" cenoura aos pássaros."

Translation:Give carrots to the birds.

October 4, 2013

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/karla-who

why is cenoura in the correct solution carrots (plural)?

October 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob5988

it should both be accepted i think

October 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

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.

April 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/babsryebum

Sorry, but I really don't think "carrot" is an uncountable noun. Give carrots/Give a carrot are the English equivalent.

April 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

As people said, you can use it counting its units as whole carrots or you can see it as a mass of food, specially when grated.

Longman dictionary, for instance, shows it as countable and uncountable: http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/carrot

April 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WarsawWill

Granted, but then we'd say "some carrot". "Give carrot to the birds" is not natural English in my book.

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RyanHurtad

If nobody would say it that way in English why would you translate it that way?

May 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

The proposed translation uses "carrots".

May 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Betizad

I believe both should be correct too. "give carrot to the birds" is also right.

October 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Noe010101

For me it wasn't accepted:(

November 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TymonJohns

"Give carrot to the birds" is poor English. It should allow "Give a carrot to the birds" though. Unfortunately, it doesn't.

March 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/roselaw

But it shouldn't be. It is give A carrot.

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lugosky

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...'

February 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob5988

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.

February 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/helmad

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.

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/NotACoolName

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.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/helmad

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.

July 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/efisgpr

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.

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/efisgpr

Você pode falar "cenouras" sem dizer um número antes. "Dê cenouras aos pássaros"está ótimo também. Então, não foi por isso.

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertWeiss

"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.

February 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

Both plural and singular are fine, since carrot can be countable and uncountable.

April 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/illexsquid

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?

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

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".

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/illexsquid

This is very helpful. I will bear it in mind, and keep my eye out for other examples as I continue to learn Portuguese!

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SilentAnnie

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.

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/efisgpr

That's not the reason here, see Notacoolname's & my comments above.

August 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

Lápis is a tricky word whose plural is Lápis. That happens to "ônibus" too, but it's not the "cenoura" case.

April 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Richard4u

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

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

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).

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/IsaacG171

Why not "give a carrot to the birds?"

January 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/roselaw

Because that would be uma cenoura.

January 12, 2019
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