"El gato bebe su leche."
Translation:The cat drinks its milk.
Su: it can mean his, hers, its, or yours (formal) and all these answers are acceptable, as it could be referring to the milk that belongs to the cat in question, or the milk that belongs to anyone else (su) that is being drunk by the cat.
I believe su more correctly means her (not hers) and your (not yours), while hers and yours (singular formal or plural) would be suyo, suyos, suya or suyas. I realize my knowledge of English grammar is probably not as good as yours. I know my knowledge of all things Spanish is not even close.
I have a cat who is quick to drink my milk from my cereal bowl if I get distracted.
Please help. I apologize if I'm missing something obvious, but if I wanted to let you know that your the cat was drinking your milk, are there additional words I would say so you would know that I'm not saying that the cat is drinking its milk? Thanks.
If you want to say "your" in both cases and you are familiar with the individual, "tu" would be an acceptable noun: "Tu gata bebe tu leche"
The singular "their" as a gender neutral pronoun is an odd thing in English. It is widely used in the vernacular (because english lacks a singular gender neutral pronoun), but many "experts" in English don't believe it as proper. I myself use it, my family uses it, but I get mixed opinions from the various English professors I have had. For further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they#Acceptability
"The cat drinks his milk" or "The cat drinks her milk" should also be correct solutions!
Not really! It may be any cat drinking milk of its female elderly owner, for example. Then, ¨el gato bebe su leche¨ is correct, too. Little sense, I know, but still possible.
i doubt they would complicate it like that. it's not a very advanced lesson.
It is common to refer to animals that are pets with a gender. [but I agree with sub that in this example, it would be a male cat]
so if i wanna say the cat drink his (person) milk ... it would be the same translate ?
As Iago pointed out above, "su" can mean his, her, its, your (formal singular), their, or your (plural). It is a gender neutral possessive pronoun taking the place of any third person singular or third person plural pronoun (él, ella, usted, ellos, ellas or ustedes). Without context, you can often just pick any of the possible translations. I believe "its" is the simplest choice for "El gato bebe su leche." The cat most likely thinks of the milk as his.
The "tips" section of the home page for "Possessives" explains their usage fairly well.
So 'su' can be reflexive also? I know in some languages (e.g. Swedish) there is a different possessive pronoun depending on whether a reflexive sense is desired. I wonder how in Spanish we can force the reflexive reading, i.e., how can we say "The cat drinks it's own milk" in Spanish?
Is there a way to differentiate between "one's own" and someone else's? So if the cat is drinking her own milk, would that be a different sentence in Spanish than the cat is drinking her (say, her female owner's) milk?
if you correctly include the apostrophe in the answer you receive a 'typo error' notice. Ahem, attention to grammar detail required by Doulingo team I think :)