This is a note to myself more than a comment. It may be useful to others too.
"His" and "her" don't translate well into French. While in English these terms denote the gender of the person one is referring to, in French these terms denote the gender of the objects, which can be confusing when translating between the two languages. Instead know this:
For ownership (in English, "my", "your", "that person's") there are the following three words: mon (my), ton (your), son (that person's). These three words are applied to objects, and so the gender of these words must match the object. When feminine, the "on" changes to "a", and when the object is plural the "on" changes to "es". Please please pleeease, future me, do not mistake these for the gender of the person.
I've been making this mistake too.
I was translating "Sa poche" as "Her pocket" and getting it marked correctly, then assuming "Sa" was "Her" and "Son" was "His".
His pocket would still be "Sa poche", but this isn't obvious here.
I think this is where imagery would help define the context so we could recognise the gender of the person we're referring to doesn't affect the Sa/Son but the object.
I know this is a rule we learn and understand (now I do) but maybe this would help?
ça is the informal version of "cela" demonstrative pronoun.
In front of a noun, the demonstrative word must be an adjective.
the demonstrative adjectives are:
- ce (masc sing) : ce chien (his dog)
- cet (ditto but in front of a word starting with a vowel or a non aspirate H): cet homme (this man)
- cette (fem sing) = cette poche est grande (this pocket)
- ces (masc of fem plural) = ces enfants (these children)
Therefore if you hear "sa" before a feminine noun, it has to be a possessive = his or her pocket
It may help you to think of words like son and sa etc. as a signal. Rather than think of them as sort of confusing the issue about the gender of the owner of the pocket, reverse it. They are sometimes the only clearly distinguished information in a sentence. Be glad they are there to make it very clear about the number and gender of the noun they are attached to.
Can't tell from looking at or listening to it whether poche is singular and feminine? No need to. Your friend sa is there to tell you that it is singular and feminine and so must be any other modifiers that are attached to it like verte, grande, belle, whatever.
As to the gender and number of who or what owns the pocket or is owned by the pocket, that is a completely separate issue and the cause of many other discussions.
I used pouch instead of pocket, which is apparently a translation of poche, but it was rejected. Why?
"Son" is used before a masculine noun or a feminine noun or adjective starting with a vowel sound.
- son (beau) chien (masc) = his/her/its (beautiful) dog
- son eau (fem) = his/her/its water
"Sa" is used before a feminine noun or adjective starting with a consonant sound.
- sa femme (fem) = his/her wife
- sa bonne idea (fem) = his/her/its good idea
The answer is just above your post. "Son, sa, ses" are the French possessive adjectives for 3rd person singular. Just like any other adjectives, they agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. As a consequence, "une poche" being feminine, "sa poche" means either "his pocket" or "her pocket" or "its pocket".