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  5. "The cat is drinking its milkā€¦

"The cat is drinking its milk."

Translation:Die Katze trinkt ihre Milch.

October 11, 2017



Can ihre or seine be used here? The sex of the cat isn't specified


The word die Katze is feminine, and that is why ihre has to be used.


So you would still use ''ihre'' for a male cat?


Yes, if I use the word Katze for it.

If I specifically wanted to point out that it's a male cat, I would use der Kater instead, which is a masculine word: Der Kater trinkt seine Milch.

But that would be like "The tomcat is drinking its milk" -- a possible sentence, but usually you don't specify the sex of the cat when it's not important, and you would just use "the cat" (die Katze) rather than specifically "the tomcat" (der Kater).


what if the word is Neuter? what pronoun should be used?


sein, e.g. das Pferd trinkt sein Wasser "the horse is drinking its water".

Masculine and neuter share a possessive form.


Oh, that makes sense.


Why is the translation "Die Katze trinkt ihre Milch" but if I use 'Wasser' instead of 'Milch' it goes from 'ihre' to 'ihr'? is it because one is feminine and the other isn't?


That's right. Milch is feminine, Wasser is neuter.

And a masculine noun such as Orangensaft "orange juice" would have ihren Orangensaft.


The "correct solution" had Unlike English, German has no "-ing" form. So "Ich esse" means "I eat" < strong>and< /strong> "I am eating". with the strong html code in it.


Why not: Die Katze trinkt seine Milch. It thought we used it when referring to animals, so why would the possessive be feminine? The english sentence has its milk, not her milk, so why is ihre used?


ihre is used because it refers back to die Katze, which is grammatically feminine.


So does this mean that in German there are no reflexive possessives, just like in English? Can this sentence mean, without further context, "The cat is drinking her milk (someone else's milk)" as well?


That's right.

There are third-person reflexive pronouns but no reflexive possessives.

You would have to use a separate word, as in English, and say "its own milk" (ihre eigene Milch) if you wanted to disambiguate.


Can't I use sein since its asking "its"? Sein is also "it" in neuter...


When you're referring back to a particular noun, the pronoun has to agree with the grammatical gender of the noun.

In this case, "it" refers to the cat, and since Katze is feminine, "its" has to be ihre here.

If it has been masculine (e.g. der Hund) or neuter (e.g. das Pferd), then "its" would be seine.


I don't understand.. Milch is neuter... why use ihre instead of ihr..


Milch is not neuter; it's feminine -- die Milch.


Am I the only one confused about "ihre" meaning her, their, you all (formal), and its at various times?? How do you keep all the various forms and uses of "ihr" straight?

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