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You could use the pronunciation as a guide; they are both pronounced very differently...or you could write both of the words down on a piece of paper and study that for a while...or you could say them out loud a few times...or you could try to remember the vowels of each of them ('horse is 2 a's and an o...onion is an a, an o, and an e)...
Do any of these help?
This is how I remember: caballo is a cognate of cavalry so caballo is horse. And cebolla is onion coz it has a 'o' for onion in the middle to remind you. Hope this helps! (until a month ago I always got the two confused too as I do with cabeza (head) and cerveza (beer). I try to remember that : b stands for brain and zzz is what happens after drinking too much beer. LOL
Un caballero monta un caballo. (A gentleman rides a horse.) The man and the horse have the same first syllable, this may help you remember. Caballero and cebolla do not have the same first syllable. Un caballero no puede montar un cebolla. (A gentleman can't ride an onion).
I don't get this. Ok, mía is feminine and mío is masculine. So when you say 'la cebolla es mía' it is meant that it is a female saying the onion is hers. But what if it is a male that say that the onion is his? Why is it wrong to say 'La cebolla es mío'? Sorry if it seems stupid.
Onion is feminine, therefore the possessive pronoun must be feminine. All adjectives and possessive forms must agree with the noun it applies to and never to the person who owns it.
I own it:
es mío = is my masculine thing
es mía = is my feminine thing
son míos = are my masculine things
son mías = are my feminine things
This rule applies to things that are yours, his/hers/theirs, and ours.
you (singular) own it:
es tuyo= is your masculine thing
es tuya = is your feminine thing
son tuyos = are your masculine things
son tuyas = are your feminine things
he/she/they own it:
es suyo = is his/her/their masculine thing
es suya = is his/her/their feminine thing
son suyos = are his/her/their masculine things
son suyas = are his/her/their feminine things
(To avoid confusion, you can also say "es/son X de él/ella/ellos/ellas/person's name")
we own it:
es nuestro = is our masculine thing
es nuesta = is our feminine thing
son nuestros = are our masculine things
son nuestras = are our feminine things
you (plural) own it:
es vuestro = is your masculine thing
es vuesta = is your feminine thing
son vuestros = are your masculine things
son vuestras = are your feminine things
Why do they pronounce the "ll" differently? I know a woman from Spain, and she said that it's always pronounced the same. From what she has told me, it should always be pronounced the way it is in cebolla. Therefore, caballo should be pronounced "ca-bai-yo," and ella is pronounce "eh-ya."
Like all adjectives, the possessive must agree in gender and number with the noun it goes with. So you say "La cebolla es mía" because "mía" refers to "la cebolla", which is feminine. "Mío" would be for masculine things. Please note that both men and women would say "la cebolla es mía" because it is only the gender of "la cebolla" that matters.
All the "mine" sentences in this test make you feel like it's Black Friday. Lol
Like all adjectives, the possessive reflects the gender and number of the noun it modifies. So it's "La cebolla es mía" because "onion" is feminine, and it makes no difference what the gender of the speaker is. Verbs only conjugate 1st, 2nd, 3rd person, singular or plural according to the subject of the sentence, and that's it.
No matter who you are, you would say the following:
La manzana es mía (The apple is mine)
Las manzanas son mías (The apples are mine)
El huevo es mío (The egg is mine)
Los huevos son míos (The eggs are mine)
The possessive is like any other adjective: It must agree in gender and number with the noun it goes with. Since it goes with "the onion", then it must be the singular feminine form.