly not alone and my thought is that there is nothing amiss with your machine's audio system but rather with Duo's, bonne chance. votre ami JJ.

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/marthagste

merci beaucoup!

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Trixtery
  • 16
  • 15
  • 14

duolingo sucks

August 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/maryrscott

I distinctly heard the voice say Le petit canard. In general the voice recordings are muddled and hard to decipher. I wish they were more clear. I have made unnecessary mistakes due to the unclarity of the voice. I see that someone else has said the same thing. If you listen to the recording she says "Le petit canard" not "Les petits canards".

November 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

What you don't seem to be hearing, with respect Mary, is the Article. Canard and Canards sound identical but the articles; Le and Les sound totally different. Le s/l Luh and Les s/l Lay. Listen again.

November 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KarenLynn11
Plus
  • 25
  • 22
  • 22
  • 12
  • 10
  • 10
  • 4
  • 80

OMG French and its frustrating, silent endings! Yes there's a difference in the article being pleural, but it's pretty subtle and that is all you have to go on.

June 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

I am not sure it is so subtle you can't hear it:

The difference in sound between "le" [luh] and "les" [lay] is about the same as between "the" and "they".

June 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/effyleven
  • 25
  • 25
  • 15
  • 868

Aha! This the the charm of "la langue française." So much, it is left unspoken.. unless you are writing it down, of course.

June 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/dindalatifa
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 11
  • 6

Is du in the sentence literally translates to some or does it have something to do with de le??

June 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

Whenever "de" is followed by "le", you have to use the contraction "du".

When it comes to partitive articles, they are required to translate the meaning of "an unknown amount of an uncountable thing". In English, a bare noun gets this meaning from the overall meaning of the sentence, or you can use "some", but in French, you must use the partitive articles:

  • du: if the mass noun is masculine singular and starts with a consonant sound: du pain, du vin...
  • de la: if the mass noun is feminine singular and starts with a consonant sound: de la bière, de la chance
  • de l': if the mass noun starts with a vowel sound: de l'huile (fem), de l'eau (fem), de l'argent (masc).

In other constructions, especially in the possessive case, you will use "du" before the owner, with the same agreement rule as above:

  • le chien du garçon (de+le) = lit. the dog of the boy = the boy's dog.
June 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/applesarenice

I love bread so much, screamed the duck

July 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/phillydelphia

Bread isn't actually good for ducks, however since it's common tradition in the UK, we still do it anyway.

October 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/gardensala

Is the present progressive verb form different than the simple present? For example, I translated this as "The small ducks are eating bread" and it marked it correct, but I'm curious as to whether there is a different verb form to differentiate between the two slightly different meanings.

February 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Mod
  • 25
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8

In French, where progressive verbal forms do not exist, you need the context to tell if "mangent" in simple present means "are eating" (currently) or "eat" (usually).

February 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/gardensala

This is so helpful! I didn't know that progressives don't exist in French. Thank you so much!

February 21, 2019
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.