"Our horse drinks milk."
Translation:Nuestro caballo bebe leche.
but doesnt it refer to the person speaking? If it was a group of girls saying OUR horse drinks milk, wouldn't it be nuestra regardless of the gender of the horse? The same way that you would say 'ellas pajaro' (their (group of girls) bird) or 'las ninas caballo' (the girls horse)
In Spanish (and the other Romance languages), adjectives and possessives have to agree only with the noun they modify (both in gender and number) and have nothing to do with who possesses them.
Also, "ellas pajaro" does not mean "their bird." That would be either "su pájaro" or "el pájaro de ellas." What you said means "they bird."
Similarly, "las ninas caballo" does not mean "the girls' horse." You need to say "el caballo de las niñas."
English and Spanish are two different languages. While you may have the apostrophe in English to show possession (ex: the girl's toy), you can not do that in Spanish. In Spanish, to show possession, what most people say is something along the lines of "The house of..." which is a direct translation of "La casa de...." You can also go with "Tu/Mi/Su lapiz," and "Es mio/tuyo/suyo (mine, yours, hers/his)." As a Spanish speaker trying to relearn the writing side of the language, I just wanted to help you out on that aspect. This one problem was just confusing though, as I thought either one was correct.
@stapezz - but doesn't it refer to the person speaking?
Hola stapezz. As a native English speaker, I sometimes forget about the grammar of Spanish adjective and noun agreement. I would often inserting myself into the mix until someone put it to me like this,
"It's not about YOU. It's about WHAT you're talking about."
I thought that was pretty cool and it keeps me on track.
While Duolingo is helping my vocabulary, the context can be confusing. I'll see a sentence that translates as "The rabbit eats chicken" and I think, that can't be right. But sure enough, it is. With all the people and critters drinking milk, there's no osteoporosis going on in DuoligoLand.
@miracleshappen- regarding confusing context and critical thinking. You have discovered the power of DL's teaching paradigm. We get schooled with the totally mundane and then BAM, something completely out of left field.
By presenting you with an utterly bizarre statement the grammar and syntax pop right out. You may eventually find yourself even critically thinking in simple Spanish.
No, no, no. Los conejos no come los pollos.
Hi ckezias, I have checked this out and the gender stays the same wether the animal is female or male. Check this website for full explanation. http://spanish.about.com/od/nouns/a/gender-animals.htm
@PelicanJyk- in regards to how everyone is doing, some of us are struggling with the grammar associated with this little beauty of a sentence, "Nuestros caballos beben leche"
I was given a multiple choice question where DL wanted me to choose ALL of the correct answers.
In this case I mistakenly thought that:
Nuestros caballos beben leche. AND Nuestras caballos beben leche. Would both be correct.
I thought in the first case the horses could be owned by a group of men or a group of men and women.
In the second case I thought that the horses could be owned by a group of just woman.
Well, after reading the comments, a consensus is forming and it would seem that my reasons for picking the answers that I did, do not jive with Spanish grammar.
If I'm following this right, then the rule for conjugating possessive adjectives goes like this: The possessive adjective must match the object being possessed in both number and noun classification (grammatical gender).
So, in the case of the horses, it does not matter one bit if the horses are male, female or some mix of the two. What is important is that the noun classification for the generic name for both male and female horses is masculine. In this case the number of horses of unknown gender is plural.
Therefore, according to the discussion here, the classification and number of the possessive adjective must match the object bring possessed.
Given: caballos (Masculine, Plural) Then: Nuestros (Masculine, Plural) Conjugate the verb: beben
That means the one and only correct answer is: Nuestros caballos beben leche.
If I took this a little further, would it be grammatically correct to say, "Nuestros vestidos son rojo."?
A good mnemonic would be very appreciated. :)
@majjic - Thank you so much for reading through that whole mess. I was using the duoLingo android app on my phone. Believe it or not, I poked that whole comment in with a stylus on my phone.
I have since discovered the duoLingo website which I now use with my laptop. Picture how embarrassed I was to find the Tips & Hints. Doh!
Nosotros vestidos son rojos. WOW! I get it! Look at all that beautiful agreement! I feel like I've made it over some kind of hump and now Spanish is really opening up for me now. :D