Tengo un vaso en la mano= I have a glass in the hand;
Tengo un vaso en mi mano= I have a glass in my hand
The difficulty here is that in spanish you do not use: "en mi mano" you usually say "en la mano" because it is understood that it is yours..
Yep! Whenever you know the person doing an action and to whom (themselves is assumed if not otherwise stated) the body part is never possessive. Examples:
my leg hurts = me duele la pierna
I wash my face = me lavo la cara
I comb my hair = me peino el pelo (or just "me peino")
She washes my hair = Ella me lava el pelo
Jenny shaves her legs = Jenny se afeita las piernas
They scratch their feet = Se rascan los pies.
****You DO use possessives when it is unclear who's body parts are who's especially when two different subject's body parts are involved in the same sentence.
I love when her lips touch my chest. = Me encanta cuando sus labios tocan mi pecho.
In Spanish one does not say, "my hand." It's just not done, pure and simple.
Our challenge is to learn the language as it is spoken and get beyond how we think it sbould be from hearing a different language all our life.
if it's "I have a glass in my hand," why isn't the spanish phrase "tengo un vaso en mi mano?" right now the spanish phrase looks a bit off, like "I have a glass in the hand," which I don't think anyone would say?
Googling phrases for result number comparisons and trying various combos in google translator has convinced me that duolingo is right here. Not sure if there is a rule that explains why. It is not a stretch for me to see how "I have a glass in the hand" could mean "I have a glass in my hand" I did read this discussion thread on it where some people discus it, http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/202651/mi-mano-la-mano-los-partes-del-cuerpo-y-adjectivos-posesivos
So according to what the person whom answered said, if your hand is broken, you have to use 'mi mano' as it is physically will not be working for a period of time.
In English, either "I have a glass in my hand" or "I have a glass in hand" would mean the same thing. And yet, I was marked wrong...sigh...
If someone said to me "I have a glass in hand," I would understand them to mean that they had a spare glass.
I would also think that "I have a glass in hand" would be an acceptable translation. In such case the English would similarly imply that the hand in reference is mine -just like in Spanish.
I confess, since this was part of Medical, I guessed that it was "I have glass in the hand" meaning a piece of broken glass in my hand. :-P
I love the similarities between romance languages. French is the same with, they have something in THE hand rather than in THEIR hand