Translation:My favorite animals are birds.
Methinks this should be either "My favorite animal is a bird," or "My favorite animals are birds."
The problem is that we can tolerate "birds are my favorite animal", even if it's incongruous. But it doesn't work with "are" if we put the singular noun first. The verb has to accord with the subject, not the complement.
"My favorite animals are birds" is definitely correct. And people will probably disagree as to its correctness, but "my favorite animal is birds" is also a way that native speakers sometimes put this kind of statement, and I dare say it's idiomatic (natural and accepted). It's just the reverse of "birds are my favorite animal", but since now there's a singular subject, we get a singular verb.
But as for your first sentence, I think "my favorite animal is the bird" is more correct as a general statement, as "a bird" suggests a particular bird, i.e. "一只鸟" (or perhaps "一种鸟", i.e. a particular kind of bird).
I disgaree with 'the bird'. 'The bird' suggests a particular bird, hence a definite article, while 'a bird' suggests a bird in general, hence the indefinite article. Though I see the logic behind your argument, I don't see a reason for using a definite article. If we talk about birds as a species in general, I would definitely use an indefinite article.
It depends. If you're talking about a particular species of bird, "a bird" works, as an elliptical rendering of "a kind of bird" (but then it's "一种鸟"). But if you're talking about all birds in general, I don't think "a bird" works in this construction. The king of the jungle is the lion, not a lion. (We're not talking about an individual lion. We're talking about the lion as an archetype.)
And see the butterfly example in the definite-article section of Wikipedia's article article:
The cabbage white butterfly lays its eggs on members of the Brassica genus.
And here's a British Council article that explains that "the wolf" is equivalent to "wolves in general":
You could say "... is a bird called the magpie", which corresponds to my assertion about "a kind of bird" – and then the definite article comes back in, in the naming of the kind.
the noun must match the verb-- "animal is" or "animals are". Singular noun must have a singular verb, plural noun must have a plural verb.
Agreed - reported as incorrect grammar. (If acceptable in UK or elsewhere, or in the scientific community, someone can correct us.)
Oops. There is no plural offered for animal and no singular offered for birds so I can't make a proper English sentence.
"My favorite animals are birds." would be correct the s of the plural has been forgotten
birds are my favorite animals should be accepted - native English speaker and this is common way of speaking
Yes, it would have the same meaning but it also kind of changed the speaker's intention.
I don't think this is correct in any English.
Also, another translation to which mine was corrected, 'My favourite animal is the bird' is quite unfortunate.
Totally agree. Duo, can the teaching material be better prepared?
"My most favorite animals are birds".
One reason is that if you say "我最喜欢动物" you're saying "I like animals the most", and not "the animal(s) that I like the most...". ("我最喜欢的动物" can also be though of as "my most-liked animal[s]".)