The article is the il in il gatto. When using possessives, the article can be in front of the possessor (in this case, mio) and then the noun follows, or it can be in the form of this sentence. So it may be "Il mio gatto," my cat, or, "Il gatto è mio." Either way, the article is conjugating the noun, and the possessive does not have its own article.
This is confusing to me too. Because there have been sentences that have been marked wrong when I don't have the article in front of the possessive adjective. For example: i cani sono i miei. Is there a rule that applies to plural?
Your explanation above is great, I just am wondering why Duolingo marked my answer incorrect. If the article can go at the beginning of the sentence or before the possessor, does the same rule apply to plural?
I think the article can only go in front of the possessive if the possessive is followed by the noun. so really the article has nothing to do with the possessive - it is only there because it is attached to the noun. But then you add the possessive, which has to slot between the two.
So in your example it would be "i cani sono miei", not "i cani sono i miei" - you shouldn't have the "i" before "miei" because there is no noun following it.
«Il gatto è mio.» is non-contrastive: We're only talking about one cat, and only one person is claiming ownership.
«Il gatto è il mio.» is contrastive: It's the male cat that's mine, not the female cat; or the cat that's mine, not the dog; or the cat we're talking about is the one belonging to me, not to you.
I cavalli sono miei is correct since article is not required before a possessor if it is not followed by a noun however 'He has my horses' will be translated as 'Lui ha i miei cavalli' since possessor here is followed by noun. This is what Steiner has explained above correctly. Cheers
After reading and re-reading the various answers to why the second article is not there throughout this thread - I still don't understand why the horses are mine is "I cavalli sono i miei" and not I cavalli sono miei, but the cat is mine is ''II gatta e mio'' and not ''Il gatto e il mio.'' Its seems like the only difference is one is singular and the other is plural? Can anyone explain when the article is used and when it isn't used with indicating possession.
Ich weiß nicht wie viele von euch deutsch spechen aber ich probier es mal: Ist dass als würde ich sagen:" Der Kater ist meiner" und es wäre auch richtig zu sagen "Der Kater ist der meine." Zwar richtig aber eben nicht gebräuchlich?! "Il gallo è il mio" = richtig aber nicht gebräuchlich
The possessive ‘mio’ agrees with the gender and number of the noun ‘gatto’ it modifies, not with the possessor.
‘Il gatto è mio.’ = “The [male] cat is mine.”
‘La gatta è mia.’ = “The [female] cat is mine.”
‘I gatti sono miei.’ = “The [male] cats are mine.”
‘Le gatte sono mie.’ = “The [female] cats are mine.”