Well... as you advance in learning languages, you will see that their rules are not necessarily always the same.
When something obviously belongs to someone, we very often use the definite article in Portuguese, withouth necessarily using a possessive:
- Ele virou a cabeça = He turned his head
So, if you want to go very literally about the bird sentence, what it says is:
- The bird has its breast yellow
But this is still unusual in English, so go for what is common: the bird has a yellow breast , or the bird is yellow-breasted
Is "O pássaro tem o peito amarelo" the preferred way of saying "The bird has a yellow breast"? Or would it be more common for people to say "O pássaro tem um peito amarelo"?
I find the use of 'o' (in Portuguese) here to mean 'a' (in English) confusing, and I can't remember seeing another example in Duolingo where this occurs.
Dan, I knew about article use with parts of the body, but since DL often wants us to put the literal translation, I did write "the bird has the yellow breast." Imho it ought to be accepted with a note, "Also accepted," or "More often phrased."
Thank you very much, Danmoller, that was a very clear and helpful explanation. Muito obrigada!
This is a fine and welcomed explanation for non-native Portuguese speakers. I remember so many times hearing my friends who are native Portuguese speakers using the non-possessive article in English via the direct translation from the Portuguese. I would reply with repeating the statement emphasizing the "the" as if to question that there was only one of those items in the world. "She poked THE eye?" "He hurt THE toe?" "He hit the head?"
Breast can be two things: either a mammary gland (usually in adult human females and some other mammals - also of the analogous but rudimentary organs of males, especially if enlarged). Breast, or bosom, is also used in a poetic sense referring to the seat of emotion and thought. The chest is the part of the body enclosed by the ribs and sternum, also called thorax.
Breast is normally used when talking about a female (I am not sure speaking of an animal). It can be translated to seio or peito.
Chest can be used for male and female.
Your right that is not usually used as such, but breast can mean chest for men when referring to their chests. But breast is also the singular of breasts, which are on the chests of women. That use is more or less strictly for females. I wonder if there is such a distinction in Portuguese.
AFAIK, Peito as singular serves for men and women, Peitos in the plural is usually used for women. Seio, either in the plural or singular is used just for women. We have also the word mama, often used in a medical context for describing women breasts.
I'm Brazilian but I can't garantee how the rest of the country uses those words haha
Fun fact. I found that turkey breast in Brazil is called "peito do peru", while shopping at the supermarket. I was happy to recognize the word right away. Hope that helps.
Another fun fact: Bird names usually use "breasted." For example, there's the Red-breasted Nuthatch, the Buff-breasted Sandpiper, the Bay-breasted Warbler, the Yellow-breasted Chat, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, the Spot-breasted Oriole, and more. In the Field Guide to the Birds of North America I could only find one bird with "chested" in its name, the Crescent-chested Warbler.
It's fine in English, whether they accept it or not I don't know. If they don't, report it.