Right. In Italian, all adjectives, including all the possessives (possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns), must agree with the noun they go with. In this sentence, the possessive goes with "la cucina", which is singular and feminine. Therefore it must always be "La cucina è la sua."
If you need to specify "his" vs "hers", you need to say "La cucina è di lui" or "La cucina è di lei".
Here we go again, endless debates about" out of context frazes" Also kindly correct me, when the possessive is the last word in the sentence we do "not" use la or le?" Or was that in Italian thing? It may be Italian", it is something kind of Very important for me to know, thanks for your time...could it be French. I made a big note of it, somewhere?
I believe that in French like in English you cannot have a possessive adjective as a predicate, and possessive pronouns need the article, so "C'est mon chat" -> "C'est le mien". In Italian you can actually use the adjective, so "il gatto è il mio" and "il gatto è mio" are equally correct, they just carry slightly different nuances.
No. As explained before, the possessive is like any other adjective and must agree with the noun it describes, not with whose it is. We always say "la cucina è la sua" regardless of whose it is because "la sua" must agree with "la cucina". It could just as easily be his kitchen or your kitchen, if we're using the polite "you".
"kitchen" is always feminine in Italian. That never changes. But IF it were masculine, then yes, you would say something like "il cucino è il suo" to mean "the kitchen is his/hers". But since it's feminine, we say "la cucina è la sua" to mean "the kitchen is his/hers".
This is because the possessive, like all other adjectives, must agree with the noun it's associated with (in this case "kitchen") and never with who owns it.
• "la cucina è mia" = "la cucina è la mia".
• "il cane è mio" = "il cane è il mio".
The difference is Very subtle and IMHO there is no real difference in meaning
instead, there is a slight difference in meaning if the sentence is in its negative form.
• "la cucina NON è mia" = "the kitchen is not mine" (maybe I have one or more kitchens, or maybe I don't have any).
• "la cucina NON è la mia" = "the kitchen is not mine" (but surely I have or I have had a kitchen)
95% of italian words with accent use the left-facing accent (╰ ) (grave)
"Perché" (why/because), ventitré (twenty-three) use the right-facing accent (╯) (acute), but IMHO few people in italy know the real difference in pronounciation
-Official site in italian language-
-Site in English language-
If you're referring to the formal you, you're kind of right: the program is based mostly on writing sentences out of context, so we only translate suo to you when it is capitalized. Although this rule doesn't always apply outside of formal documents written in Italian, there are pedagogical reasons behind it. There would be a lot of confusion for beginners who would wonder why they just started learning Italian 2 minutes ago and all of a sudden you and she are the same word! Here are a few examples of when formal you would be appropriate (if found beyond the skill dedicated to formal you):
- Sua madre cucina bene = Her/Your mother cooks well.
- Lei è una donna perfetta = She is/You are a perfect woman.
- La preghiamo di andare via! = We ask that you/she please go away!
I can see where you're coming from, because English is also my native language, but consider the Italian speaker learning English. "His cat" can mean the cat is male or female! How do they know whether to translate it as "il suo gatto" or "la sua gatta"? This is why Duolingo accepts either answer when typing, and has you select multiple answers when it's multiple choice.
While this lack of one-to-one correspondence between languages can legitimately be confusing to many learners, it is still something that's important to take a good stab at. For all that it's perfectly fine to use the "singular they", language education in general (and perhaps Duolingo as well) tends to emphasize standard usage, which prefers to keep the singular singular and the plural plural.
@franwy No. In English, "his cat" means "the cat belongs to him" and "her cat" means "the cat belongs to her", regardless of the gender of the cat.
In the Romance languages, including Italian, all adjectives, including possessives, have to agree in number and gender with the noun they modify. In the noun phrase "il mio gatto", the noun is "gatto", which is masculine and singular, and so the "il mio" must agree with "gatto", regardless whether I am a man or a woman. "Le tue gatte" means that you, male or female, own multiple female cats.
This is why "la cucina è la sua" can mean both "the kitchen is his" and "the kitchen is hers". "La sua" must agree with "la cucina".
Rae F... I'm totally lost on what you mean by saying.... "but consider the Italian speaker learning English. "His cat" can mean the cat is male or female!...."
You DO know that il suo gatto = his cat... and has Nothing to do with the sex of the cat? This sentence structure we learned with il suo/la sua - was telling Who owned the cat - not if the cat was male or female. Or did I misunderstand what you meant by referencing the cat's sex?
There may be only 2 (grammatical) genders, but there are ten billion people in the world. Even if you know the gender of the person in question, you'd still have to clarify exactly which person you mean. I'm sure in normal conversation there's context that establishes who you're talking about.
Because you need a possessive pronoun there, not a possessive adjective, and "her" is a possessive adjective -- it can't stand alone but needs something after it.
Her kitchen - the kitchen is hers.
Compare: my kitchen - the kitchen is mine. You can't say *"The kitchen is my".
It is feminine, because "la cucina" (the kitchen) is feminine.
"sua" is either "his" or "her" for objects that are feminine (la sua cucina = his kitchen / her kitchen).
"suo" would be "his" or "her" for objects that are masculine (il suo libro = his book / her book).
Kind of like how "tua" is used for feminine objects no matter whether the owner is masculine or feminine (la tua cucina = your kitchen, regardless of whether you are masculine or feminine).
I think that those two sentences are not equivalent (just as, say, "This book is mine" and "This is my book" are not equivalent).
So talking about "the more common syntax" is misleading - they aren't two different ways of saying the same thing, but two different ways saying two different (but related) things.
"il suo, i suoi, la sua, le sue" can all mean "his, hers, its"; which one to use depends not on the gender of the possessor as it does in English ("his" for a male possessor, "hers" for a female one) but on the gender of the possessed object (e.g. "i suoi" for books, which are grammaticalle masculine).
yes. sua IS feminine and suo IS masculine. However they do not solely mean hers and his respectively - they both can mean both his or hers - and as you said, yes, sua is used because the thing being possessed (cucina) is feminine. It agrees with the gender of the thing being owned, not the owner
It is correct both ways: "La cucina è sua" and "La cucina è la sua." But they convey slightly different nuances.
"La cucina è sua" would mean "The kitchen is his/hers (and not mine)." "La cucina è la sua" would mean "The kitchen (this one, not another one) is his/hers."
Different grammatical construction.
La cucina è la sua = The kitchen is hers.
Noun phrase in the subject, then the verb, then the possessive pronoun in the predicate.
È la sua cucina = It is her kitchen.
Pronoun in the subject in English, omitted in Italian, then the verb, then a noun phrase including the possessive adjective in the predicate.
The first thing you do is identify the gender and number of the noun. From there you use the appropriate adjectives, possessives, and articles to agree with it. As mizinamo said, it has nothing to do with being a subject or an object or any other declension.
The old woman likes the small cats:
La vecchia donna ama i piccoli gatti.
donna: feminine singular
Therefore it takes
gatti: masculine plural
Therefore it takes
Whether something is the subject or object of a verb is independent of possessive structure. So la sua mano could be either a subject (e.g. in "your hand is beautiful") or an object (e.g. in "I see your hand").
With sua, we know that the owner is third person singular (i.e. "he" or "she" -- ir possibly "it"), and the possession is feminine singular.
The possessives section is so far the one that most screams out for a single click to a chart for the learner's reference. Some of us learn that way, by examining a full set to note the patterns, and then applying them. The lack of an overview for the pattern means users are constantly explaining the same patterns over and over.
The possessive, like any other adjective, must always agree with the noun it's attached to. So you always use gender and number agreement with what is possessed, never with who possesses it.
il mio = my singular masculine thing
i miei = my plural masculine things
la mia = my singular feminine thing
le mie = my plural feminine things
il suo = his/her singular masculine thing
i suoi = his/her plural masculine things
la sua = his/her singular feminine thing
le sue = his/her plural feminine things
LORO is irregular:
How can it be la sua
Because la cucina is grammatically feminine, so su- (his / her) takes a feminine ending -a.
la mia cucina (my kitchen), la sua cucina (his/her kitchen) etc. Always with -a on the possessive.
Conversely, il mio cane (my dog), il suo cane (his/her dog) etc. Always with -o on the possessive since cane is masculine.
To give some examples for what Rae.F said:
La cucina à la sua. =
- The kitchen is his.
- The kitchen is hers.
Il libro è il suo. =
- The book is his.
- The book is hers.
From su- you can tell that the owner is third person ("his", "hers") but the gender of the owner; the ending -o, -a agrees with the gender of the possession (feminine cucina, masculine libro).
To teach that both ways are acceptable.
What it does not teach, however, is the distinction between them.
"La cucina è sua" would mean "The kitchen is his/hers (and not someone else's)."
"La cucina è la sua" would mean "The kitchen (this one, not another one) is his/hers."
"La sua" can mean "his" or "hers". It's "la sua" because "la cucina" is feminine and it must agree with that, not with whose it is. It's just like any other adjective that way.
I wrote "The kitchen is her " but wrong!
Yes, of course that's wrong.
It's incorrect standard English, and in colloquial English it would mean something completely different from what the Italian sentence says.
La cucina è la sua = The kitchen is hers (= the kitchen belongs to her) / The kitchen is his (= the kitchen belongs to him).
"The kitchen is her" would mean that she is the kitchen, not that she owns the kitchen.
I don't get this, the his/her refers to the kitchen and not the person who the kitchen belongs to? How would you say the kitchen is his and actually mean it belongs to a 'him'? And why would you want to say the kitchen is his, if it's (for example) actually hers (if his and hers are both acceptable)?
Correct. We use la sua because cucina is feminine. It is the gender of the noun that decides the gender of the articles/ possessive pronouns, not the gender of the owner. To specify his or hers meaning the owner you should say... 'La cucina é di lui' or 'La cucina e di lei'. For your last question you are thinking in English. All languages are different. In Italian there is no specific his or hers, only sua/suo.
I understand that Duolingo says the correct answer is "The kitchen is his", however, I also understand that the Italian word "sua" is defined as her or hers. The article "La" is feminine, as well as, the noun, "cucina", for this reason, I am confused of how "sua" can mean "his." :(
"His", in English, means that the owner is male. (But you would say "his mother" or "his father" -- in English, the "his" does not change, whether the possessed thing is male or female.)
"sua", in Italian, means that the possessed thing is feminine.
So you would use "sua" with "la cucina", because the kitchen is grammatically feminine and that is the thing which is possessed.
But "sua" does not say anything about the gender of the owner. The owner of the kitchen could be a man, a woman -- perhaps even an inanimate object such as a restaurant.
So in English, you could translate it as "his kitchen", "her kitchen", or "its kitchen", depending on the context.
This has been addressed multiple times already on this page. The possessive is an adjective. And like all adjectives, it must agree in gender and number with the noun is modifies, which is the thing possessed, not who possesses it.
"Lei" is the formal form of "tu", like in Spanish "usted" is the formal form of "tú". If you address someone as "tu" then you use all the "tuo/tuoi/tua/tue" possessives (again, depending on the gender and number of what is possessed) and if you address someone as "Lei" (regardless of their gender because here it no longer means "she" but rather a polite/formal "you") then you use all the "suo/suoi/sua/sue" possessives (again, depending on the gender and number of what is possessed).
I have never heard anyone say "the kitchen of him" unironically. Either way, "his kitchen" and "the kitchen of him" are just noun phrases. You were asked to translate a complete sentence:
La cucina è la sua.
The kitchen is his.
This is a perfectly well-formed sentence in English.
In English, the choice of "her" or "his" depends on the owner, not on the possession.
In Italian, the choice of suo or sua depends on the gender of the possession.
So we can say "her kitchen" or "his kitchen" in English, depending on whether the owner is female or male.
The fact that it is referring to the kitchen is irrelevant for the choice of "his" or "her" in English.