Can you tell from this sentence whether he is afraid of one particular dog or whether he has a fear of all dogs?
"he is afraid of the dog" mans a specific dog, otherwise, it would be "he is afraid of dogs"
In French: "il a peur du chien" (= contraction of "de + le" = of the) vs "il a peur des chiens" (= contraction of "de + les" = of the)
Salut, SS. Il a peur des chiens = he is afraid of dogs. OK. Shame, but OK. Now suppose I have two Rottweilers - how do I say 'he is afraid of THE dogs?' :)
Coucou, Linda. Since "il a peur des chiens" can be interpreted as a generality or as a specific comment on some dogs we know, yes, "he is afraid of (the) dogs" are both acceptable. In French, only context can distinguish which case we're facing.
A-ha! OK. I think I'm beginning to get it. Thanks again. PS Coucou - je n'ai jamais entendu ça. C'est génial! Merci, SS.
"coucou" is the sweetest greeting you can use. A bit childish, let's face it, but still used by adults who know each other well.
There maybe something wrong in another part of your translation. "il a peur du chien" can be translated by : "he is afraid of the dog" or "he is scared by the dog" or "he fears the dog"... However, you should report on it on the page where you are marked wrong.
As a native english speaker "he is scared OF the dog" is often used. If it was plural then it would be "he is scared of dogs".
Not quite, if I may:
he is scared of the dog (sing) - he is scared of the dogs (plur)
he is scared of a dog (sing) - he is scared of dogs (plur)
yes, of course. I was only thinking about the "scared of" vs. "scared by". Thanks for keeping things clear though you.... you.... word nazi (ha).
'He is scared of the dog' is not quite the same as 'he is scared by the dog'
The first is about him having a fear - the second is about the action of the dog.
Can the second case really be translated as 'il a peur du chien' ?
If you want to translate the dog's action, you have to change the verb:
- "il est effrayé par le chien" = he is scared by the dog
- "le chien lui fait peur" = the dog scares him,
because "avoir peur de" cannot change preposition to get another meaning.
Thanks Sitesurf - that is clear as your comments always are - so 'il a peur du chien' can be translated as 'he is scared of the dog' - but should not be trsnslated as 'he is scared by the dog'
Strictly speaking, you are right. But, at the end of the day, the guy is frightened, whether or not the dog means to scare him... ;-)
Very true but as duolingo likes to remind us - ces petits mots sont si importants - in this case the wrong preposition could result in a nice fluffy dog being destroyed - and that would be so sad ;-)
"He feared the dog" is past tense. The French sentence is in present tense.
So "he is afraid of the dog" or "he fears the dog"
It would be a mistake to view "a peur" as a compound past verb. It is simply the way, in the present, to say that someone "is afraid".
"He has a fear of the dog" was not accepted, for some reason. Might seem a little unnatural, but works fine for me as an American English speaker.
If you see "il a peur" as the literal "he has fear", it would be considered as an overtranslation--taking a literal approach to it word-by-word. The term "avoir peur" is expression in English as "to be afraid". It is true that there are occasions where someone might say they "have fear" of something, the common, everyday expression is "to be afraid".