"Do not feed the animals."

Translation:Ne donnez pas à manger aux animaux.

April 8, 2013



I think "do not feed the animals" is a slightly different sentence than "do not give food to the animals". Same meaning, but grammatically fairly different

April 8, 2013


In French zoos, you will read: "Ne pas nourrir les animaux" (infinitive vs imperative).

April 8, 2013


"Ne pas nourrir les animaux" is accepted now 16Sep15.

September 16, 2015


Sitesurf, do you reckon using infinitive rather than imperative (as per your zoo example above) makes it softer or perhaps the other way round?

September 19, 2015


The use of an infinitive instead of an imperative makes the command less authoritative, more of a piece of advice, like:

(il est préférable/conseillé/recommandé de) ne pas nourrir les animaux.

This is just a polite trick, because in zoos, you'd better not feed the animals, otherwise you might be in trouble.

September 19, 2015


Could it be "N'alimente pas les animaux"? Duo didn't accept that, but I don't know why.

November 10, 2014


I don't understand the solution precisely. Donner is a transitive verb so I believe it needs a direct object? Is "pas a" a pattern? Can someone please explain the grammar of this sentence?

January 13, 2015


"Donner à + infinitive" is a construction meaning "to give something to +Verb":

  • donner (quelque chose) à manger = give something to eat
  • donner à penser = give something to think about
  • donner à croire = give something to believe

Other verbs can use that construction as well: j'achète à manger (I buy something to eat), je prépare à manger (I prepare/cook something to eat)...

In this particular sentence, "à manger" replaces "de la nourriture", a word that the French do not like much (for the sound of it?) and most of the time find ways to avoid. If you ever watch the cartoon "Ratatouille" (in English with French subtitles), you may notice that the word "food" is used many times but the word "nourriture" not once.

January 14, 2015


Even in Quebec it doesn't seem to be a popular word in speech (in writing, it will show up). We use "la bouffe" a lot of the time instead.

March 22, 2015


Thanks for the great answer! So then there is an implicit direct object built into the construction.

January 14, 2015


Ne donnez pas les aliments aux animaux. Not accepted; is there a reason why? - Pas acceptée, il y a une raison de pourquoi ?

February 10, 2019


"Ne donnez pas les aliments" would be "don't give the food", specific.

When the verb is negated, partitive and indefinite articles disappear and "de" is used alone:

  • Give (some) food = Donnez de la nourriture: "de la" is partitive
  • Give (some) food products = Donnez des aliments: "des" is indefinite
  • Do not give any food/food products to animals" = Ne donnez pas de nourriture/pas d'aliments aux animaux.
February 11, 2019


I wrote "Ne donnez pas à manger aux animals". I thought it was a correct answer. Can a native French speaker confirm this?. Thanks

March 18, 2014


Nouns in -al have a plural in -aux.

un animal -> des animaux

March 18, 2014


What about "ne donne pas aux animaux à manger"?

May 1, 2015


It sounds awkward with the indirect object first.

May 3, 2015


Why donne AND donnez whatviscthe context for each?

April 5, 2016


If you have understood that "you" can be translated to either "tu" or "vous", you also know that their respective conjugations are not identical:

  • tu donnes vs vous donnez = indicative present
  • (ne) donne (pas) ! vs (ne) donnez (pas) ! = imperative
April 5, 2016


I'm practicing too early - of course this is why - thank you. I should use my brain more instead of posting questions.

April 5, 2016


If "alimenter" is not accepted, why is suggested?

September 29, 2016

  • 1753

There are contexts in which one would use "alimenter" as "to feed", e.g., a baby, a sick person, etc. It has other uses, as well, financial, etc. But it would be understood in terms of actively feeding the animals, not just tossing them a bit of something. Although it may technically be possible, it seems that francophones don't use "alimenter" in this context. The sentence strictly means, don't give them anything to eat. The same meaning in English is usually conveyed as "don't feed them". Take a look here to get a broader look at "alimenter": http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/alimenter/2277

December 12, 2017


"Ne nourrir pas les animaux" was rejected; "Ne nourris pas les animaux" was the 'preferred' answer; Sitesurd says "Ne pas nourrir pas les animaux" is commonly seen in zoos. What part of nourrir is "nourris"? And what is the significance of putting "ne pas" together rather than round the verb?

November 25, 2016


When the verb is conjugated, the negative tandem is placed on either side of the verb. But when the verb is in its infinitive form, you have to group the 2 negative words in front of the verb:

  • tu ne nourris pas
  • ne nourris pas !
  • ne pas nourrir.
November 26, 2016


Very helpful; thank you!

April 14, 2017


In this lecture we have many difficult forms of imperative. There is "Donne-moi ce papier" " Envoyez-moi un message ce soir" and now this soft version of imperative: "Ne pas nourrir les animaux" I got it wrong wen I tried "Donnez-moi ce papier".....!

March 17, 2017


Public instructions can be given in infinitive, so as to soften the command a bit.

"ne pas nourrir les animaux" is a typical example of what you can read in a zoo.

However, in everyday life, since your commands are addressed to identified people, you should use the proper imperative forms:

  • donne-moi ce papier (tu)
  • donnez-moi ce papier (vous)
  • donnons-lui ce papier (nous)

I don't know which type of exercise you did with this sentence, but chances are that it was a multiple choice question where you probably had to tick 2 boxes, one with "donne-moi" and the other with "donnez-moi".

March 17, 2017


Why can't I use "ne nourrez pas les animaux" which was marked wrong though "ne nourris pas les animaux" was deemed acceptable?

July 5, 2017


Because the infinitive is "nourrir" and not "nourrer".

je nourris, tu nourris, il/elle/on nourrit, nous nourrissons, vous nourrissez, ils/elles nourrissent.

In imperative, you can use "nourris, nourrissez, nourrissons", which are the forms of the present tense, but without the personal pronoun.

July 5, 2017


Using the application, the word nourrissez does not come up on the "help" just mange which I used and was marked wrong :-(

September 3, 2017

  • 1753

You will not always see the exact conjugation of the verb to use in the given sentence. Nourrir is shown and sometimes that is all you may have to work with.

December 12, 2017


Why does the sentence end "aux animaux" and not "des animaux"?

October 17, 2017


"donner à manger à quelqu'un" is indirect and "à+les" contracts to "aux animaux".

"nourrir quelqu'un" is directly transitive and so you can use "les animaux".

You can't use "des" because "the animals" means and translates to "les animaux".

October 17, 2017


Reported it, but "N'alimentez pas les animaux" should be an acceptable answer. According to Larousse.fr:

alimenter, verbe transitif - Procurer à quelqu'un, à un animal les aliments nécessaires à leur subsistance ; nourrir


November 8, 2017


Is "faire manger" very different from "donner manger" when speaking of animals? I thought I'd heard it used, so was wondering... Thanks

February 18, 2018


"Faire manger" is to help whoever by holding their spoon, whatever the content of the plate = to make somebody eat.

"Donner à manger" is to give food, whatever the way you do it. This is about the food given, not the way you give it = to feed somebody (nourrir)

February 18, 2018
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