In Portuguese, we often use the singular form of the nouns with a general meaning, it's not ungrammatical. (The plural form is also not wrong)
In English, for countable nouns, the plural version would be required in a general statement (no identified quantity or a specific object). That's why the proposed translation uses "carrots". It's a general indefinite meaning.
You can't use "a carrot", because that means "one" carrot. It's not what the Portuguese sentence is saying.
For uncountable nouns, the singular version is required.
Since "carrot" is both countable and uncountable in English, it's fine to translate it both ways.
Sorry, but I really don't think "carrot" is an uncountable noun. Give carrots/Give a carrot are the English equivalent.
Granted, but then we'd say "some carrot". "Give carrot to the birds" is not natural English in my book.
If nobody would say it that way in English why would you translate it that way?
I believe both should be correct too. "give carrot to the birds" is also right.
"Give carrot to the birds" is poor English. It should allow "Give a carrot to the birds" though. Unfortunately, it doesn't.
Because in this case you can think of it as a concept rather than as a quantity. Saying '...cenouras...' would need a number as in, '...De quatro cenouras aos passaros...'
that is the point, if it is in portugeuse singular meaning cenoura as a general concept, undefined about quantity, then in the english translation it can also be the same thing, but it is still not accepted.
the problem here is that English "give carrot to the birds" even though it's a literal translation, is not good English. I got it wrong too because I always think DL wants precisely that, the literal translation. It's hard to guess.
As an English speaker, I see no problem with 'give carrot to the birds'. For example, if one does not refer to whole carrots, but grated carrots, then the result is a mass of carrot which could be used here in this form.
Anything you say often enough can become normal sounding or weird sounding. But since carrot is not a mass noun in English, like water or grain, it would usually be done differently. I put some carrots in the bird feeder, with some water and some bread (so, larger undefined quantities get plural for count nouns but just the singular for mass nouns). Or, if I'm stingy, I can just put 'a carrot', but not 'a water' and 'a bread' (the latter sounds fine to me as a native speaker of Dutch, but English would like 'loaf of bread' for countable bread items). Of course you can find exceptions to all of this if you wrangle the context enough.
Notacoolname that's exactly my stance as well, as a fellow native English speaker. I see your point helmad, but was already well aware of all that, as was Notacoolname, surely. Still, in this case, "carrot" is fine and equivalent to "some carrot". It's not an artificial example at all, so I wouldn't say Notacoolname is trying to "wrangle" the context. It's a common usage for any material. You could also say "This smoothie has a lot of banana" though banana isn't usually always a collective noun. Any food can be used this way. It's something you hear every day.
Você pode falar "cenouras" sem dizer um número antes. "Dê cenouras aos pássaros"está ótimo também. Então, não foi por isso.
"Give the carrot to the birds" was marked wrong, with answer different from above "Give some carrot to the birds". That's some carrot, which is awkward in American.
Both plural and singular are fine, since carrot can be countable and uncountable.
It is not just a matter of countable vs uncountable in English. In English the uncountable situation is specific, rare, and perhaps regional (as a native General American speaker I would NEVER say "Give carrot"). Can a Brazilian or Portuguese tell us if you commonly use "cenoura" as uncountable, even if you mean one or two whole carrots?
Yes, we (Brazilians) do use the singular form even in general sense. Not only for food, and with countable nouns too. Some might seem more natural, some might seem less natural.
Imagine you filled up a bowl with grated carrots and you are giving it to the birds, one can refer to that content as "carrot".
This is very helpful. I will bear it in mind, and keep my eye out for other examples as I continue to learn Portuguese!
One pencil = Um Lapis Two pencils = Dois Lapis. I mean, no difference between singular or plural, maybe that is the case here? I don't know.
Lápis is a tricky word whose plural is Lápis. That happens to "ônibus" too, but it's not the "cenoura" case.
Give the carrot to the birds should be accepted i think. Where does DL get:" give some carrot to the birds" from as it's preferred answer? Any guesses
There is no definite article in the Portuguese sentence to identify "the" carrot.
But since Portuguese allows us to use the singular form of the nouns in a general sense, we are not talking about one or the carrot, but just "carrots in general". In English, using the plural form or adding "some" to the answer are natural forms to express that idea, since the singular version is not very good for general sentences (except for uncountable nouns).