"The cake is yours."
Translation:O bolo é seu.
Gaspard, I understand that. I was wondering why "seus" would not be correct if you were speaking to a group of people, a family perhaps, saying that the cake belongs to all of them. I understand that the typical way of saying it is, "O bolo é de vocês." I was just wondering why "seus" would not also be correct, even if not used normally.
Well, I'll try to explain the same thing Gaspard said, but with another words. The pronouns seu/seus/sua/suas/meu/meus/minha/minhas/nosso/nossos/nossa/nossas agree in gender and number with the thing possessed, not with the person that possesses. But there is an important exception for the possessive pronouns dele / deles / dela / delas. They agree in gender and number with the person. Examples: - O carro é seu. The car is yours. (singular) - O carro é dela. The car is hers. - O carro é delas. The car is theirs. (feminine) When you say "The cake is yours", you may translate as "O bolo é seu", agreeing "seu" with "bolo" when the person is "you" as a singular or "O bolo é de vocês", agreeing "de vocês" with the person, which in this case is "you" as a plural. You can't say "O bolo é seus" because the pronouns seu/seus ONLY agree with the thing (cake), which is singular. It's a matter of grammar, not what is "normally used". That is the only way we can use these pronouns in these sentences. Just remember to not translate them literally and you should be fine. Hope that helps.
English possessives reflect only the owner's number and person (plus gender for third person singular), whereas Portuguese possessives reflect the object's number and gender. Also English differentiates between possessive pronouns and possessive determiners:
1st person singular
- O bolo é meu = The cake is mine
- A maçã é minha = The apple is mine
- Os bolos são meus = The cakes are mine
- As maçãs são minhas = The apples are mine
- O bolo é seu = The cake is yours/his/hers/theirs
- A maçã é sua = The apple is yours/his/hers/theirs
- Os bolos são seus = The cakes are yours/his/hers/theirs
- As maçãs são suas = The apples are yours/his/hers/theirs
1st person singular
- O bolo é o meu bolo = The cake is my cake
- A maçã é a minha maçã = The apple is my apple
- Os bolos são os meus bolos = The cakes are my cakes
- As maçãs são as minhas maçãs = The apples are my apples
- O bolo é o seu bolo = The cake is your/his/her/their cake
- A maçã é a sua maçã = The apple is your/his/her/their apple
- Os bolos são os seus bolos = The cakes are your/his/her/their cakes
- As maçãs são as suas maçãs = The apples are your/his/her/their apples
Look at nice tables of Portuguese pronouns here
And here is a table of English personal pronouns