I thought that you didn't use the article with family members? Mia sorella, not La mia sorella. Suo padre, not Il suo padre. Etc. Why not Seguono loro padre, then? Why is the "il" in front of loro?
From my old Italian grammar book (Carlo Graziano) I see this rule, I hope it helps.
The article is always used with the possessive adjective loro or Loro. Because these forms are invariable, the article allows for distinction of gender and number.
Lavoro con il loro fratello = I work with their brother
Viaggio con la loro zia = I travel with their aunt
Come stanno i Loro nonni? = how are your grandparents?
Actually I was under the impression that you only put the definite article if it's an object in the sentence, not a subject?????? For example "mio padre legge" is good but not "il mio padro legge". And then "seguono il loro padre" would be ok, but not "seguono loro padre" ? Someone comment, per favore!
I had not thought that different rules might apply for subjects / objects. Can anyone confirm please!
Seguono loro padre is OK as well as imitate vostro padre as well as rispettate vostra madre. I'm italian.
What is the meaning of "seguono" in this sentence? Only that they follow him going somewhere? Or can it mean they act like him? In (American) English, "He takes after his father" can mean he resembles him physically. Can seguire have this meaning in Italian?
That means that they follow his character, his deeds, etc. They see him as an example to follow.