"Il a peur du chien."

Translation:He is afraid of the dog.

December 15, 2012

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ibnsina786

Can you tell from this sentence whether he is afraid of one particular dog or whether he has a fear of all dogs?

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"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)

January 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

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?' :)

January 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

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.

January 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

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.

January 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"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.

January 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

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.

December 18, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/lukivr

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".

April 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

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)

April 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lukivr

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).

April 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

'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' ?

April 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

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.

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

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'

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

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... ;-)

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

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 ;-)

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lattaquant

"He feared the dog" was not accepted... :(

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickJaye

@LAttaquant

"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"

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1696

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".

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Bradley545539

"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.

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1696

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".

January 8, 2019
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