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If a person likes an inanimate object, the translation of aime is like; if a person likes a person, use love; inanimate objects can't love or like :)
"the chicken" does not translate "la poule" but "le poulet".
If you intend to build a generality, you need to use the plural "apples/pommes" because these nouns are countable in both languages:
- the hen likes apples = la poule aime les pommes
"j'aime la pomme" (specific apple) = I like the apple (specific apple)
Yes, I think Duolingo is mistaken here. In English, 'chicken' is generally used for a female chicken, and this is the same as 'hen', while for a male you'd say 'cockerel' or an American would say 'Rooster'. I don't think it's right to say that 'chicken' is not a translation of 'la poule', but I suppose it's just a case of recognising that it's specifying a female bird.
Based on a lifetime lived in England and keeping chickens ;-) It's true that 'chickens' can include cockerels as well as hens, but in everyday use you wouldn't normally specify that. Anyway it's OK - I understand what's going on. It's like how Duolingo wants us to learn the difference between 'chien' and 'chienne' . It's a good way to learn how to make adjectives agree with the subject etc - just confusing at first if it's now h ow the term is normally used in your native language.
In this particular case "aimer" = "like" not because of the hen but because of the apple.
So to take another example:-
"Claudette aime la pomme" = "Claudette likes the apple"
So when the object is a person or pet then "aimer" = "love" in all other cases it translates as "like". Although I suppose when the object is some kind of religious diety it would be love also.
It seems that the French course builders are extremely pedantic about the nuances of 'like' and 'love'. Granted, 'love' is usually stronger feeling than 'like' but it's not mechanical like this in real life usage. Just stick to 'like' for 'aimer' and 'love' for 'adorer' for this course and you will be fine. Don't get too caught up on it... it's not worth the time and effort, I assure you.