The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

breast-feed Options
Reiko07
Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2019 9:31:39 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 10/30/2018
Posts: 362
Neurons: 1,761
breastfeed
When a woman breast-feeds her baby, she feeds it with milk from her breasts, rather than from a bottle.
(COBUILD)

According to this definition, the subject of the verb "breast-feed" is a woman.

Is the following sentence wrong?

Surprisingly enough, the other day, my dog started to breast-feed the dumped baby cat my daughter had picked up on her way home.
(my original sentence)













My English is probably at CEFR A1 or A2 level.
thar
Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2019 9:55:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 19,165
Neurons: 77,372
Yes, in terms of grammar, it is good.

However, not in terms of vocabulary.

A woman has breasts, but an animal doesn't. It has teats. A woman breast-feeds her child but an animal suckles its young.
In prose and archaic writing, a woman can suckle her child, but it doesn't work the other way round. Breast-feeding only refers to humans.
Or you would say something like ' she was lactating and let the kitten drink from her'. Or 'she let it nurse from her'. The verb 'to nurse' can be used for both humans and animals.

Quote:
suckle
/ˈsʌk(ə)l
verb
feed (a baby or young animal) from the breast or teat.
"a mother pig was suckling a huge litter"



Quote:

suckle
VERB
[WITH OBJECT]
1Feed (a baby or young animal) from the breast or teat.


‘The unusual sculpture, made entirely from smashed up bathroom furniture, was of a pig suckling two children.’
‘Hunting is also seasonal and does not take place when a vixen is suckling her cubs.’

‘They suckle their calves for eighteen months, carry them on their backs when they are tired and gently guide them along with their flippers.’

‘This is normally repeated when she is suckling her puppies so any re-infestation is prevented.’


Quote:

to nurse
verb

2Feed (a baby) at the breast.

‘the women nursed their babies’
‘lionesses who were nursing their own cubs’

2.1no object Be fed at the breast.
‘the baby snuffled as he nursed’
More example sentences

‘If your baby is premature or can't nurse right away after birth, you may have to feed the baby in other ways.’


Don't be confused - all these can mean both what the mother does to the baby and what the baby/young animal does.

Beth Rosser
Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2019 11:31:45 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 5/31/2016
Posts: 7
Neurons: 397,247
Location: Winlock, Washington, United States
probably more appropriate to say the dog 'nursed'
Reiko07
Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2019 12:51:35 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 10/30/2018
Posts: 362
Neurons: 1,761
Thank you very much, thar and Beth.

My English is probably at CEFR A1 or A2 level.
palapaguy
Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019 12:26:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
Posts: 1,461
Neurons: 12,312
Location: Calabasas, California, United States
thar wrote:
Yes, in terms of grammar, it is good.

However, not in terms of vocabulary.



Hey, very educational! Thanks!
sureshot
Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019 12:39:21 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 2,109
Neurons: 392,707
Reiko07 wrote:
breastfeed
When a woman breast-feeds her baby, she feeds it with milk from her breasts, rather than from a bottle.
(COBUILD)

According to this definition, the subject of the verb "breast-feed" is a woman.

Is the following sentence wrong?

Surprisingly enough, the other day, my dog started to breast-feed the dumped baby cat my daughter had picked up on her way home.
(my original sentence)


______________________

No, this use of 'breast-feed' is incorrect. Use the verb "suckle" when you are talking about an animal. The dictionary meaning of "suckle" is "feed (a baby or young animal) from the breast or udder/teat". The verb "breast-feed" is applicable to a woman and not to an animal.
Reiko07
Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019 12:48:59 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 10/30/2018
Posts: 362
Neurons: 1,761
Thank you very much, sureshot. Dancing

My English is probably at CEFR A1 or A2 level.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.