Translation:I like dogs, except for the small ones.
Why is it "dogs" not "the dogs" -- it is accepted, but shouldn't it be "the dogs" since it is "les chiens" and not "des chiens"
French uses the definite article to express general truths or concepts. English, in contrast, uses no article at all.
The French also use the definite article with verbs of preference, such as aimer, préférer, détester. Once again, English omits the article in such general statements. For example:
- Tex adore les croissants. = Tex loves croissants.
- Joe-Bob préfère les doughnuts. = Joe-Bob prefers doughnuts.
- Tammy n'aime pas le café. = Tammy does not like coffee.
- Edouard apprécie la bonne cuisine française. = Edouard appreciates good French cuisine.
What if I was asked if I like four specific dogs and some cats collectively, two of the dogs being big and two of them being small, and I responded "I like the dogs, except the small ones." How would that be translated?
Same here :o I'm totally afraid of little dogs, because it means they have smaller teeth, and smaller teeth are sharper, and sharper teeth hurt more when the dogs bite you.
Are you sure? I always wanted a dog. I nagged my parents relentlessly until they caved in and bought me what they called "a small dog". Wasn't until years later that I found out that what my parents had given me for my 7th birthday was in fact an ant. I called my dog "Spot". I was proud of Spot because he didn't bark and never would bite. One day the local bully, Cystern Wellflush came along and verbally abused me, looking to fight. I commanded to Spot: "KILL!!!" and Wellflush stamped on my dog.
I said "I love dogs, except the puppies", which is what you would say in English, you wouldn't say "small ones", and it was wrong. It should be right.
The puppies=Les chiots. aircoug this is a complex lesson. We are seeing dropped articles and a word not in the French sentence which is introduced into the translation to English...."ones". So take a good long look at this one. Study the thread. For the record I like dogs, Labradors and border collies but I am not keen on chihuahuas. Small ones. They are not necessarily puppies.
Thanks, I wasn't thinking along those lines, i.e. different breeds. It makes more sense now.
I got this wrong because I didn't add the word "ones" at the end'. When there is no word like "ones" in french, and it is implied, how do we know this? Are we to assume that we simply tack on english words as we translate to make it sound right in English? Seems like that would get you into more trouble than not doing this. But I am willing to accept that this is what you will have to do, I just need to know.
Hiya Kim, you've more or less answered your pertinent and quality query. If we translate the sentence word for word "I like the dogs, except for the small"... clearly something is missing. So without any other modification "Ones" is a serious contender to complete the English translation. Add it. There is a lot going on in this sentence. You see that the article "The" (for chiens) is dropped in the translation to English, but not for "the" small (ones) This sentence introduces us to so much usage and grammar, too much to engage with here. Possibly, at this stage, one of the most important sentences/introductions in the course. Do make a special note of it and research as well as you can because much will come of it later.