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Possession - just me or is it tricky?

So I've been doing really well in my lessons... up until Possession. I still can't wrap my head around it!

Is anyone else finding it challenging?

Up until now I've been really quite proud of myself (pride goeth before a fall?), and felt like I've picked it up quite quickly.

But possession has me stumped. I've printed out a cheat sheet, but I'm still struggling. I'm thinking I'll be repeating the practice on this one for quite some time yet!

October 2, 2018


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I did have problems a long time ago, but once I remembered a few of the most important things I worked it out! The first thing is to remember that the masculine and feminine of possession doesn't depend on you (as in your sex, whether you are male or female) it depends on whether the object is male or female . For example; his table ; la sua tavola, her table; il suo tavolo, doesn't matter if YOU are male or female, just whether the table is! The next thing I had to get right was whether to use the definite article, if it's a close relative, mother, father, aunt, uncle, sister, brother etc.you don't use the definite article. e.g.; mia sorella (my sister ) sua sorella (his sister , her sister) etc. But this doesn't work for family (you would say la mia famiglia) The exception is when it is plural, for example; i miei fratelli (my brothers) or le mie sorelle (my sisters). I used to have a post it note on my computer telling me that the it's the sex of the object that counts! Eventually it will all become clear and you will remember it! I hope this is the problem you were talking about and I haven't got it wrong. The hardest part of Duo that I found was clitics, I couldn't understand it all, but now I can (usually!) Good luck and keep persevering.

October 2, 2018


OMG what a thoughtful reply thank you!! That was exactly what I meant - it's similar to "the" I think. It depends on whether the word is masculine or feminine. So I think that similar to "the" I'll have to learn the correct possession in relation to each word itself. Thanks again that was really appreciated :)


It's all about nailing those word genders and plurals. Just keep practicing and maybe look at a grammar table or so when you're doing the exercises, it'll really help you out.


Oh, you read my mind!! Thank you. I have been copying people's explanations as it is like having a teacher in your room. I keep reading what people such as yourself have said, so Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!!! GRAZIE MILLE TO PUT IT MILDLY...LOL


Possessives can be tricky for a native English speaker.
You may wish to take a look at these old discussions, which include the whole set of rules for possessives, and a few examples:


Don't let your pride be rattled by possessives.
There's much worse to come. (...I'm just joking!) :-D


Haha I don't doubt there is worse to come lol. Thank you so much for those links - really appreciated! This is my first post and I'm so grateful for the helpful responses :)


I had the same problem in Vietnamese, that exact topic i kept getting wrong wrong wrong wrong lol. Keep trying in Italian, you will eventually get it. Languages take time and patience.


Such good advice Jerome, thank you! This one is just taking a bit longer to sink into my brain - just have to keep working on it :)


I worked as an English teacher (from Spanish, that is) for 5 years. During my time teaching I ran across many students: Some were good, some were remarkably good, some were pretty bad but at some point they really got themselves going, and some weren't even worth the time and the effort you put into their education. Every time I had one of the latter ones come to me saying things of the like of "teacher, English is too difficult for me, I just don't understand it!" I would tell them "so... If you think a language with absolutely no concept of noun gender, not even the slightest hint of accentuation in its written form and verbal forms that are indeed a breeze to learn and memorize just to name a few is still too hard for you, then I pity the poor bastard trying to learn your native language, let alone master it!", and believe it or not these words were a bit of an eye-opener for about 1-2 students out of every 10. If English is your native language, you'll always find it best to learn the gender and corresponding article(s)/possessive form(s) of each and every noun you come across. Also remember that in Spanish and Italian the possessive forms take the gender of the object whereas in French they take the subject's gender instead. Last but not least, always remember that making enough mistakes during your practicing sessions is an absolute must if you really want to learn a language the proper way.


Alejoint. I usually chicken out of long posts but not this one! Ottimo lavoro, I lingot you sir.


Grazie, Linda! Anche se sono al livello 24, penso che il mio italiano sia davvero pessimo... Tuttavia, grazie per il lingot!


Practice makes perfect, Meg. Just keep swimming :)


Thank you that's so true!! :). Good luck with your studies :)

[deactivated user]

    Yes, possession in Italian is tricky, and I'm glad others think so too, so it's not just me! This part of the grammar seems to be somewhat less logical than in English, so am trying to remember the rules and exceptions as best I can. Good luck!


    It's so true isn't it!! It's a beautiful language but lots of rules to remember compared to English. Good luck with your studies!!


    Good old repetition, until it becomes a habit. Then it gets easier. You can do it...


    I have noticed that with other parts of the language that I have struggled trying to learn....UGH!!! I am determined to just keep going. I figure something had to cement in my brain at some point....LOL


    So true, thank you!! :)


    I can relate. Was getting through the content fast until these lessons!


    Just started that section and oh, is it a challenge!!! I guess as I continue, it will make better sense but yes, it is not easy. I am a native English speaker and English is so different. Guess the more I do the exercises and practices, it will begin to cement in my brain....but OH, LAST NIGHT, I was sure I would never remember the way it all goes.....Wow!! What a challenge to my poor brain!!! LOL


    Songbird. Just take it easy, learn in small pieces and enjoy what you learn rather than letting it bug you, and telling your brain it's so hard. As CivisRomanus wisely said, don't be rattled.... La sua, la tua etc will start to be second nature, if you let it. Ciao...


    Linda, very encouraging thank you....I was just getting upset with the amount of information (specialy the things that I do not get at once) and knowledge, instead of concentrating in the adventure itself and enjoying the ride. :)


    Ciao Mary. Love your avatar, and I like your word "adventure" very much. Just think of all you know today that you didn't know yesterday, that's my philosophy. Happy learning Mary...

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