"I have his bottles."

Translation:Io ho le sue bottiglie.

June 6, 2013

42 Comments


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

possessive adjectives have a form that follows the object possessed, not the possessor. la bottiglia is feminine, so the possessive adjectives used with it would need to be the feminine form, even if the person possessing the bottles is a man. If you were given this sentence in Italian and asked to translate to English, the correct answer could be "I have his bottles" OR "I have her bottles", since we have no idea who is referenced.

Generally a simple rule of thumb is that the possessive adjective follows the form of the definite article. If you master the use of the definite articles, it helps with a lot of other things, like possessive adjectives.

June 6, 2013

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

Thanks for helpful information

April 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XlUi8bZ7

Thanks. Very good explanation.

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XlUi8bZ7

Great answer, thanks

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

@CreyB Grazie, that was what I was looking for. :-)

June 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mjaviera93

i don't understand why the right answer is: Io ho le sue bottiglie. Shouldn't it be: Io ho i suoi bottiglie?, please somebody answer, i don't understand :(

June 6, 2013

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

"I suoi" is incorrect because it is masculine plural. The word "bottiglie" is feminine plural, therefore you say "le sue". You follow the gender of the word, NOT the person you are referring to.

December 21, 2013

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

I had a time wrapping my head around this one to. This is a distinction of the 2 languages, ( English and Italian ). In English we note the person speaking, ( the possessor ) in Italian it, ( art.) refers to the gender of the word. The good news is that when this sinks in, you will understand it forever and you will wonder why you had so many issues with it!! :)

July 9, 2018

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

have the same problem in understanding!

March 25, 2016

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

why do you need the "le" before "sue bottiglie"?

February 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenFrey1

When I tapped on bottle to remind myself what the Italian word is, it said "imbottiglia". That's wrong, yes?

July 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LorenzoLM
  • imbottiglia* is the 3° person singular of to bottle (put into a bottle)

This is using the noun bottle

imbottigliare bottiglia

August 15, 2019

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

so is there an actual way of specifying 'his' or 'hers' ?

July 9, 2013

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

No, the gender of the possessive depends on the object possessed not the person possessing. Here is an example I found on another site and I'm sorry I cannot give credit to the kind person who posted it:

1.The boy has his dog. "Il ragazzo ha il suo cane."

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

3.The boy has his pasta. "il ragazzo ha la sua pasta."

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

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

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

Note the "his" or "her" depend on the "dog" "il cane" or the "pasta" "la pasta" not the "boy or girl". Similarly for neuter as you can see.

This is what CreyB says above only in table form.

January 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XlUi8bZ7

Thanks, explanation was a big help

July 9, 2018

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

I would generally defer to some others here that know more than I do, BUT, if you do not have the appropriate context, I believe that you could say "Io ho le bottiglie di lei" (I have her bottles) or "Io ho le bottiglie di lui" (I have his bottles).

July 9, 2013

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

Can someone confirm this?

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ItaliaLione13

You could possibly say this, but in English it would translate (I have the bottles of hers) which does not flow as nicely as (I have her bottles).

May 11, 2015

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

You speak Portuguese? Because in Portuguese, an informal way allows exactly this. The gramatically correct is like the Italian, ('seu', 'sua', 'seus' e 'suas' which refer to the object's gender not the person), but informally we do use it as you said "... of him" and "...of her".

September 29, 2017

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

By itself no, the preceding sentence or some where within the same sentence would have to tell you.

June 26, 2018

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

The example given by jaye16 explains it, just keep in mind that, if you have nothing else preceding the sentence, or within the same sentence, you will not know the gender of the person.

July 9, 2018

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

If the duolingo folks had it together they would phrase it = "I have his/her bottles". This is confusing for beginners, but really quite easy once you figure it out, ( it confused me too). "le sue" precedes the feminine noun "bottiglie", ( bottiglie is a feminine/plural word ).

June 26, 2018

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

Curious about this too

September 17, 2014

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

can anyone tell me when to use 'ho' vs. 'ha'? I cannot figure it out and it is a guess for me each time.

September 28, 2014

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

"Ho" is for when you use "Io" (Think of it as a pirate: Io Ho Ho!)

"Ha" is for when you use "Lei/Lui" (Think of it in terms of StarWars: Princess Lei-Ha)

November 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johna827075

Quality advice

April 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XlUi8bZ7

Great explanation. I didnt either and now i do.

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/k.kemi

When do I know when to use le sue? Please help

March 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ItaliaLione13

Le sue is used after feminine plural nouns such as matte (pencils) because PENCILS is feminine plural in Italian (Do not focus on whether the pencils are her or his but rather if PENCIL is masculine or feminine.)

More complicated feminine plural nouns such as turtles and cows (tartarughe e mucche) take che and ghe in their plurals but you will probably learn that later, but still take Le sue because they are feminine plural nouns

May 11, 2015

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

I guess you meant saying " Le sue is used BEFORE feminine plural nouns..." ?

March 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bonjour.ash

I get if the noun is feminine, like "La cucina" then it would be "La sua cucina", but how do I know when to use "Le sue" or "Il suo" I still dont get it.

March 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ItaliaLione13

You would use Le sue before feminine plural words like farfalle (butterflies) because BUTTERFLIES is feminine plural (not lei- feminine). Un uomo e le sue farfalle (A man and his butterflies)

You would use il suo in front of singular masculine words like such as gatto (cat) because GATTO is a singular masculine word. Example: Un uomo e il suo gatto (A man and his cat)

Ignore whether it is Hers/His and focus on the noun which follows the possession.

May 11, 2015

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

Wouldn't sue be suoi since it is a masculine plural possessive adjective?

May 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ItaliaLione13

Suoi is only used after masculine plural nouns. Bottle (Bottiglie) is feminine plural.

May 11, 2015

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

Thanks! that was cleared up.

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ioduo11

Right.. so in italian "io ho le sue bottiglie" .. it's not possible to deduce the gender of the owner..?

June 30, 2015

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

Im interested about the same

February 4, 2016

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

So, by the same logic, if I said, "I have her bottles," I'd still say "sue," but if it's just "una bottiglia," I would use "sua." And if I have his/her coffee, would I say "Ho il sue caffé?"

September 21, 2016

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

I have his/her bottle — (Io) ho la sua bottiglia (sing. bottle)

I have his/her bottles — (Io) ho le sue bottiglie (plural bottle)

I have his/her coffee — (Io) ho il suo caffè (sing. coffee)

I have his/her coffees* — (Io) ho i suoi caffès (plural coffee)

(* Coffee can be plural in English when ordering, for example)

September 18, 2017

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

"I suoi" is incorrect because it is masculine plural. The word "bottiglie" is feminine plural if it's so why the site translate it ""his"" doesn't it mean "" her "" ?

April 23, 2018

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

You are right that "i suoi" is incorrect because "bottiglie" is feminine plural.

But that has nothing to do with "his" being wrong. In English, the choice of using "his" or "her" only depends on the gender of the owner, not on the grammatical gender of the object.

If the owner is a man and he has bottles, you use his: The man has his bottles.

If the owner is a woman and she has bottles, you use her: The woman has her bottles.

Both translate to Italian as "le sue bottiglie", because the possessive doesn't depend on the owner's gender: L'uomo a le sue bottiglie / La donna a le sue bottiglie.

April 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seneca81

My issue with this sentence is that it does not allow for specification of the possessor. What if I was asked whose bottles I have and the answer could either be to a woman whose bottles I have or a man's bottles, saying this sentence does not accurately answer the question.

May 2, 2019
Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.