Ok, so what is the plural for mouse? I thought that "cats" would eat "the mice"
the mouse = il topo
the mice = i topi
But that's not the point of these sentences.
Without any context, how are we supposed to know whether "suoi" is your, her, or his? Or am I missing something in the sentence that indicates what it's supposed to mean?
In more complex sentences, there may be another clue as to the gender, but without context (for example, this sentence in the exercise) there is no way to know. I think the "translation" here reverts to the masculine form as we often do in English, but "Her cats eat the mouse" is also a correct translation. The third person singular as "you", in my experience, is used as the polite form more in addressing strangers e.g. when greeting them, asking directions, conducting business, etc. rather than in a sentence like this one.
This is the second time in this lesson that I have been marked wrong his instead of hers. Wouldn't it be proper to suggest to Dolingo accept as correct "his", "hers", and "his or hers" in these instances?
It's "her" not "hers" in this sentence so that's probably why Duo didn't accept it.
"His/hers" is the possessive pronoun. "His/her" is the possessive adjective. Their usage is very different.
Suo, sua, suoi etc always adjust their shape to the object. Gatti in this case. Not to the subject.
From looking at "suo, sua or suoi" we can not know whether the subject is female, male or plural femal/male.
Well, that's just a difference of English and Italian. An Italian might be confused about English: from the word "her" or "his" he can never know the gender or number of the object.
In English her is always female and his is always masculine. English does not allocate gender to inanimate objects.
What if it's "their" as in the singular third person (e.g. "somebody left their jacket on the chair")?
i suoi gatti.
In Italian, the possessive agrees with the thing possessed. It encodes the gender of, in this case, the cats and not whose cats they are.
Well, it works for the subject and the object in the sentence, but yes. If the noun in question is plural and masculine (not male), then "his/her/hers" in English would be "(i) suoi" in Italian.
I'm still trying to learn the difference between suo, sua, suoi etc. Why could this sentence not begin with Il suo instead of i suoi? Is it because the subject is plural (i gatti)?
Whether it's subject or object makes no difference. Possessives, just like all other adjectives, must agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify. So yes, it's
i suoi because
gatti is masculine plural. It has nothing to do with whose cats they are.
il mio - my singular masculine thing
i miei - my plural masculine (or mixed/unknown) things
la mia - my singular feminine thing
le mie - my plural feminine things
i think suoi, sua, and suo etc refer to the third person ie- ''her'' and ''his''. whereas you would use tuoi, tuo, or tua, refer to the 2nd person ie- ''your''.
If you hover the cursor over 'suoi', one solution is also 'your'. Why was this not accepted? Is it a mistake?
I though "your" would be accepted as well, but I just looked it up and the S would be capitalized for the formal 2nd person. "I Suoi..."
If there's no gender given I just assume the phrase is masculine. I'm not sure if this is the right approach but it seems to be working so far.
If the gender is not stated, I just alternate between genders however I feel like. If we don't know the context, either is correct.
When the word topo was first introduced, it said it meant mouse or rat. I have been using rat because it is quicker to type and it has always been accepted. Now, suddenly it has refused to accept rat as correct and marked it wrong, accepting only mouse. No fair! Can topo mean rat or not?
Hello, As far as I know, mouse is trnslated as Topo and Rat is translated as Ratto.
Yes, the poor mouse had to teach us a huge lesson, I finally placed " I topo" right, until "another under certain conditions" comes along. Thanks to all who helped me to patently understand when to place or not to place the definitive article
The official translation is "His cats eat the mouse." You must have hit a glitch or made a typo.
I don't see how "their" is not an appropriate option, seeing as gender is not specified
Since 'suoi' agrees with 'gatti' (the thing being possessed rather than the person doing the possessing as in English) the gender of the person who owns the cats is unknown, so it can be 'his cats' or 'her cats'. :)
Tuoi is the familiar form of "you", but suoi is the polite. So either word should be marked correct
i have this big problem with the "suoi"and "tuoi"... I am Brazilian, and we have a really really bad habit to make them kind of the same thing... Portuguese people don't do that, but we do... and since i grew up like this, most of the time, i can not 'see' a diference between the worlds and it makes me answer the wrong way sometimes....
Yes, but it does not agree with the owner. I can be talking about a woman and say "il suo gatto" because it must agree with "gatto".
Only if it's in the predicate, not if it's in the subject or an isolated noun phrase.
i suoi gatti = her cats
i suoi gatti sono neri = her cats are black
sono (i) suoi gatti = they are her cats
These rules apply in all cases, regardless of number or gender or person. The only exception is singular family members never get the article in the possessive.
mia madre = my mother
There is a subtle distinction to be made in using the article or not, they're not perfectly interchangeable. One way means "this is mine, not his" and the other way means "this, not something else, is mine".
Real-world conversations have a lot more context than single-sentence lessons.
I suoi = his / le sue = her. So the translation shouldn't be "His cats eat the mouse"?
In Italian, the possessive agrees with the thing(s) possessed, not with who possesses it.
il suo gatto can mean either
his (male) cat or
her (male) cat.
i suoi gatti can mean either
his cats or
la sua gatta can mean either
his (female) cat or
her (female) cat.
le sue gatte can mean either
his (female) cats or
her (female) cats.
Masculine is the default, so "gatti" can mean all male cats, a mix of male and female cats, or an unknown composition of cats.
That's just how Italian grammar works. They use the definite article with the possessive.
The rules for the indefinite articles are here:
There are exceptions, but most of the time, you can tell from how a noun ends whether it's masculine or feminine:
-o masculine singular
-i masculine plural
-a feminine singular
-e feminine plural
Is it 'gatti' rather than 'gatte' in this instance because the noun has to agree with the pronoun?
It's the number and gender of the noun that determines the form that associated articles, possessives, adjectives, and pronouns take.
It's "gatti" because either it's multiple male cats or a mix or we don't know. It would be "gatte" if we knew all the cats were female.
It's "i suoi" because "gatti" is masculine plural. If it were "gatte", it would be "le sue". If it were only one cat and the cat was male or unknown, it would be "il suo gatto". If it were only one cat and it was female, it would be "la sua gatta".
That's just how Italian grammar works. It requires the definite article with the possessive in the subject (except for singular family members).
I think "your cats" should be accepted as there is no way to know without context if it's a formal or familiar "suoi"
More poor audio and on first introduction to a word combination totally new to the learner. So I get it wrong not surprisingly. Suoi not previously encountered and mangiano completely new to me. Combine that with poor sound - FAIL. Stop being so annoyingly difficult and at least fix the audio please.
Possessives agree with what is possessed, not with who possesses it.
il suo = singular masculine
i suoi = plural masculine/mixed
la sua = singular feminine
le sue = plural feminine
Is there a rule that tells you when to use " mangiano as opposed to mangiste, mangiamo, or mangia?"
Yes, there is a rule for regular verbs. (For irregular verbs, you just have to memorize their special forms, but the good news is that most verbs are regular or semi-regular.)
To start, you need to know the infinitive form. In this case, it's
mangiare. To conjugate it, you remove the infinitive ending
-are and use the suffix appropriate to the person:
-i (the stem already ends with
i, so there's no need for an extra
-iamo (the stem already ends with
i, so there's no need for an extra
i just realized that the speaker said "toppo" for the mouse, is that the correct pronounciation?
Anche il mio però lui lo preferisce alla griglia e con poco sale, è viziato
Yes, although it is relevant how the question was presented and how you're meant to answer. If it's free-writing, then either "his cats" or "her cats" should work. If it's multiple choice, however, then if both options are available then both should be selected.
this section is/has been the most difficult and confusing section so far..grrr
If you wrote "Her cats eat the mouse" and it was marked wrong, please flag it and report "My answer should be accepted."
If it was a multiple-choice question, you need to select all of the right answers, not just one of them.
Their cats: i loro gatti
Her cats: i suoi gatti
Possessive adjectives and pronouns work just like any other adjectives. They must agree in gender and number with the thing that is possessed, which is reflected in the end of the word. The first part of the word says broadly whose it is.
il mio (my singular masculine thing)
i miei (my plural masculine things)
la mia (my singular feminine thing)
le mie (my plural feminine things)
It does not matter who "I" am.
TU (singular "you", addressing exactly one person)
il tuo (your singular masculine thing)
i tuoi (your plural masculine things)
la tua (your singular feminine thing)
le tue (your plural feminine things)
It does not matter who "you" are.
il suo (his/her singular masculine thing)
i suoi (his/her plural masculine things)
la sua (his/her singular feminine thing)
le sue (his/her plural feminine things)
Again, the gender of the possessive reflects the gender of the thing, not whose it is.
il nostro (our singular masculine thing)
i nostri (our plural masculine things)
la nostra (our singular feminine thing)
le nostre (our plural feminine things)
VOI (plural "you/y'all", addressing two or more people)
il vostro (y'all's singular masculine thing)
i vostri (y'all's plural masculine things)
la vostra (y'all's singular feminine thing)
le vostre (y'all's plural feminine things)
il loro (their singular masculine thing)
i loro (their plural masculine things)
la loro (their singular feminine thing)
le loro (their plural feminine things)
"Loro" is the exception here in that the possessive form does not change, but the article still shows agreement.