1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "L'olio è suo."

"L'olio è suo."

Translation:The oil is his.

May 15, 2013

97 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanette525

How come sometimes you use "il" in front of suo and sometimes you don't?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nayrad

From what i have read, when there is no noun following the possessive word, it depends. If you're saying "the dog is yours" you say "il cane è tuo" but if you say, "the dog is the one that is yours" (when there are multiple choices" in italian it is; "il cane è il tuo"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cey889

Can we get a moderator on this? Still confuses me!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

The definite article is required in a possessive noun phrase: il suo olio. The exception is for singular family members: mia sorella, but le mie sorelle.

In a possessive pronoun phrase, having the definite article or not subtly changes the connotation.

è la mia = it (not the other thing) is mine
è mia = it is mine (not yours)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Acondon

Why is this 'L'olio e suo' instead of 'L'olio e il suo'? I thought with these you needed to include the 'the' in front of the possesive?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Answered by Rae.F [see above]

"The definite article is required in a possessive noun phrase: il suo olio. The exception is for singular family members: mia sorella, but le mie sorelle.

"In a possessive pronoun phrase, having the definite article or not subtly changes the connotation.

"è la mia = it (not the other thing) is mine
"è mia = it is mine (not yours)"

What I get from this is perhaps more clear if, say, someone is herding cats, and picks one up and asks the curious crowd gathered around, "Whose cat is this?" And I say, "It's my cat"= è il mio gatto. The cat-herd hands me my cat.

I start to walk aways with my cat, but someone comes up to me says, "No, that's my cat. Give me that cat!"

I hold tight to the cat, not willing to let it go, "No, the cat is MINE!" = *No, il gatto è MIO!!!"

The cat decides he doesn't like either one of us, scratches both of us down to the bone, then runs to rejoin the herd.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuergenZirak

But if the definitive article in italian "only" changes connotation, then it should be possibile to have it in that case, right? Like "The oil is his (but the sugar is not)".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trevro

Yes, I was wondering this same thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

My understanding is that the verb "to be " acts as an equal sign and "suo" is modifying "l'olio" which already has its definite article and so it is not required for "suo" to repeat the definite article. Scroll up for some helpful sites.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mangocide

What is the difference between "suo" and "sua" and do they both translate to his/hers?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Yes, His translates to suo for masculine nouns and sua for feminine nouns, and her does too and so does its.
The boy has his dog. "Il ragazzo ha il suo cane."
The boy has his pasta. "il ragazzo ha la sua pasta."

The girl has her dog "La ragazza ha il suo cane."

The girl has her pasta "La ragazza ha la sua pasta.

The animal has its food "L'animale ha il suo cibo."

The animal has its water "L'animale ha la sua acqua."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

At last a comprehensive comprehensible explanation. Here's a lingo as thanks. Let's see if I have this straight. If we're talking about: "il cane" masc. we use "il suo" meaning either "his" or "her" Then "la pasta" fem. gets "la sua" = "his or hers" depending on context etc. Yes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VipulKapoo

And remember the noun is the one possessed, not the possessor


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rckssone

It also can translate.... the oil is yours?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vindalf

needs to be capital "Suo"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vindalf

Because formal your is "il Suo", at least it is most common nowadays from what I've read

I read that voi and vostro isn't used often these days


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SarahViaggi

I haven't seen DL distinguish between formal and informal. When I studied La Italiana in school a VERY long time ago, there was a big emphasis on formal and informal. I haven't seen ANY of that (distinction) in this program.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Surprise!!!!

Or not. :-(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jesslc

No. suo can refer to his or hers or its

"The oil is yours" would be "L'olio e' tuo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

tuo is singular informal "your" for tu.

Suo is singular formal for Lei; note it starts with capital.

vostro is plural informal for voi

Loro is plural formal for Loro. Note it starts with capital

Also see following: http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare132a.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmitShwarts

how can i know when "suo" ( or the rest ) is "his" or "her"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

Greater context. Same way you know "her cat" is a boy or a girl.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ardiealonzo

Can I answer "The oil is hers." right? It translate the same thing in Italian language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

Yes, that is an equally valid translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marinara.sauce

so there is no way to tell from this sentence if the oil is HIS or HERS?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

That is correct. The thing about normal conversation is that they don't happen in a vacuum the way these isolated lesson sentences do. If you're actually talking to someone, there will be context to make it obvious.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rosie868755

Yes,context will help


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marythe16th

Why not " l'olio è il suo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

That should also be acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

But it doesn't quite mean the same thing, according to your answer from above


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

Without context, which could be the rest of the conversation or just vocal inflection, we don't know where the emphasis is in the English sentence "The oil is his". It could mean "The OIL is his" or it could mean "The oil is HIS".

Since this is all we have to go on, both "è suo" and "è il suo" are equally valid. It's a bit like saying "I eat yours" could be "Mangio tuo", "Mangio tuoi", "Mangio tua", or "Mangio tue" depending on what exactly "yours" is referring to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mahmoudelbarodi

"His oil" what's wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

"His oil" is a simple noun phrase: "il suo olio".

"The oil is his" is a full sentence with a subject, a verb, and a predicate complement: "L'olio è suo."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0qnJTezk

Why can't it be yours (polite) or his or hers?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pancho_Delanave

If it was polite or formal "yours", the word would capitalized (Suo.) However the word in the sentence was not capitalized (suo), therefore it must mean "his" or "hers."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/verenaleert

it should be able to translate it as: it is his oil, shouldn't it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mukkapazza

Careful: here you're learning the difference between 'the oil is his' (pronoun) and 'it is his oil' (adjective). The meaning is nearly the same but these are parts of speech you'll now know how to differentiate in the future... you wouldn't want to say 'this is mine cheese' or 'those are hers cookies' ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erdnaoluap

What would be the correct italian translation for "it's his oil" then?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trevro

That would be "È Il suo olio."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erdnaoluap

Thank you trevro


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klaas_Damsko

I still don't get why sometimes " è il suo " is used and sometimes " è suo ". This difference comes up in the comments a lot but no definite answer, any native speaker who can explain?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tirthankar3

This is his oil? :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Questo è il suo olio.

Different sentences.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RonaldThew

why couldn't that translate as the oil is yours


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

If it were capitalized, then it would be the polite form of "your/yours". But since it's not, then it can only mean his/hers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joDR7c

The oil is yours not his?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

Since it's written with a small "s", it can only be "The oil is his" or "The oil is hers". Formal "you" would be "L'olio è Suo" (for one person) or "L'olio è Loro" (for more than one person).

"The oil is yours" informal/familiar would be "L'olio è tuo" (for one person) or "L'olio è vostro" (for more than one person).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gopigita

When do you put "suo" and when do you put "sua"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

"suo" is the possessive for something singular and masculine.
"suoi" is the possessive for something plural and masculine.
"sua" is the possessive for something singular and feminine.
"sue" is the possessive for something plural and feminine.

L'olio è suo = The oil is his/The oil is hers. "L'olio" is masculine, so the possessive must be masculine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Palk11

I really don't understand the difference between 'sua', 'sue', and 'suo'. I mean, they are all used for both masculine and feminine and are all plural. How can i distinguish each so I can use it correctly when speaking italian?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

It is true that all of them translate into English as "his/her", but they are not interchangeable in Italian. For starters, they change based on what is possessed, not who possesses it. In English, we say "her thing" if the owner of the thing is female, but in Italian it's the grammatical gender of the thing that determines which one you use.

suo = singular, masculine thing (il suo letto = his/her bed)
suoi = plural, masculine things (i suoi letti = his/her beds)
sua = singular, feminine thing (la sua scrivania = his/her desk)
sue = plural, feminine things (le sue scrivanie = his/her desks)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Palk11

Thanks, now it makes so much sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chillaneja

The answer doesnt appear to be correct. For me is " It his oil"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

"L'olio è suo" can mean either "The oil is his" or "The oil is hers", because "suo" agrees with "olio", not with whose it is.

"It is his/her oil" would be "È il suo olio".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kelly727110

I dont understand what are the uses for suo or sua is to talk in a third person point off view??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

Possessives, like articles and other adjectives, must agree with the noun it's attached to. This means that it doesn't matter whose it is, the gender of the possessive must match the thing, not who owns it.

For all of the following, the possessives are masculine singular; feminine singular; masculine plural; feminine plural:

io
il mio; la mia; i miei; le mie
tu
il tuo; la tua; i tuoi; le tue
lui/lei
il suo; la sua; i suoi; le sue
noi
il nostro; la nostra; i nostri; le nostre
voi
il vostro; la vostra; i vostri; le vostre
loro
il loro; la loro; i loro; le loro

So you cannot tell from "L'olio è suo" whether the oil belongs to a man or a woman. It must be "suo" because "olio" is masculine singuar. Likewise, "i suoi gatti" can equally be "his cats" or "her cats".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/martini272

Can this be "The oil is its"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

In theory, yes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cesco43

OK I think this needs to be reported because this can also mean "the oil is yours(formal you)" which I put and which is accepted in the description, but wasn't accepted when I typed it. Some help please. and I don't need someone saying suo=his...it can also mean formal 'you' i.e. someone you don't know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No; if it were "yours" it would be Suo (capitalised) not suo (lowercase).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ada_Sanchez

Could it translate to: "It is his oil"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

No. That would be `È il suo olio".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Berlin1929

This says that L'olio e suo and L'olio e il suo are both used for "The oil is his": https://www.duolingo.com/comment/934068


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

They're not interchangeable.

"L'olio è il suo" means "The oil (and not that other thing) is his/hers."

"L'olio è suo" means "The oil is his/hers (and not someone else's)."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Berlin1929

According to the discussion I saw on " The oil is his" (in the link above) Nitram says the definite article must appear at least one time in a sentence containing possessive pronouns (except for certain family members, of course). So, both of these are correct [translation for "The oil is his"]:

L'olio è suo. L'olio è il suo.

I did not see that Nitram said there was a difference in meaning between the two.

You say they're not interchangeable; that

"L'olio è il suo" means "The oil (and not that other) is his/hers."

"L'olio è suo" means "The oil is his/hers (and not someone else's)."

How can you both be correct? Is there an error? Is there someone from Duolingo that can clarify?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

Nitram is not quite right.

The possessive adjective requires the definite article, except with singular unmodified family members.
The possessive pronoun is as I explained above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Axys8

How can we determine that "suo" is his or her oil?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Context.

How can we determine whether "you" is speaking to a male person or a female person in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylwia995944

I translated The oil is her and was wrong can someone explain why is his not her


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

The oil is her = She is the oil.

The oil is hers = The oil belongs to her.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

You can answer “the oil is his” or “the oil is hers”.

But “the oil is her” is not correct English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

Oh, it's "correct", it just means something very different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/simonloreto431

How can you know the gender in this case? Why the aswers is "his" and not "her:?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

How can you know the gender in this case?

You cannot.

L'olio è suo can be either "The oil is his." or "The oil is hers."

Why the aswers is "his" and not "her:?

"his" is both a possessive determiner and a possessive pronoun.

"her" is only a possessive determiner.

Here, you need a possessive pronoun -- something that can stand by itself, not something that goes before a noun.

Similarly, you would say "The oil is mine", not "The oil is my".

Thus you need "hers" and not "her".

With "his", the two forms happen to be the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlVumba9

Can this be "The oil is hers" aswell? As the noun is what determines the sua/suo isn't it? Or can suo and sua be used exclusively for him and her?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

Can this be "The oil is hers" aswell?

Yes.

As the noun is what determines the sua/suo isn't it?

Yes.

Or can suo and sua be used exclusively for him and her?

No.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EleonoreMa327512

Couldn't that be her's ,as well?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2443

It could be "The oil is his" or "The oil is hers". There is no "her's".

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.