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"The birds are cleaning the hippo with their beaks."

Translation:Les oiseaux nettoient l'hippopotame avec leur bec.

March 29, 2018

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manuccho

Why not "leurS becS " ? I don't understand


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CommeuneTexane

"Leurs becs" could be interpreted as each bird having more than one beak. In French, leur bec means one beak for each bird, leurs becs means multiple beaks for each bird.

EDITED: Mea culpa. It is more common in French to use the singular when each party possesses one of them "leur bec," but it is still understood to mean "one of each" if the plural "leurs becs" is used, because of common sense. Context will tell.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David481823

Thank you for explaining


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilla-danesa

Thank you, I kept getting that wrong!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

So are you saying both leur bec and leurs becs are correct here? I am still confused. Common sense and knowledge being what it is...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JayScheuer

I believe "leurs becs" would be if the birds each had more than one beak (which is impossible).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brian32083

I read your edited comment stating "leurs becs" should be acceptable but my answer as such was marked incorrect. I am getting the impression that the singular, "leur Bec" applies to one beak per bird. Much of what I am learning on Duo has to do with how the French speak, think or write, which is more important,IMO, than my being right. I really appreciate Duo and the great French moderators!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David481823

That was a good question thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LoriNyegaard

Her pronunciation of "leur" does not sound French. I've never heard it pronounced that way by anyone.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pakjim

Why not 《les becs》? It is understoods that they are the birds' beaks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fallgirl123

Birds=plural, leurs becs. I do not understand, there is more than one bird, more than one beak.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M.parlange

you have the explanation above

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