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  5. "La lettera è mia."

"La lettera è mia."

Translation:The letter is mine.

September 9, 2018



OK, I used "It's my letter". How is this incorrect?


It is not a literal translation of the Italian sentence, which should have been:

  • È la mia lettera. = It's my letter.

This sentence replies to the question "What is this?".

  • La lettera è la mia. = (literally) The letter is the one that belongs to me/has been written by me (→ rephrased) It's my letter.

This replies to "Whose letter is this one?", inferring that there are several letters, and one of them belongs to or has been written by the speaker.


  • La lettera è mia. = The letter is mine.

This replies to "Whose letter is it?", inferring that there is only one letter being spoken of.


That clears up many questions that I had; none of them about letters. In particular I remember a sentence about coffee with the same structure, as well as other tricky nouns (sister/ brother).
Things have "clicked" into place for possession rules, for me, now. Grazie!!

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