1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Portuguese
  4. >
  5. "Ele é mau com os animais."

"Ele é mau com os animais."

Translation:He is mean to animals.

July 16, 2013

34 Comments


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

umm so i typed " he is bad with the animals and it said no? it only can be, bad to* the animals...? is this a mistake or am i not grasping "com os animais?"


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

Yes, your answer should be accepted!!


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

bad with = unskilled with, mean to= unkind to.

I don't know which is the correct translation but they are definitely different.

Putting the definite article in definitely sounds wrong in English. There aren't some specific animals the speaker has in mind; they are talking about animals in general which receives a definite article in many romance languages (eg French).

I don't think "bad to animals" is permitted in my own form of English. It sounds like something a small child might say, but not an adult. Couldn't say about American English.


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

Actually I think the Portuguese expression translates better to "unskilled with", if you meant "mean to" you would say "mau para os animais" in Portuguese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lingo.berry

I think bad with animals is more correct, suggesting that cats bite his hand when he tries to pet them, he's bad at riding horses, etc. This guy seems like me!


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

The definite article in English is wrong if they are talking about animals in general. As the sentence is out of context the article may have its place if they are talking about a specific group of animals. You are right when you refer to romance languages where the article is used in both cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustusRobi3

Portuguese is slightly different from other Romance languages; you would say just "animals" rather than "the animals" if you mean animals in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drewarnold72

I got marked wrong for "He is bad to the animals" just as you did, and I was able to report it before moving on. Hopefully, it will be fixed. I think Duo does a good job of learning from feedback.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mnguyen129

"To be bad with animals" is definitely different than "being mean to animals." The former suggests you don't know how to handle them, how to act around them. To be mean suggests that you are cruel to them.


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

I agree completely, and both "bad" and "mean" translate as "mau" in Portugues and as "malo" in Spanish. So imho they should both be marked as correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/james.niederle

Perhaps a more fitting adjective would be "awkward"?


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

"Mau" is defined in the hover translation as bad. So does it mean both bad and mean? Is one a better translation or are they equally valid?


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

Yes, they're the same...


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

Obrigada! I learn so much from the comments, especially yours Paulenrique. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to comment and answer questions!


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

Is what djeidot said above (He's from Portugal) the same in Brazilian Portuguese?

Ele é mau com os animais = He is bad with/awkward with/unskilled with/doesn't know how to handle/doesn't know how to deal with.. animals.

Ele é mau para os animais = He is mean/cruel to animals.


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

"Mau" here is closer to "mean" than to "bad".

For the latter, you would have to use a more literal translation, such as:

  • Ele não tem habilidade com animais.
  • Ele são sabe lidar com animais.

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

Obrigada Paulo!

Você queria escrever/Did you want to write "Ele não sabe lidar com animais" ?


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

Exactly! I did that on purpose to test your Portuguese skills =P (kidding)


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

Tinycards gives "mau" as evil so this is what I answered but it gets marked as wrong as I should have put mean. What is the point of Tinycards if the translation they give differs from the questions asked in the course? So annoying.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoDee111000

What about "cruel" for mau? I was marked wrong. I knew that mau translated to "mean," so thought "cruel," being a synonym in English might also be a correct translation. I agree that in English "bad" would be better understood as "not skilled" vs "mean" or "cruel" which are understood as willingly doing some bad thing(s).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidHerre20

What is the difference between, mau and mal?


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

Mau = bad / mal = not well, ill, barely...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ragnhildr49

I translated this as "he is unkind to animals" and was marked wrong. In British English, "mean" as an adjective means "miserly" , "tight-fisted".


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

Next time report it and see if DL will decide to accept it, though 'kind' is a different word in Portuguese, gentil or amavel. DL is trying to become more accepting of British English. It's helpful for us speakers of American English to know that 'mean' has a different meaning across the pond. British programs are quite popular here among certain groups of people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christian7652

Yeah as a non native english speaker it is great to improve one's english while learning portuguese I was totally unaware that 'mean'could be miserly too. Actually just found out that in us slang it might stand for 'great' too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew281773

I put "he is bad with animals", assuming it meant he is inept at interacting with them, but I wasn't sure if it also denoted cruelty, which is entirely different, nor whether 'os animais' meant a set of specific animals, or all animals in general. Which is it?


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

The "correct" solution is missing the definite article in it. It should be "He is mean to the animals".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brom4880

I put "Ele e mal com os animais" and got it wrong, which I think should be correct. But also how can you tell the difference when spoken or in use between "mau" and "mal". I cannot hear it? And it seems both mean and bad would work in this sentence. Thanks!


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

The pronunciation is the same.

"Mau" is the opposite of "good"

"Mal" is the opposite of "well"

That's why "mal" does not work here.


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

I think we ALL are mean with animals. Most of us eat meat. QED.


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

If I could talk to the animals:

https://youtu.be/nvMcKbo0vYc

I love cute little lambs. Particularly mutton, nicely roasted on a spit


[deactivated user]

    Can COM and PARA be used interchangeably to convey the same meaning?

    • Ele é mau com os animais. / Ela é má com...
    • Ele é mau para os animais. / Ela é má para...

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

    I don't think "para" is used with "ser mau".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RussKing2

    so either "bad to" or "bad with" should be accepted even though the meaning in English is different?

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