A cat <goes /makes> meow? (How to say it?)

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marielune

Senior Member
Québec, français
I know we can say the cat meows or the cat mews but

Can we say the cat goes "meow" ?
Can we say the cat makes "meow" ?
What is the right verb to use with "meow" ?

Thank you
 
  • prawer

    Member
    English - US
    That's an interesting question, marielune. I expect that if you are using "meow" as a noun, the register of the piece that you are writing is fairly low, and perhaps intended to be accessible to children. In that case, I know that some of the children's media I'm familiar with would be more likely to use "goes 'meow'" than "makes 'meow'"; in other kinds of writing, though, you might be more likely to say that the cat mewed (past) or mews (present). I had to think for a minute about this, as "mewing" and "purring" are different sounds, the former less often described than the latter with a single verb.
     

    earthmerlin

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I know we can say the cat meows or the cat mews but

    Can we say the cat goes "meow" ?
    Can we say the cat makes "meow" ?
    What is the right verb to use with "meow" ?
    Thank you
    When talking to my toddler, I'd say, 'The cat says 'meow''. I'm not sure if you're using in this context but I hope this helps!
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    "Makes"? No. We do say that a cat goes "meow" and, despite the fact that cats don't really say things, we also say that a cat says "meow".
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hi, apex.

    I'm afraid "Cat meows." doesn't exist. You can say either "Cats meow", or "A cat meows", or The cat (the "set" of all cats in the world) meows".

    Best.

    GS

    PS I'm aware of the difficult time you, as a speaker of a slav language, may be having with the use of articles in English.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I agree with ewie, and if you want make in the active, you can say, 'the cat makes a meow sound'.

    ~ Nat, aged 7¾
     

    marielune

    Senior Member
    Québec, français
    I agree with Rover. (except it would be cats go miaow or the cat goes miaow...) I just wanted to know from native speakers if there was anything else possible. Now I know that not only does the cat go meow but it also says meow... wow! Thanks to you all for your answers!

    ML
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    "cat meows at night", without checking, I think that you will find that, in context, cat is an adjective and meows is a noun.
     
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