"Her dog is eating."

Translation:Son chien mange.

February 22, 2018

This discussion is locked.


I tried sa chienne mange and it marked it as incorrect. Im really not understanding this. The english doesnt tell you whether the dog is female or male so how are we supposed to know to put son chien ? Especially as it is 'her' dog


Nouns themselves are either masculine or feminine. The actual sex of the dog does not matter. Chien is always going to be a masculine noun.

Rather than learning chien=dog in English, I find it helps to commit it to memory as un chien=a dog.


Sorry to disagree... but the feminine form for "dog" (and most other animals) also exists. While the default usage is "chien" (masculine), we can absolutely use "chienne" if we want to specify a female dog. An example from Duo:

  • Cette chienne est la nĂ´tre. (Link)


I thought that 'son' was 'he'-masculine and 'sa' was 'she'-feminine. Is this incorrect?


"chien" is a masculine noun. :) I made the same mistake.


i thought the same, and I put 'sa chien mange' i don't get these :(


What in the french translation tells you that it's HER dog and not HIS?


Nothing :-)
In life, we would have context to tell us. But on Duo, "son/sa/ses" should always be accepted as both "his" and "hers" (assuming there is nothing else in the sentence to specify).


These types of tasks are annoying because i try not to look at the french words listed by Duolingo.

Instead i like to read the English sentence and figure things out by myself.

But in this case "dog" in English is generally non-gender specific (it can refer to a male or female dog).

So this forces me to look at tge French provided word for dog for me to understand what gender the French expects in this scenario which then ends up giving away the other words at the same time.


"sa chien" is "her dog" like "his boots" is "son bottes", or no?


Unlike several other languages (including English), the gender of possessive adjectives reflect the possessed noun, rather than the possessor.

So "sa" will mean "her" OR "his" when preceding a feminine noun. While "son" will mean "his" OR "her" when preceding a masculine noun. And lastly, "ses" will mean "his" OR "her" preceding a plural noun of either gender. For example:

  • Elle aime son chapeau. = She likes her hat.
  • Il aime sa cravate. = He likes his tie.
  • Elle aime ses bottes = She likes her boots.

As a final note: ma/mon/mes ("my") and ta/ton/tes "your" will work in the same way! :-)


What is the difference between ton, ta, tes and son, sa, ses?


The possessive adjectives have to match the possessed noun:

  • ton + son = masculine (-AND- feminine words beginning with vowels)
  • ta + sa = feminine
  • tes + ses = plural (either gender)

Full explanation available in Tips & Notes: Possessives

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.