Why do they stretch it unnecessarily? In duolingo, "animal de compagnie" is correct, "animal" is wrong. Why is that?

For example: j'ai un animal de compagnie.

  • 4
    It sounds like this is about a specific Duolingo exercise. What is the sentence Duolingo is asking you to translate? And it’s worth noting that Duolingo isn’t infallible. Sometimes its suggested translations aren’t quite idiomatic in the source or target language; sometimes its suggested translation is good, but it rejects some reasonable alternative translations. Oct 25, 2020 at 9:19
  • yes i know duolingo sometimes spelling some weird words but i've seen this many times and i wanted to ask why. Sentence was "I have an animal" (maybe pet i'm not sure)
    – frencholic
    Oct 26, 2020 at 0:23
  • 1
    The sentences "mon mari est un animal" and "mon mari est un animal de compagnie" have very, very different meanings. They are actually straight opposites. (this is a joke)
    – WoJ
    Oct 26, 2020 at 20:35

3 Answers 3


If the goal is to translate "I have a pet", then j'ai un animal de compagnie is a correct translation while j'ai un animal alone doesn't necessarily mean it is a pet.


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  • 1
    i thought it meant i have an animal.. thats why i'm asked. good to know thanks.
    – frencholic
    Oct 25, 2020 at 1:44
  • 4
    It does mean "I have an animal". Not all animals are pets. For example a cow or a boar aren't. Animals contrast to plants.
    – jlliagre
    Oct 25, 2020 at 9:47

An animal de compagnie (pet) is the animal who keeps company with his owner hence compagnie also called animal domestique, where domestique is the adjective of domicile meaning a house whether it means a flat or a farm or any kind of living arrangement. Whereas an animal is just that, it could be wild, dangerous, not necessarily living in your home and keeping you company.

  • 17
    I may be wrong but I believe farm animals (pigs, cows...) are 'animaux domestiques' although they are not 'animaux de compagnie'.
    – vc 74
    Oct 25, 2020 at 8:09
  • 3
    @vc74 The Larousse also says this: larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/domestique/26365 (the "en vue d'obtenir une production" part").
    – pb8330
    Oct 25, 2020 at 9:12
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    Would also depend on which French-speaking region/country...in QC we don't use domestique for farm animals and rather 'de compagnie' and 'domestiques' are interchangeable as house/companion animal.
    – avia
    Oct 26, 2020 at 8:53

Note that in English, and in the US in particular, a pet is sometimes called a "companion animal," which would seem to be a direct, literal translation of "animal de compagnie."

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