Why is "aime" here translated to "likes" (though "loves" is accepted"), while in the example "Ils nous aimons" only "They love us" was accepted, and "They like us" was marked incorrect? The comments on that sentence suggested conjugations of aimer should be translated as "love" if the object of affection was a person or persons, as here.
I should say 'aime bien' for like, and aime for love.
Je t’aime = I love you.
Je t’aime bien = I like you.
It is risky to get these things wrong on your first date.
I speak French fluently, lived there for 5 years, have a French partner, have spoken the language for years.
Please take a look at the Tips&Notes in lesson Basics2.
- aimer + people (& pets) = to love
- aimer + things & animals = to like, to enjoy
- to like + people = aimer bien
- to like + things & animals = aimer (bien)
- to love + people = aimer
- to love + things & animals = adorer.
It's not so much about people vs animals, it's about grammatical class. When the pronoun for the object of a sentence is used it must be placed before the verb. If you do not use the pronoun but instead use the noun then you place it after the verb.
- il aime notre chat: Here there is no pronoun (it/him), so the object (the cat) comes after the verb.
Now we use the pronoun.
- Il l'aime: Here the pronoun le/him (le contracted to "l'aime") is being used instead of the noun and so the object (him) is placed before the verb.
And how would you say
He likes us ?
Google Translator returns the same
Il nous aime.
And unless there is a different verb in French meaning
liking people the answer
He likes us should be also accepted.
Unless Duolingo wants to reserve a right to reject answers "just because".
"Nous" represents 2 or more human beings.
With people as objects, the verb "aimer" means "to love".
You cannot rely on the hints to compose your translations. You have to learn the rules because hints are valid for the whole course and independent of the very sentence you are working on.
Here are the rules to properly translate "aimer, aimer bien, adorer" to/from "like/love": https://www.duolingo.com/comment/736970
Good question: no, you can't because "on" is defective and does not have all pronouns and determiners attached to it as "nous" has. So when you use it instead of "nous", you have to borrow some "nous" forms:
- no direct object: il nous aime = he loves us
- no indirect object: il nous parle = he speaks to us
- no stressed pronoun: viens avec nous ! = come with us!
- (borrowed possessives): on a nos sandwichs = we have our sandwiches
But it has a reflexive pronoun:
- on se lave = nous nous lavons = we wash (ourselves)
- on se parle = we talk to each other
When "on" means "one/someone", you have to use its own pronouns and determiners when they exist:
- reflexive pronoun: on se lave (oneself)
- possessives: on mange son pain (one's bread)
- stressed pronoun: on doit garder son sac devant soi (translation with "you": you must keep your bag in front of you)