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  5. "I suoi cavalli bevono acqua."

"I suoi cavalli bevono acqua."

Translation:His horses drink water.

March 12, 2013

51 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mukkapazza

On Duolingo you will find that Lei, Suo, (Suoi) are capitalized to indicate formal you. Lowercase is simply he/she/it. Such capitalization is far more frequent in official documents than in everyday Italian. However, Accademia della Crusca and teachers of Italian as a foreign language support this distinction, and we have implemented it for pedagogical reasons. Imagine if today was the first day you decided to learn a second language, how confusing it would be to deal with lei (she) and Lei (you)!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaviFiguer

so what is the difference between Suo and Suoi?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CesarRivGar

Suo is singular and suoi plural....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/frankmazuca

Suo and Suoi is also YOURS (formal). suo and suoi are his, hers,its


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZBUqeauC

This is interesting. :) However, I studied Italian with a native professor in college. I never saw this distinction. Also, the options offered for translation include "your". How can they mark a given option as incorrect? E brutto!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoeDonavin

It is quite funny to see the same questions being ask over and over again. To be fair, if I had not taken Italian in school I would be confused as well. I think this app is great but it would be even more helpful if it offered mini lessons to explain common questions :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nicole_Di_Kansas

http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Italian

This is the closest thing there is to a comprehensive Duolingo tuitoring program. It answers every possible grammar question; along with tons of advice about navigating Duolingo app in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkusArtm

Why is not written l'acqua? How do I know when water, food etc. should be definite or not?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

From what I'm given to understand, it can go either way, but using the definite article (l'acqua) indicates that it's a general situation (opposite to English where the lack of the definite article makes it a general situation: I drink water vs I drink the water).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MistyRegalbuto

I think l'acqua is "the water" and acqua is just "water."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

Literally, yes. Usage-wise, that's a different story.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blasler

Does "I suoi cavalli .." mean "His horses.." or "Her horses.." ? (The answer-choice says Her, but the translation says His) If they are the same, how do you make the distinction if you need to be unambiguous?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mukkapazza

They are the same, in context it would be clear whether you were talking about a male or female. It is possible to make a distinction by saying l'amore di lei, her love, or casa di lui, his house, but these are particularly emphatic. You're perfectly safe sticking to suo in most cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dorsey13

why use "suoi" here and not sue?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoeM.

'Suoi' is for masculine plural nouns and 'sue' is for feminine plural nouns. (In this example, cavalli are are masculine.) Hope this helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1088396872

When I translated I suoi into Her, the answer was His. Was I wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KiwiBiwi

Exactly what happened to me!! I think we did right. It can be both his and her


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterCary1

When are you required to use "l'acqua", and when is "acqua" needed (or sufficient)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephy604253

I just posted a comment about this too! I was always taught that the definite article almost always is said or written before the noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joel_7

what's the difference between 'le sue' and 'i suoi'? I thought they were both his/hers plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/frankmazuca

il suo masculine singular, la sua feminine singular, i suoi masculine plural, le sue feminine plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanRe44

I know lui is he but can lui also be used as 'you' when calling someone


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

Lei (with a capital L) is the formal "you, singular".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KiwiBiwi

I don't understand why this doesn't also mean "HER horses dronk water". Duo does not accept this translation. Can any one illuminate please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

It can mean both, because "suoi" agrees with "cavalli".

How was the question presented to you? If it was multiple choice, did you select both "Her horses..." and "His horses..."? Otherwise it would mark you wrong for missing a correct answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/B.DXrv

Can someone please explain why if "his" is "suo", and "her" is "sua", i keep getting "sua" as the answer for "his" as well.. very confusing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

The gender of the possessive does not refer to who owns the thing. The gender of the possessive refers to the thing, just like any other adjective.

Since "cavallo" is masculine, it takes masculine adjectives, including articles and possessives. It is always:

il mio cavallo
il tuo cavallo
il suo cavallo
il nostro cavallo
il vostro cavallo
il loro cavallo

No matter what the gender of the owner is. Therefore "suo/suoi/sua/sue" can be "his" or "hers".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HerndonSnider

The explanation of the use of the capital letter for "formal" is confusing because I think of the formal as being "non personal". Thus the two 'yous' tu versus lei. Apparently that is not what is being referred to. I am still confused.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

Formal as in polite. Meaning anyone you are not on a first-name basis with. Bosses, teachers, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HerndonSnider

Thanks, I thought that might be but wasn't sure. I tend to use you, but it appears that usually the 'right' answer is either he or she most of the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

Duolingo is focusing on the primary meaning/usage of "lei", which is "she".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nina92606

Why is his not hers?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

It could equally be "His horses drink water" and "Her horses drink water". But it's not "Hers horses drink water", that's the wrong use of "hers".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paola713169

How do you know that it is his horses and not hers or it's?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

The possessive of "it" is its.
it's is the contraction of "it is" or "it has".

But from just this sentence all by itself, we don't know if it's "her horses" or "his horses" or "its horses". Those are all valid translations of "i suoi cavalli".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MistyRegalbuto

But then how do you know if it's "his" or "hers?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

How do you know if his dog is a boy or a girl?

Different language, different framework.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PelinSuDed

Why his and not hers??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

It could equally be "His horses drink water" and "Her horses drink water". But it's not "Hers horses drink water", that's the wrong use of "hers".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZBUqeauC

The translation options include "your", yet it is marked incorrect. You have to do better than this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

The "you" that you seem to be addressing is not here. If you typed "Your horses drink water" and it was marked wrong, you need to click the little flag icon before moving on and report "My answer should be accepted."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZBUqeauC

As a language student, I don't understand marking a given translation option as incorrect. I checked that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2413

This is not a human being checking your answers. This is two separate branches of a complicated computer program checking the database and applying a correction algorithm.

Sometimes some answers get left out of the database for no good reason. The volunteer course contributors are ordinary people. Mistakes happen. And sometimes the program glitches.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZBUqeauC

Thank you Rae. I need to be more patient. The thing is, I am also doing Portuguese, so I get a little short-tempered! The main thing is to learn, and if they mark something wrong and it's right, it is not a big deal. I still like the methodology.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephy604253

I took Italian for years in school and studied 'a Roma' -- I'm wondering why Duolingo is omiting the definite article in front of so many nouns. Per esempio (for example), I'd have written "I suoi cavalli bevono l'acqua," with the def. article -- in this case, apostrophe L because 'acqua' is feminine and begins with a vowel. Basically, I was always taught that in Italian, you always say "the" before almost all nouns.

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