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  5. "Do not feed the animals."

"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


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


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


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


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.


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


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?


"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.


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.


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


ne nourrissez pas les animaux !!! why isn't this accepted??


As said here before, should be accepted so we have to report it to Duo (through the dedicated button) in order to have them accepting it.


I did and as a native French speaker I reported many mistakes but it doesn't seem to matter much. Just blowing some steam... ;-)


I regularly receive email notifications saying that the answer I reported as correct is now accepted.


I can confirm this too. Sometimes they are weeks/months after i report; but, most of the time, the corrections seem to be made within a week.


I have also had numerous reported changes incorporated into the lessons. Keep helping improve DL!

  • 2307

It is accepted.


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


"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.


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


Nouns in -al have a plural in -aux.

un animal -> des animaux


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


It sounds awkward with the indirect object first.


Why donne AND donnez whatviscthe context for each?


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


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


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

  • 2307

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


"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?


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.


Very helpful; thank you!


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".....!


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".


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


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.


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

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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.


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


"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".


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



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


"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)


I wrote "Ne donner pas à manger aux animaux." Infinitive. Marked wrong but I think that's correct, isn't it?


When an infinitive is negated, both negative words are grouped before it: Ne pas donner à manger aux animaux.


"Ne laissez pas à manger aux animaux" was the option I chose. Could someone tell me why this is incorrect please?


Why "laissez" if the English sentence does not have "leave"?


Because it also means to allow or let.


So...your sentence seems to me to say, "Don't allow the animals to eat." Which isn't quite what we were asked to translate.


So, Sitesurf, re your ref to Ratatouille, the fequency of the word 'food' but lack of the word 'nourriture', what word do they use? alimentation? I often go to parties and say ' where's the food?' - I know which side my bread is buttered.


Depending on context, "la nourriture" can be replaced with: Gastronomie (f), cuisine (f), aliments (m), mets (m), plats (m), victuailles (f), repas (m), produits (m), provisions (f), alimentation (f)...

Plus, a few slang words like "la bouffe, la pitance, la mangeaille, la bectance, la bouffetance, la boustifaille, la croûte..."

Where is the food? = Où est le buffet ?


Thank you for that thorough answer. As someone who works in the entertainment industry the buffet is always of great interest to me. I am going to diligently study your list of slang words, they sound right up my street.

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