"They are my employees."
Translation:Ellos son mis empleados.
An agent is not the same thing as an employee. Anybody who works in place of another is an agent, whether they're an employee or not. Some establishments style themselves as "agencies," and their employees are typically also "agents."
Likewise, an employee is often not empowered to represent anything on behalf of their employer, nor do all employees work for an establishment that styles itself an "agency."
"Mío" is a determiner (like an adjective, except it describes its noun's reference, not any of its properties). In Spanish, when determiners modify nouns directly, they come before the noun, not after. Moreover, "mío" is one of those words that apocopates (loses a final sound) when it comes before its noun, becoming "mi."
So it's "Ellos son mis empleados." All of this is quite analogous to the distinction between the English word-pairs "my/mine," "her/hers," and "your/yours," by the way.
Separate the thing from its noun and none of the above applies, however, so "The employees are mine" is "Los empleados son míos."
OK for all the grammar talk, but aren't we missing a big point? How is this an idiomatic expression???? The Spanish says "They are my employees." The English says "They are my employees." As presented here, I have no idea how, where or why a native Spanish speaker would use this phrase in an idiomatic manner.
If anyone has any insights on this, that would be appreciated.
Well, I feel like the bonus skill on idioms has left me one short. So, I have a bonus idom for anyone who is following this. Looking up the names of vegetables in Spanish, I came across the following:
"Entre col y col, lechuga."
Literally, "Between cabbage and cabbage, lettuce."
Idiomatically, "Variety is the spice of life."
(Pardon the following rant, but I am seeing this sentence in a unit on idioms. If you are seeing it in a different unit, then you wouldn't expect it to be an idiom - which is of course why I am off on a rant.) (Paid 30 lingots for a bonus unit on idioms.)
Clearly you don't understand what an idiom is. If I point to something (which is what "they" does in the phrase), and that something is certain people who work for me (which is what an "employee" is), then the literal and word-for-word translation of the supposed idiomatic expression is just "they are my employees." There is NOTHING idiomatic about that.
In contrast, a good idiom for describing idioms is the English idiom: "A picture is worth a thousand words." Is the price of a picture, photograph, drawing, painting, etching, engraving, mural or doodle actually denominated in grammatical units of letter strings, specifically 1000 words?
An idiom is a picture. In this example, I have been given a 4 word picture, and I am getting exactly 4 words of value. This is a far cry from the 1,000 that I am due.
So, again, I ask - when, where and/or how is this ("Ellos son mis empleados" used idiomatically? Does one point to something other than people? Or, are the people other than employees, but the idiom describes them as such for some purpose? Or, is it used in some other fashion. For example, a linguist might refer to words as his/her employees?
An idiom is something that a native speaker understands, but the literal translation doesn't reveal the true or full meaning to the non-native speaker. If I say -
"A mule and his pony are soon farted." -
the non-native speaker just sees a puzzling bit of nonsense. In contrast, the native speaker of English intuitively solves the puzzle and hears a horrible, juvenile attempt at making a pun on the expression -
"A fool and his money are soon parted."