1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Les chats peuvent monter aux…

"Les chats peuvent monter aux arbres, mais pas les chiens."

Translation:Cats can climb the trees, but dogs cannot.

May 26, 2013

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/as2539

Doesn't this English sentence imply that cats can't climb dogs? I said "but dogs can't" which I think makes more sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bootsma

people would intuitively know what the speaker is getting at, but you are right, the sentence structure makes it sound like cats can't climb dogs. FUNNY!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tani17
  • 1933

The sort of sentence that would get you dinged on the SAT


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DesertWolfe

Absolutely, it's very nebulous grammatical structure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex0708

Strongly agree...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eittek

Came to comment the exact same thing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YuichiTaka1

It would say "mais pas AUX chiens." The proposition in the preceding clause would have to be consistent. Correct me if I'm wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaco24977

They have rectified this now to be less ambiguous and ending in "dogs cannot" and not "but not dogs"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/unanglaisenasie

I put 'the cats can climb trees, but the dogs cannot', which should be accepted. The accepted answer would sound strange to native English speakers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nmwhiting

I agree. The supposed correct English answer actually means that cats can't climb dogs. I think "but dogs cannot" should definitely be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanalcock

I agree & reported that their translation doesn't make sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cosmopolita61

I'll also report, "dog's can't" wasn't accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GimmickNG

why the possessive 's for dogs?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarylWong1

Climb THE trees is awkward, climb trees is a more general statement


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oulenz

Is the French sentence similarly ambiguous?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrbennet

No, to say that cats can't climb dogs, it would have to be "... mais pas aux chiens."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oulenz

Thank you! (I wonder whether I saw a different variant of the French sentence.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanalcock

I think the argument is not with the French sentence but with the English translation as it could be taken to mean the cats can't climb dogs


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vickilosasso

Correct translation per DL is climb on trees. I wrote climb in trees, which sounds more natural to my native-english-speaker's ear. Is DL being too picky or am I wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrbennet

DL is being too picky. I agree that "climb in trees" sounds more natural than "climb on trees", but I think "climb trees" is even better.


[deactivated user]

    I have the same question


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Duolindua

    Me too, and as we still don't have an answer, I'll report it to DL


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/prkoat
    • 2206

    Just out of curiosity, could one also write this phrase as: "Les chats pauvres montent aux arbres, mais pas les chiens".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/as2539

    'Les chats pauvres' means 'the poor cats'


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hamed713

    Is "climb up" acceptable?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DesertWolfe

    That's inaccurate. I;m a vet tech and there are two breeds of hunting dogs that are able to climb trees. And then the stupid cats can't get down when they get up there either, whereas the dogs can.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Duolindua

    Cats are not stupid


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidHough15

    Do you think most cats can't get out of the trees they climb? I'm surprised there are still any cats!

    I'm guessing cats who climb trees typically can climb down, and that the typical story is that cats are rescued from trees, not dogs, simply because a lot more cats climb trees than dogs. Just a thought.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phthalo_

    So, when would one use "pas," and when would one use "non" (if at all) to mean "not" in French?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SiobanSnyd

    Could "grimper" be used for cats climbing trees?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrbennet

    Definitely. I actually think it's a better translation than "monter". According to google ngrams, "grimper au arbres" is used about five times as often as "monter aux arbres".

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