Could this mean his or her apple? Is sa feminine only because pomme is?
Correct. Unlike English, determiners in French take on the gender of what is being owned, NOT the gender of the owner. So it is someone's apple so it is "sa pomme" because apple is feminine, but we know nothing about the gender of who owns the apple.
I got this one right because that is the rule I applied but I'm wondering how I would refer to eating her apple in particular.
It isn't possible to refer to her apple, without referring to the person in particular (e.g. "the girl's apple").
After many examples where no other alternative has been presented I have begun to conclude that, as you say, you just have to get specific if you want to get around the problem of maintaining agreement between the noun and its dependents.
this one also made me stop and think. I figured it out on my own. I must say this is really an impressive way to learn.
To specify her apple, you can use la pomme a elle, the a should have an acute accent but this does not work on my tablet
this would be very weird to say, but you could say 'je mange la pomme de la fille' I am eating the girl's apple... if you want to be specific :)
So, sa is for feminine objects and son is for masculine objects? Aider, s'il vous plaît!
That's correct (mostly). Sa (and "ma" and "ta") are used with feminine objects in the singular as long as the word doesn't begin with a vowel.
ma robe, ta pomme, sa salade
Words that begin with a vowel get "mon", "ton", or "son". Plurals get "ses" irrespective of the gender of the object (mes/tes/ses pommes).
(the "nous" and "vous" possessives only change between singular and plural, and not with regard to gender)
This was so helpful!! - so even though "her apple" was correct, since the "sa" is related to the apple, being a feminine noun, could "sa pomme" also translate to "his apple" or "its apple"?
i am still Confused. so how do we know if its "His" or "Her" apple that was eaten?? many thanks
you are correct. Also I would like to help you- that was very good adlib! pronunciation wise 'aider s'il vous plaît' is correct. but, what you need here is probably a tense you haven't learned yet. or maybe just a mode? anyway, just so you can see it, what you are actually saying is 'aidez, s'il vous plaît', because you are asking (you) help please, where the subject is inherent in the interocative form (ps... that's the form you're using ;) ) I don't mean to be rude, just want to help.
How do you know whether someone is saying "tu manges ça pomme" or "tu manges sa pomme"
It would never be "ça pomme". It would have to be "cette pomme".
Ça is a demonstrative pronoun, meaning it must always stand alone. Cet(te) is an article/adjective, meaning it cannot stand alone.
I was wondering as well. I picked the right one here due to context, and I think that's all you have. Phonetics is not my area of expertise, but they sound the same to me.
The pronunciation is just the same but "sa" is a possessive whereas "ça" means "that" like in "I like that".
why is "you are eating their apple" incorrect? is it just a case of duolingo not recognizing singular they, or is that actually not a correct translation for some reason?
It would be the latter. Your translation would be perfectly correct, indeed arguably more correct than any English rendering with a specific gender as it's explicitly unknown without additional context.
Saying "You are eating its apple" is wrong? Wouldn't "its" be applicable though seeing as the word is suggested?
Duolingo still expects you to pick up on the context of the sentence. The suggested meanings include all possible meanings, but that's just for reference.
How can you make the distinction between 'you eat her apple' or 'you are eating her apple'? Or isnt there any?
Apparently, there are is no present progressive tense in French. If you want to emphasize that the activity is in progress, you may want to use "etre en train de". In your case, it'll be "Vous etes en train de mange son pomme" which literally means "You are in the process of eating her apple". See http://french.about.com/od/mistakes/a/jesuislisant.htm :)
I dont understand which one is masculine sa or son. Also do you use it according to the gender of the noun or the gender of the person
"sa" is feminine, "son" masculine. However it does not matter in this case (and to answer the second part of your question); you need to agree with the gender of the item that is owned, which in this case is an apple. Apple is feminine so it's always is "sa pomme" regardless of the gender of the owner.
I couldn't wrap my head around it either so I googled it and got this table clarified it all for me: http://www.frenchtutorial.com/en/learn-french/possessive/adjectives
One of the best websites for learning French rules (that i have found anyway) is www.laits.utexas.edu/fi/ Sounds like a wierd web address for learning French but it breaks down the 'rules' of the language in a way thats very easy to understand. Its helped me so much with completing levels on Duolingo.
Man, I hate the slight spelling changes for "Tu" I just use "Vous" all the time. Tu es, Tu manges...
How would one differentiate the pronounciation between the words "leur" and "leurs"?
I cannot do ANY of these damn possessives. I've been gleefully learning my French easily up until this unit and so far I've got every single phrase wrong due to some little mistake. It's infuriating.
The first part of the word tells you whose it is:
1st person singular -- mon, ma, mes
2nd person singular -- ton, ta, tes
3rd person singular -- son, sa, ses
1st person plural -- notre, nos
2nd person plural -- votre, vos
3rd person plural -- leur, leurs
The last part of the word tells you if the thing possessed (not the person who possesses it) is masculine or feminine or plural:
Masculine singular -- mon, ton, son
Feminine singular -- ma, ta, sa
Singular, masculine or feminine -- notre, votre, leur
Plural, masculine or feminine -- mes, tes, ses, nos, vos, leurs
Yeah, I did read the notes and tips before I came in, but I'm either forgetting them or mishearing things. This unit is far more complicated than any previous ones. Sentences that could just as easily say 'les' actually meaning 'ses'. And yes, I can remember that when the sentence comes round again but if I'm not getting it right first time on some childlike learning app, I'm not going to be able to understand it in actual France.
Yeah, usage is going to be different between languages. I don't know the full breakdown of it, but I know that where in English we say "my foot" (or arm or other body part), in French they say "le pied" (or bras or other body part).
No, it is not. When in free-typing mode, just pick one option and stick with it. If it gives you a multiple-choice question and more than one option is good, that's when you select all of the good ones.
In the menu I could pick, eat, eating or ate for 《manges》I chose to write "you ate her apple" Im confused as how is this wrong. Please can someone help enlighten me. Thanks.