"The knife is ours."
Translation:Il coltello è nostro.
Why is simply "e nostro" as opposed "e il nostro" the given answer? I was under the impression that the article was always required when talking about possession unless referring to a family member... Is that wrong?
First note this subtle difference: Here nostro is being used as "ours" - "the knife is ours". Nostro can also be used as "our" - as in "it is our knife"
The knife is ours - il coltello e' nostro
It is our knife - e' il nostro coltello
The article is required in the second case because the possessive (nostro) is directly in front of the noun.
Or perhaps another way to think of it is: The noun is "il coltello" and when you want to say "our knife" you insert "nostro" between the article and the noun. Notice that the first sentence (The knife is ours) still has "il coltello" - it's just that the word order of the sentence has moved around to change the meaning of nostro to "ours"
It's a bit confusing because Italian doesn't use possessives in exactly the same way English does, but I hope that makes sense.
In English, "a/an" are the indefinite articles and "the" is the definite article.
In Italian, "un/una" are the indefinite articles and "il/i/lo/l'/gli/la/le" are the definite articles.
All adjectives, including articles and possessives, agree with the noun they go with. So when it comes to possessives, they must agree with the thing possessed, not who possesses it.
il mio - my singular masculine thing
i miei - my plural masculine (or mixed/unknown) things
la mia - my singular feminine thing
le mie - my plural feminine things
OMG, did I get this right now ? There are two situations 1) when the possessive stands alone at the end AND when the possesssive stands before a noun, we use the definite article!
When it's the possessive adjective (il mio gatto, my cat) the definite article is required.
When it's the possessive pronoun (il gatto è (il) mio, the cat is mine) the definite article is optional, and whether you use it or not subtly changes the emphasis.
This may be really basic but are nouns that end in "o" (like "coltello") always masculine?
It's a good rule of thumb, but there are some exceptions (no language is without irregularities): http://italian.about.com/od/grammar/a/gender-of-italian-nouns.htm