"He misses his family."
Translation:Gli manca la sua famiglia.
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Mancare works like piacere. In English you miss or like somebody, but in Italian they make you miss or like them. The subject in English becomes the object in Italian, and don't forget to conjugate the verb appropriately as well!
- I miss you/Tu mi manchi
- You miss me/Io ti manco
- I miss her/Lei mi manca
- She misses me/Io le manco
It is because you have to see la famiglia as one person (and conjugate verb as 3rd person singular).
However, la famiglia is not considered a 'close family noun' where you can omit the article such a madre (mother), padre (father) and other close, singular family members, so a good idea is to always remember the article.
Gli has two meanings. It is the plural of " l'" as in gli elefante used as an article ( which are : a, an, " the" in English ) and later you will see that it is used as the pronoun for "him". DL just surprised us and threw a new usage in without preparing us for it. Hang in there! You are certainly not alone in your confusion.
I think it's more along the lines of the passive voice in English. For example, if the question had been "His family is missed by him" , that would have made more sense to me. So the gli applies to the plural family. At least that's my take on it, and the way I've been looking at these.
i am confused by the conjugate here. I was testing it out by having a look in Google translate and i see that "he misses his boots" = " gli manca gli stivali ". but "she misses her clothes" = "le mancano i suoi vestiti". both objects are plural, but why manca in one and manano in the other?
I think that is possible, but you never know what DL will accept as correct until you try. Do not worry about losing hearts by making mistakes. You learn more by getting it wrong than by thinking you have gotten it down pat because it always can change. It gets a bit frustrating, but you do learn more from your mistakes. Hang in there.