"The owl is an animal that lives at night."
Translation:Le hibou est un animal qui vit la nuit.
Why le hibou and not l'hibou? Is this an inconsistency in French or am I missing a rule?
It is as inconsistent as in English when it comes to mute or aspirated Hs:
- le hibou, le homard, le héros
- l'homme, l'heure, l'héroïne
hibou has a silent "h", so aspirated h's isn't relevant. In English, silent h is treated as if the following vowel began the word, although in American English, I'm not sure that there are any silent h's any more.
And aspirated h's, if sounded at all, usually come after "w", as in "whale", although most people don't bother with that kind of nicety.
The French words just seem like a collection of exceptions to any rule about elision of articles, with non-elision seeming to be the exception.
"Aspirate(d) H" is the way to describe it ("H aspiré vs H muet"), when it does not allow for liaisons or elisions; yet, the letter H never produces any sound in French.
"Qui" is the subject relative pronoun. It is the subject of "vit".
"Que" is the direct object relative pronoun. You would use it if there was another subject, as in "Le hibou est un animal que j'adore" - the subject of "adore" is "j'" and "que" is the direct object.
That was a good explanation Seriously, I now understand qui and que better than I understand who and whom!
"Habiter" (lit. to inhabit/dwell) can be synonymous with "vivre" when a location is mentioned and more likely when human beings are concerned: il habite dans une maison/dans la forêt/en France...
"Dans la nuit" is temporal, so "habiter" cannot work.
Also, you have used "que" but you needed "qui", the relative pronoun subject of the following verb.
The relative pronoun "que" is the direct object of the following verb.
- un animal qui vit la nuit: "qui" is the subject of "vit".
- un animal que je connais: the subject of "connais" is "je" and the direct object is "que".