"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).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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"?
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.
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".
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.
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.