"The dog drinks its water."

Translation:Il cane beve la sua acqua.

January 2, 2013

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/deleted_user

this looks interesting, it's translated as "it's water", but it has a female "sua" - this must be because acqua is female too.. But how do you know whom "sua" is referring too, I imagine this sentence could also be translated as "the dog drinks her water"?

January 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Szewicz

Yes, "sua" is feminine and it gets its gender from "acqua". If it a was "libro" (masculine) it would be "suo". The possessives in italian get their gender form the object possessed, not from whom possess it. The same as in spanish and french.

And it cannot be translated as "her water" because it is "a dog" (male) not "a ❤❤❤❤❤" (female). I would be "her water" if it was "La cagna beve la sua acqua" = "The ❤❤❤❤❤ drinks her water".

January 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Radiator

You could say "My wife drinks her coffee" or "My husband drinks his beer", etc so you'd be able to get it from context apparently.

January 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ErikRed1

But there could be someone not explicitly mentioned in the sentence.

"Who drinks frank's coffee?"

"My wife drinks frank's coffee"

So, yes, "sua" could mean "her" or "his", and context is necessary to know which.

January 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/lululamorg

Why is a double a acceptable in "sua aqua, but not in l'acqua?

January 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

That is a really good question!

August 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/....Kristoff....

Why do we need the article la before sua?

February 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Punkmom

That is the usual form for Italian possessive adjective: definite article + possessive adjective. They agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. There is some explanation plus a chart of each gender and number on this page: http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare132a.htm

March 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Tanai74

Thanks

August 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tagath

I'm curious as to why "il cane beve propria acqua" is not acceptable?

May 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

"Its water" vs "its own water." It's a similar distinction to the one in English.

August 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jameslingofan

I believe "Il cane beve la propria acqua" is now accepted, and I believe the "la" before "propria" is required.

As opposed to "la sua acqua," I think that "la propria acqua" serves nicely to clear up any ambiguity as to whose water is being consumed---if indeed the dog is drinking its own water. But! I am no expert with Italian, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

April 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

Yes. In Italian, just as in English "Il cane beve la sua acqua/The dog drinks his water" is ambiguous and "Il cane beve la propria acqua/The dog drinks his own water" is clear.

As for the definite article being required, yes. The definite article is always required (with one notable exception: singular family members) for noun phrases: "la sua acqua"; "la propria acqua". It's only for pronoun phrases ("la sua" vs "sua") where both ways are acceptable.

Although having the definite article or not in the pronoun phrase changes the meaning a little bit. It's the difference between "this thing and not that other thing" is whoever's (including the definite article) and the thing belongs to "this person and not that person" (omitting the definite article).

April 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Joseph297228

"the dog drinks its water" translates to "il cane beve l'acqua sua". This avoids the Double A issue (sua acqua). Remember, in Italian, as mentioned by Dianne Hales in her book "La Bella Lingua", Italians make every effort to modify anything which may sound hard on the ears, everything has to roll off the tongue smoothly. "la sua acqua" does not sound as musical to the ears as does "l'acqua sua". Ok, I'll shut up now

October 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Susan88810

This is great! Thanks so much for that insight! So should I begin actually talking to Italian people, I will grasp that these lessons are not etched in stone.

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Joseph297228

:)

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mollysheepdog

I was a bit surprised that the sentence had sua in it, because doesn't that mean "him" or "her"

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Strickster

Not, it means "his", or "her(s)". In english, the choice of this word is based on the gender of the possessor: "The man has his beer. The woman has her beer". In italian, the choice is based on the gender of what is possessed: "L'uomo ha la sua birra. La donna ha la sua birra". Basically, out of context, it is impossible to determine the gender of the owner based on the possessive.

January 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JulianLave1

I know languages are not necessarily formed with efficiency in mind but.. is there any advantage to this?

February 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

Advantage has nothing to do with it, just habits.

July 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Joseph297228

The answer given, is not the way Italians speak. They would say, "il cane beve l'acqua sua", and not "la sua acqua"

May 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/megleoni44

Thank you!! That's what I wrote because that's what I hear but I was marked wrong.

January 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AlenaKrsn

I thought the Italian "acqua" had to be "l'acqua" and then "il suo acqua". Like for example "l'uomo". It would be "Il cane ha il suo uomo.", or I am wrong? PS: I am from the Czech republic, so I learn English and Italian too. So excuse me my question and explaination, I could not explain it better.

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

"acqua" is feminine in Italian, so it's "la sua acqua". The "la" contracts to "l'" before a vowel.

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kimmksk

Then without context, can't we know who possesses the object?

February 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

"The dog drinks its water." It is perfectly reasonable to assume that the water is the dog's.

February 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rtariel98

Why cant it be "Il cane beve la sua acqua"?

January 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

That's exactly what the official answer is. Maybe you encountered a glitch.

January 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Abo.Mayar2

Proprio ?

January 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sclare92

Are 'dog' and 'meat' the same word?

April 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

No. Dog is il cane - think "canine". Meat is la carne - think "carnivore".

April 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Uomo_Siciliano

La cagna should be correct also.

April 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/danieljhol

Why can we say "sua acqua"? Is this not a clash of vowels?

December 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

I think the "vowel clash" rule only applies to a very small number of words.

December 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Barbarina15

Why is it not su'acqua?

March 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

Because the possessives don't contract.

March 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SAJenkins

masculine or feminine (sua or suo )

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

Sua is feminine and suo is masculine, but they must agree with the thing possessed, not who possesses it. It doesn't matter that "il cane" is masculine. The important thing is that "l'acqua" is feminine, which is why it must be "la sua acqua".

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Joseph297228

The current spoken Italian would be "l'acqua sua"

May 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TheNarrator42

"Il cane beve l'acqua sua" - why is this not accepted?

August 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1889

Because language education always lags far behind the way language is actually spoken.

August 18, 2018
Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.