1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "My kids want to adopt a cat …

"My kids want to adopt a cat and dog."

Translation:Mes enfants veulent adopter un chat et un chien.

May 3, 2020



Clearly the English sentence should end with "a cat and a dog".


You're totally right. This is one more of those -sadly to much frequent cases- where Duolingo unnecessarily bows to some local usage not to say bad English.
Sometimes it's to mirror the French structure but in this case it's really absolutely unnecessary.
And it damages the English of many non-native English-speaking users while stirring insecurity in others about “how should I say that in French!”.


This is an example of ellipsis, a perfectly ordinary syntactic process used more freely in English than French wherein repeated words in otherwise parallel clauses can be dropped, which can include articles if the two things are thematically linked: "I'm eating with a knife and fork" "He's bringing a cake and bottle of wine"

But not if they're totally unrelated: x "My children want a dog and television"


please don't explain these grammar points. you will rob some people from the only thing that makes life worth living to them.


If they want un chien they should say a dog


For the 3+ years I have been studying french on this site ,you have considered "Kids" to be an incorrect translation of "Enfants" Duo.

It really does not help the learning process when you change your mind mid-stream.

Les Enfants = The Children

Les Gamins = The Kids


In french you'd more probably use enfants in such a sentence, I think.


Absolutement JoJo!

Duo has previously frowned upon the use of the word " Kids" , I've no idea why they now seem to prefer it to "Children".


Why is this not Subjunctive? veuillent?

Is there a Rule I forgot?


I know the feeling - so many rules, so little memory! AFAIK, at its simplest, the subjunctive is required in a subordinate clause when certain conditions are met in the whole sentence, including the main clause. One of these conditions is that there is a change of subject, which isn't the case here - it's mes enfants all through, hence the infinitive adopter in the 'subordinate' part. If the English sentence had been I want my kids to adopt a cat and dog, the French would treat it more like I want that my kids adopt a cat and a dog and the subjunctive is required just for the adopt part. See https://duome.eu/tips/en/zz - use the drop down Table of Contents to get to "subjunctive"


does one always have to use the masculine in such a sentence. I tried to use the feminine but was incorrect...why? une chatte...une chienne

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.