check this chart with possessive adjectives http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare132a.htm
"miei" is masculine = i miei pantaloni but le mie camicie (feminine) le mie gonne (my skirs)...
What is the purpose of "le?" I don't understand the usage, since the direct translation - "the" - isn't part of the answer. I've noticed the same for words such as "al," as in "biscotti al cioccolato."
"the" is neccessary for possives in Italian, unless it is obviously "assumed" that it is yours..
La mia scarpa = My shoe
I miei gatti = My cats
Il tuo cane = Your dog
In Italian the use of articles is more than the use of articles in English. You are right that you cannot directly translate. "al" is a combination of the preposition "a" and the definite article "il"
Here is a website on how to do the possessive in Italian which usually include articles, with exceptions: http://www.italianlanguageguide.com/grammar/possessive-adjective.asp
Here is a website on combined prepositions with articles: http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare153a.htm
Here is a website on usage of prepositions and examples that do not need articles: http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare114a.htm
and more: http://italian.about.com/od/grammar/
I think the "ie" in camicie is supposed to be said fast so it sounds like that. Even if you slow it down a bit the "e" sounds louder than the "i" So if you were to say in tongue-twister way "camicie" and then "camice" it would be hard to distinguish for the untrained ear, as opposed to saying "camicie" and then "camici"...On the bright side, getting it wrong will help you spell it right next time.
Well, I'll agree with you about the pronunciation. Sounds like the voice is always talking through a cloth.
I thought that you only put an 'i' in front of one of the 'hard' vowels, such as 'a','o', 'u' to soften it, so why isn't 'camice' the plural of 'camicia', since the 'e' is a soft vowel already?... and I agree about the pronunciation- I'm also studying French and German with this website and the pronunciation there is diabolical! It sounds as if the speaker is eating and swallowing her words as well as her food! I gave up the Spanish for the same reason.
Just for kicks I opened 2 DL windows and I am trying to take the same italian lesson from english and from french. DL does not like that. The modules are equivalent (same italian vocabulary, same questions in the same order) but the french module wants me to answer in english or else the answer is wrong.
So much for my comparative approach. The french one is harder (if you don't know that duck is both anatra and anitra, you get it wrong - multiple choice almost always have 2 valid answers, my books is "miei libri" and "i miei libri" they must both be selected to get it right). I thought that going from the french subjunctive tenses to the italian ones would be easier than from english since english essentially does not use the subjunctive. Oh well, this is going to be an interesting week...
Why cant i say "it's my shirt" as an answer to "Le mie camicie"? isnt "Le" = "The" which wheres the "The" when the answer is "My shirts"
Each word in le mie camicie bears the marking for plural (feminine plural, to be precise). Therefore it can't be 'it's my shirt'.
In Italian you (almost always) use the article before a possessive adjective (mio, tuo, suo...)