"I suoi cani non mangiano il cioccolato."

Translation:His dogs do not eat the chocolate.

March 20, 2013



I'd like to point out that in English, using "their" to mean "his or her" is reasonable, particularly if you're writing for certain venues (where assuming a gender would be offensive yet using awkward "his or her" constructions would be worse).

I like that this doesn't accept that form, because it reduces confusion for the student trying to master singular/plural forms in the Italian, but it is at least worth noting.

September 2, 2013


Yeah, but as a native speaker of another latin-based language actually very similar to italian I can say that we don't use their when we don't know the gender, if we ever have to refer to the person we say 'the person' or 'someone' (for general statements). However, if you are just speaking about someone's belongings/possessions, since the gender of the possessive pronoun always matches the gender of the noun, it can apply for someone of any gender.

September 4, 2013


I realize that the plural "we don't know the gender and don't wish to offend anyone" form is probably not widespread outside English, and was speaking solely of the accepted English translations of the sentence. "His dogs," "Her dogs," and "Their dogs" would all work in English even though the Italian is distinctly singular with the pronoun; the English "their" works as a singular in this case, although it still conjugates like a plural.

I'd also like to note that there are people who reject the singular use of "their," so you should be careful to avoid it in documents for school or work - just in case someone runs by this comment while trying to learn English :)

September 5, 2013


In documents and school papers, you use the term "one" to keep from offending the reader. "One" is used in place of you/he/she/it. So, you would say, "One has dogs that does not eat chocolate."

But that's only for extremely formal cases. Any other time, it sounds pretentious.

December 11, 2013


How American to sacrifice English grammar on the altar of political correctness. 'Their' is most definitely not singular.

Native English speakers who 'reject the singular use of "their' are called 'literate.'

BTW, nouns aren't conjugated, they're declined, and in no case do they decline (or conjugate) themselvesā€¼

December 25, 2013


In breaking an important internet law, "don't feed the trolls," I must ask you, why do you correct Kilyle on grammar at one point, yet later use internet slang?

In addition, a singular "they" has been acceptable since at the latest the late 16th century, in this case "Romeo and Juliet," with "Arise; one knocks. / ... / Hark, how they knock!"

I understand that English has changed since then, but how might you argue with Oxford? Oxford has said that it is acceptable, and it may be open to debate, but I would tend to agree with them.

In conclusion, I will quote a wise young man who was once in my ninth grade English class.

"Do you even grammar, bro?"

(And, hint: there is a correct answer. "Yes, I grammar many goodly.")

March 4, 2014


Yikes, this conversation got ugly fast. (Not referring to you so much as jackfate there. Resorting to insults just means you don't have anything intelligent to contribute to the discussion.)

Yeah, I mixed up "conjugate" and "decline." Which I should've gotten right, given my background, but honestly I've never understood why these are two separate words. One way or the other, it's applying a set of changes to put the word through its paces. And I reject your notion that the English language can't bend enough to make a passive into an active the way I used it.

Your second statement - that those who reject the singular use of 'their' are called "literate" - seems to be saying that all native speakers of English, if literate, reject it. Since I am literate and I do not reject it, I call the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

I grew up prescriptivist, but over decades of language study became a descriptivist, which is why I strongly question it any time someone says this or that "isn't proper English." While the notion isn't entirely meaningless (there are certainly some things that are not proper English - for example, "me takes it" or "red big three balloons"), it's a charge usually leveled at a word or phrasing that isn't in the register used for writing college essays, but is still perfectly functional English used by plenty of ordinary people on a regular basis. And I would say that is more than sufficient reasoning to call it "proper English," unless you're restricting English to what only a small portion of native English speakers actually use.

January 11, 2014


It isnt political correctness. English, as a derivative of german, lost the gender neutral second person--the proverbial "you all". "Their" in that context is just gap-filling pronouns that no longer exist in the language.

September 7, 2018


Can't 'suoi' apply to feminine possessors as well?

August 21, 2018


PS: chocolate is poisonous for dogs!

July 30, 2015


If you are speaking formally, can't this also mean 'your dogs' ?

May 4, 2013


In formal writing the suo/sua/sue/suoi need to be capitalised, so here it is implied to mean his/her.

August 27, 2013


Why is suoi "her"?

February 22, 2014


It could be either him or her. The masculine or feminine pronoun is referring to the object that they own

July 9, 2014


Why does it need to be "il cioccolato" as opposed to just "cioccolato"?

May 23, 2013


It can be, in the more general way (as in when you're stating general eating habits) But nouns in italian need an article before them generally, and I think duolingo is just insisting on that to make people remember they need an article in most cases. This is clear with other sentences like: Il cavallo beve acqua, Il cane non beve latte, etc.

August 27, 2013


I think Duo might wrong here to require il.

It kind of requires a bit of dog-knowledge. Dogs don't generally eat chocolate as part of their diet, because it is poisonous for dogs and can kill them. So, generally speaking, dogs don't eat chocolate because it will either kill them (whereupon they don't eat anything), or make them terribly sick, teaching their owners a lesson at clean-up time.

So, I think that i cani non mangiano cioccolato would be correct.

When it's i suoi cani however, we're talking about specific dogs eating/not eating a specific, but unknown amount of chocolate.

Still, it seems to me that either using il or not using it would be appropriate here, it just changes the focus on which chocolate is/is not being consumed. If it is correct to say i suoi cani non bevono latte, then i suoi cani non mangiano cioccolato should be correct also.

I'm going to deliberately omit the il next time through and see what happens.

April 23, 2018


How do you say 'his dogs cannot eat the chocolate' in italian, when 'non mangiano' is 'do not eat'?

March 2, 2014


Ciao. the verb "can" in italian is "potere" ->io posso, tu poui, lui/lei puo', noi possiamo, voi potete, loro possono. so "his dogs can't eat the chocolate would be -> "i suoi cani non possono mangiare il cioccolato . hope this is clear enough :)

June 18, 2014


Very well said

July 28, 2018


That's a good thing, too, because it doesn't take a whole lot of chocolate to kill a dog. Chocolate is very, very bad for dogs. A dark chocolate candy bar can kill a small dog, or make them extremely sick, because chocolate is poisonous for dogs.

April 23, 2018


Why not your dogs?

August 4, 2018


I'm not sure why "Their" isn't correct here.

What would be the equivalent of the third person plural possessive if the plurality of the possessive is determined by the quantity of the thing being referenced (e.g. dog vs. dogs)?

August 10, 2018


I am giving correct answer but not recognizing it

December 20, 2018


The polite version of your is the same as if i were to say his hers or its. With no other context, "your" is also a correct translation if we wanna get technical. I mean hey if you let me translate "voi" as "y'all" i think this is an acceptable assumption.

December 28, 2018


Here's some sensible advice: all dogs should not eat chocolate!

January 28, 2019


Why did not eat the chocolate ..it makes no sense saying do not eat THE chocolate

March 17, 2019


So how can I write "her dogs do not eat the chocolate"?

March 26, 2019


When the correct answer comes up i cant see my original answer so cant see where im going wrong

April 2, 2019
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