"I cani sono miei."
Translation:The dogs are mine.
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Every single italian grammars I've looked at specify that you cannot leave out the definite article (except with close relatives in the singular). I've not come across a single instance of "you can also use the possessive without a definite article if you want to convey this special meaning such-and-such, or in the context so-and-so". Hence, I can't help thinking that there might be mistake here... Can somebody point me to a reliable source that explains under which conditions "i cani sono miei" would be correct?
Here is a website that covers possessives in pretty much all the detail you need. About five lines up from the end and it is underlined it talks about how the article is optional after a form of “essere”. it is the speaker’s/writer’s choice. edit. Peter pointed out that I must have forgotten the link--for completeness I repost it here as well as in my reply to him.