"The jacket is his."
Translation:La chaqueta es suya.
My original answer was as you posted but it said I was wrong and gave me this? El chaquetón es suyo.
Me too then I noticed I'd got el chaqueta, not la, which explained all. Damn autocorrect (any excuse eh?)
So basically the owner of the jacket is unknown in this sentence. It could be his, hers, or theirs.
If it comes before the noun, use "su." If it comes after the noun, use the long form, "suya."
It's kind of like in English we say "my jacket," but "the jacket is mine" (never "the jacket is my"). Same for "her" and "hers": "her jacket" but "the jacket is hers"
I wondered why it couldn't be tuya. Then I realized they must mean that the owner of the jacket is a stranger and therefore it would be formal and not familiar
I wrote "La chaqueta es suya a él," putting the "a él" at the end to clarify that the jacket is "his" and not "yours," which I now understand is incorrect. But I'm wondering how we're supposed to indicate that the jacket is "his" rather than "yours." Would context always clear up who "suya" is referring to, or are there instances where further clarification is needed?
I agree, it's only by context that we know the referent for suya and there's no context here. Since suya agrees with the noun it modifies, it's confusing for English speakers, as you note, and only context will help us. Another way to indicate is through the use of mío, tuyo, suyo, etc. as pronouns by adding el, la, los, or las in front. So if the sentence is a question: Pregunta: ¿La chaqueta/chamarra es suya? Respuesta: No, tengo la mía. We have more context to work with here: Suya is probably "yours" because the person responded with la mía, "mine." But if the person responds with No, él tiene la suya, then the suya means "his." etc
Context is usually enough. If you're talking in person, you can also point/nod towards/gesture at.
In the rare case it's still unclear, you can say "de él." It's not common, but would be understood (I've used it--actually I think in my case it was "de ellos"). It's more likely you'd use the person in question's name, if it's just one person, since the whole point is clarification (es la chaqueta de José, for example).
I don't think you can just tack it on to the end of the sentence. (In the case I'm remembering, there was a long enough pause to be clear that there was confusion, so it became its own little phrase.) But you could repeat the sentence with a different wording to clarify . . . I'm finding myself wanting to use "pertenecer a" (to belong to) to make it abundantly clear: "La chaqueta pertenece a él."
In a practical setting, it might go something like this: "La chaqueta es suya." "¿De quién?" "De José."
Or "La chaqueta es suya." (pause, look of confusion) "Pertenece a José."
The adjective agrees with the gender of the noun (chaqueta), not the owner.
Because it is his jacket I think the answer should be suyo instead of suya. Por ejemplo: La chaqueta es suyo.
The possessive suya is following the gender of the noun 'chaqueta' which is feminine.
The short form possessives - mi, mis, tu, tus, su, sus don't follow gender but the long form possessives do:
mio, mia, mios mias - mine, my
tuyo, tuya, tuyos, tuyas - your, yours (familiar, tú)
suyo, suya, suyos, suyas, his, hers, their, theirs your, yours (formal, usted)
nuestro, nuestra, nuestros, nuestras, our, ours
vuestro, vuestra, vuestros, vuestras - your, yours, (familiar plural)
The possessives don't reflect the gender of the owner. They always agree with the thing that is possessed.
That's why "La casA es suyA" can mean, among other things, "The house is theirs" even if we're talking about a father and his two sons.
Here's a link to a website that shows how possessive pronouns work in Romance Languages: http://www.nativlang.com/romance-languages/grammar/pronouns-subject.php Scroll down to possessive pronoun. It provides an example in Italian: "suo 'her' matches the masculine noun figlio 'son' in suo figlio 'her son'." Spanish works the same way and so in 'su hijo' the referent for su can only be known from context because it's masc on account of the masc noun hijo. Thus su hijo can be her son, his son, your son, their son (see spicy's comment above for the paradigm). Since English doesn't work this way, it can cause confusion for English speakers. For more fun, here's a link for what chaqueta can mean as a double entendre in some parts of Mexico: https://baselang.com/blog/vocabulary/mexican-slang/ Scroll down to chamarra (# 36).