"It is the little dog's meal."
Translation:C'est le repas du petit chien.
"du" is the contraction of "de + le".
If you say that it's Anne's meal, you would say "C'est le repas de Anne."
If you say that it is the little dog's meal, it would then logically be "C'est le repas de le petit chien."
But because "de + le" contracts to "du", it instead becomes "C'est le repas du petit chien."
Regular adjectives go after the noun. There are lots of exceptions, however. The most common are the BANGS adjectives - adjectives describing Beauty, Age, Number, Goodness, and Size. These are placed before the noun. "petit" is describing size (and sometimes age, in context), so it goes before the noun. Of course, there are exceptions to BANGS as well, but you'll learn about those at the proper time, let's not make things complicated yet. :)
To some extent, "little", "small", and "young", and "jeune" et "petit" in French, have overlapping meanings when speaking about humans or animals. This is why "little", "small", and "young" are all accepted in English and "jeune" and "petit" in French.
The Best translations, however, are "It is the little dog's meal." and "C'est le repas du petit chien."
Thank you for your reply I understand, but I still would like to say that a young dog and a little dog in English are not the same.. a little dog can be an old dog...this is why I said to be hair splitting.... it is really not yet about the finesse of a language but about language learning....as long as one understands and learns the words... small and little in English may be interchangeable, but not small and young...it really does not matter but I think in France there would also be old small dogs so Duo's suggestion that young is equal to small should perhaps be looked at?
I didn't say the meanings are the same, I said they overlap. ;) "a small/little dog" doesn't always mean "a young dog", but it can mean that. That's why we want to accept it if someone writes it. But because they aren't always the same, we don't use "young" as the Best translation.
The rule you refer to does not affect "du" but "des": when "des" is before an adjective, it becomes "de".
- des chiens noirs ---- de petits chiens.
However, when the direct object is in negative sentence, "du", "de la", "un", "une", "des" all change to "de":
- j'ai du riz ---- je n'ai pas de riz
- j'ai de la soupe ---- je n'ai pas de soupe
- j'ai un chien ---- je n'ai pas de chien
- j'ai une robe ---- je n'ai pas de robe
- j'ai des chaussures ---- je n'ai pas de chaussures
"des" is plural and it can be either the plural of "un/une" or the contraction of the preposition "de" + the plural definite article "les":
- le repas des (de+les) petits chiens (lit. of the little dogs)
"du" is masculine and singular, it is the contraction of the preposition "de" + the masculine singular definite article "le":
- le repas du (de+le)à petit chien (lit. of the little dog)
Compared to the type of simpler questions in the previous lessons, this one made a huge leap. What with the bad quality sound, fast speech and having to write what I’m barely able to hear (my hearing is fine) it really is a badly placed lesson. I paid for babbel now which seems to progress in a much more sensible manner. They also explain things in the grammar where Duolingo leaves you ignorant. I’d rather go with a system that is open and honest about charging, than one that starts free, then after you’re committed, backs you into a corner where the only way out is to pay.
wfdTamar...sorry that you felt frustrated. language learning is not easy. you may find Babbel suits you better. Babbel has a totally different approach to language learning. I paid for Babbel and followed their course until I was introduced to Duo by a friend. then I started to do both programs for a while and found that Duo was so much more fun for me to do and I learnt so much faster. nowadays I do Babbel now and then because I had paid for it... but I do not enjoy it at all.I do it because different practices will help getting a feel for a language and I had paid for the course. I definitely will not continue with Babbel. Dou gives me the practice I need and the contribution of the moderators are just wonderful. the discussion forum often is helpful too and fun. I am doing Duo now for three quarters of a year and it is absolutely amazing to me how much Duo was able to offer me and guide me even trough more challenging exercises. I take this opportunity to say thank you to Sitesurf again and all the other moderators who do a fabulous volunteer job. Thank you so much for the course. I also found that Duo is worldwide acknowledged and even promoted, by highly educated people. Good luck Tamar...if you are serious about learning, do not give up it is rewarding...
First, "c'est le petit chien" = "it's the little dog". In French, possessives are constructed in a different sequence of words than in English. Let's build the sentence:
- le repas du chien = the dog's meal
- le repas du petit chien = the little dog's meal
- c'est le repas du petit chien = it is the little dog's meal
"Le repas du petit chien" has "du" as the required contraction of "de+le" and it means "of the" to construct a possessive case since French does not use "apostrophe S" to do so.
In the plural, "le repas des petits chiens" has "des" as the contraction of "de+les" ("of the" again).