"I miei cavalli non mangiano riso."
Translation:My horses do not eat rice.
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You see this "theory" tossed about a lot on here. And yet I've never taken a high school or university course that ever utilized this method. That should tell you something. MY horses don't eat rice vs I need to charge MY cellphone. Take your pick on your march to fluency.
Italian possessives are in the form of definite article (il, la, i, le) + possessive adjective. They agree with the gender and number of the thing they describe:
- My/Mine: "il mio", "la mia", "i miei", "le mie"
- Your/Yours (singular): "il tuo", "la tua", "i tuoi", "le tue"
- His/Hers/Its/Your (formal)/Yours (formal): "il suo", "la sua", "i suoi", "le sue"
- Our/Ours: "il nostro", "la nostra", "i nostri", "le nostre"
- Your/Yours (plural): "il vostro", "la vostra", "i vostri", "le vostre"
- Their/Theirs: "il loro", "la loro", "i loro", "le loro"
il mio cane My dog ("Cane" is masculine singular, so we use "il" and "mio.")
la mia pizza My pizza ("Pizza" is feminine singular, so we use "la" and "mia.")
Even though in English the possessive in the third person (his, her, its) varies based on the owner, remember that in Italian the gender and number are determined by the thing being owned:
il cane di Giulia > il suo cane ("Cane" is masculine, so we use the masculine, even though it is her dog.)
In Italian an article is almost always mandatory before a possessive. The exceptions are:
- It's not used before close family members, in the singular and not modified, e.g. "mio padre" (my father), unless the possessive is "loro" (in which case the article is needed).
- It's optional when the possessive adjective is alone following a form of "essere," e.g. "è mio" (it's mine).
- It's not used in a small number of set phrases, e.g. "casa mia" (my home).
Possessive pronouns (possessives acting as a noun) are formed using the definite article and the possessive. They agree with the object they describe, even if it is not explicitly mentioned in the sentence:
Dov'è la tua macchina? La mia è qui. Where is your car? Mine is here. (It is understood that "la mia" refers to my car, so it is feminine.)
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In bocca al lupo!
We all know words that have more than one meaning. That expression probably uses the other meaning of "riso" which is "laughter".
Of course, I should have thought of that one which more directly applies, but I have seen it not accept a word even if it does not exist in the target language, just because it does exist in another language that is used with the target language. Thank you! You are right; that is more likely in this case.