I was presented with this right after "Ella me puse la mano en el hombra" which translated to "She put her hand on my shoulder," which confused the bejeezus out of me because I didn't know that we can't use personal possessive pronouns ("Ella me puse su mano en mi hombra" would be wrong) for body parts. And I had just started to accept that crazy rule, too, when they presented me with this.
Now I have to wonder about things like: "Aren't tears just as much of a personal body part as our eyes?" I realize they are not technically a body part, but they are definitely "attached" to a set of eyes... mine. I would have guessed the same rule applied, but here they are using the personal possessive adjective to refer to tears. Sigh.
Can a native speaker comment on this?
Joe: Falls off the four steps Mary, take this, please. Gives her a bottle
Mary: Takes bottle Oh, Joe! You only fell off four steps! Just get up! Stares at bottle What's inside this?
Joe: These are my tears.
Mary left Joe on the floor and !saw Tim
Mary: Hi, Tim!
Mary starts walking with Tim and they start having a conversation, Mary laughs
Joe: Mary! Why did you leave me here? This is weird! Why would you hang out with him! You betrayed me!
Joe gets up
Joe:I'm going to find another way to make Mary my friend again.
Walks in the opposite direction of where Mary and Tim are going
You have to have at least one word in the sentence that hints at the owner of those tears. Save for the possessive, there is no other word.
You usually leave out the possessive if you deal with a verb like tener or any verb that uses an object to indicate the person it applies to:
- Tengo algo en el ojo. - I have something in my eye.
- Me duele la cabeza. - My head hurts. (lit. "The head hurts me".)
- ¿Puedes atarme los zapatos? - Can you tie my shoes? (lit. "Can you tie me the shoes?")