"Le hibou vert est mignon."

Translation:The green owl is cute.

March 30, 2018



why is it not l'hibou?

April 8, 2018


There are two types of French "h": H muet (mute or silent) and H aspiré (aspirated or breathy). Despite the different names, they are both silent!

The difference (in Modern French) is whether they elide or not. H muet elides, so "le/la" + H muet becomes "l'h-", whereas "le/la" + H aspiré remains "le/la h-".

"hibou" uses H aspiré, which is why it's "le hibou".

P.S. There are also digraphs such as "ch" (pronounced "sh") and "ph" (pronounced "f"). These "h"s are neither meut nor aspiré because they combine with another letter to make a different sound. They are also no longer at the start of a word, so can't affect "le/la" anyway.

May 20, 2018


This is why you just have to internalize a language - any language - to really learn it. You can learn some rules to help you along, but ultimately their are too many rules and too many exceptions. You just have to practice, practice, practice!

Fortunately our brains are programmed to learn languages, so this is a doable task!

July 23, 2018


I suspect this is the reason: In some circumstances, "h acts like a consonant".


April 12, 2018

[deactivated user]

    More specifically, Old French lost the Latin h, but got it again from Germanic influence. So it doesn't elide because the h really was a consonant.

    ...at least, mostly. It's more complicated since some words were altered to have a h aspiré or a h muet by analogy or dialectal variation, so you can't rely on etymology to tell you what's what.

    August 7, 2018


    did... did the owl write this

    December 31, 2018


    Oui, il est très mignon.

    July 14, 2018


    When it's not threatening to stab me for forgetting to do my daily French lessons, at least.

    April 28, 2019

    • 1903

    Why isn't it "l'hibou"?

    April 17, 2018


    This is an example of an "aspirated h," h aspiré. Certain words in French beginning in h do not form a liaison between the last vowel in the proceeding word and the first vowel sound in the next word. The h is still silent, but it acts like a consonant and it sounds like there is a brief pause between the two words rather than the smooth liaison. Le hibou sounds like "luh eboo." Unfortunately these words just have to be memorized. Dictionaries will have an asterisk next to an h aspiré.

    Here are some more examples: le hockey, la Hollande, le héron, le héros. And a useful link

    There is a little bit of information about "h aspiré" in the tips and notes as well under Basics 2

    April 24, 2018


    Can one use 'mignon' to describe a person? Il est très mignon. ??

    July 28, 2018


    Absolutely! This is especially true for children.

    July 29, 2018



    May 18, 2019


    re mignon as cute. Doesn't mignon also mean darling? Some of the places where the translations has us say cute ie your daughters, baby animals, English speakers would be just as likely to say darling was cute.

    November 14, 2018


    lack of alternatives for cute! Not a favourite word in my vocabulary - has a rather childish ring to it. Only alternative I can find which is agreeable to Duolingo is sweet.

    February 14, 2019


    If you are using the word tiles, then there is only one correct answer offered. If you prefer to use another word you can use the keyboard function instead and type your answer.

    FYI, depending on the situation, mignon can translate as sweet, cute, and sometimes nice.

    February 14, 2019


    Yes, Duo

    March 29, 2019


    I wrote "le hibou vert et mignon" and was counted incorrect.

    It sounded like "le hibou vert et mignon" to me. How would that sound differently than "le hibou vert est mignon"?

    May 19, 2019


    I think you need to focus less on the difference in sound and more on the difference in context. "Le hibou vert et mignon" doesn't make sense as a sentence, or even a phrase, but "Le hibou vert est mignon" does. To be clear, "et" and "est" are pronounced almost identically, but they're used differently.

    May 21, 2019


    As in "the green and cute owl"?

    May 23, 2019
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