No. It could be any of the possessive adjectives "su" can translate to: his, her, their, your, its. Context is all you can rely on.
You could try to narrow the possibilities textually by saying something like:
El niño y el padre de él - The boy and the father of him. However this would sound weird and still be open to interpretation in both languages.
El niño y el padre del niño - The boy and the father of the boy. This would narrow it even further, but again, weird, and there is still no guarantee the second boy is the same boy as the first.
You could make it even more involved and state textually beyond all doubt that the father is that of the same boy already mentioned, but it's easier just to say "El niño y su padre" and let context save textual clutter.
As an aside, this is why legal documents are often so wordy. They are textual attempts at preventing differing contextual interpretations. Thank goodness for context I say.
By mistake I typed in "The boy and their father." It was marked as correct. So su must also mean their? In English the sentence I wrote doesn't make sense.
"Su" can mean something belongs to:
It makes perfect sense in English as well, regardless whether you accept the singular "they". The father in question does not have to be the boy's father.
Imagine Adam and Bob are brothers. They, along with their father Carl, invite their friend Dave to the park with them. If someone took a photo of Dave and Carl, it would be the boy and their father.
not that there's a huge error, but I answered "the boy and his father", Dulingo marked it as correct and suggested "another correct solution": the boy and his father (exactly the same phrase) - does anyone know why?
Is el niño accurately translated as the child? And if it is, is it explicitly gendered? I put "the child and its father" which makes sense in english if you don't know the child's gender but it was marked as wrong
"El niño" can be translated as "the child." A male child.
"Los niños" can be translated as "the children" which can include both boys and girls.
What if you couldn't tell the gender of the child? Wouldn't "The child and its father" be correct?
It's possible. If a context could be construed in which the gender of the child is unknown then the masculine "niño" would still be used in Spanish. Perhaps in an academic text you might find a general comment like:
El niño y su padre forman un vínculo fuerte.
If the sentence isn't specifically referring to a masculine child then you could translate this into English with one of three possessive adjectives: the outdated "his"; the controversial "their"; or the widely accepted "its". There is probably even an argument for the sometimes seen "her" but to me this sounds just as flawed as "his" when gender is unknown. "Its" is the safest translation in this context, but only in this type of context:
The child and its father form a strong bond.
I typed "The boy and his father." The program responded: "Another correct solution: 'The boy and his father.' " I'm NOT seeing a difference here and this is not the first time an ALTERNATE solution was identical to the one I gave. WTH?!?!?
We have no idea what your answer was, or how the question was presented to you.
Actually, it's perfectly correct. "Su" can mean "your", if the speaker addresses the listener formally.
"Su" means, your, his, hers, and theirs. That's how. "El" has nothing to do with it.
No, it can't be because that translation skips the word "su." Look at Rae.F's comment on Robyn162970's post - they explain how the word "su" can be used.
I think it's more correct to perceive it as "the boy and the father of himself" and similar way in other cases
Uh, would be simpler to just invent a different word for each of these pronouns.
Languages are never simple. Even English doesn't make sense lots of the time. Think about plurality - it would be so much simpler to say "gooses" and "mooses" and "tooths" to keep things consistent, but we don't. Speakers of a language don't really get to invent words to "make things simpler" - it would be very confusing if speakers just made up words whenever they wanted. No one could understand each other.
Who said it was the boy's father? If Aaron is out with his friends Bob and Charlie, and Bob and Charlie's father Doug is supervising them, then Aaron and Doug is the boy and their father.
I put in a wrong answer and it said it was right....hopefully the report goes through as noticing my answer was wrong?
True. Among other things.
"Su" can also mean, hers.
Have you considered trying:
"The boy and her father"?
No. Su means a singular thing belongs to
Sus means plural things belong to
Both su and sus are the possessive adjective:
your thing, your things
his thing, his things
her thing, her things
their thing, their things
It's suyo/suyos/suya/suyas that are the possessive pronouns:
the thing is yours, the things are yours
the thing is his, the things are his
the thing is hers, the things are hers
the thing is theirs, the things are theirs