"The owl is an animal that lives at night."

Translation:Le hibou est un animal qui vit la nuit.

April 15, 2018

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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

  • 1886

I wonder if the French language is going to change this role (or any other roles which often cause confusions and mistakes) anytime in the future?

There are some trends in English to change the very irregular words, although few only.


Owls live until they die, they come out at night


Why is it not un animal que habite dans la nuit?


"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".


Why is "qui" used here instead of "que"?


"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.


Thanks! That explains it.


That was a good explanation Seriously, I now understand qui and que better than I understand who and whom!


This is a really silly statement. Owls might be asleep during the day but they are not dead!


Exactly what I was thinking Carol


Are owls vampires? Do they only "live" at night, and are dead during the day?


Why is it "la nuit" instead of "à nuit" for "at night"?


"La nuit, le jour, le matin, l'après-midi, le soir..." all use the definite article.

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