it's funny that Italian is so obsessed about masculine and feminine but there are so many sentences where you don't know if they are talking about a man or a woman!
I would not say that Italian is so obsessd about masculine and feminine. I would say that English does not care about it at all.
This is out of context. Probably the subject was in another sentence so we could omit it from this one.
"He put his hand OVER his heart" should also be accepted as the two body parts never actually come in contact with one another.
I totally agree. In my 65 years the only time I heard put a hand on a heart is in context of surgery, or butchery.
...but we haven't been asked to make an estimation of where the hand and the heart are likely to be. We've been asked to translate the sentence, which includes the word "sul", which means "on the".
There are plenty of times when we don't speak perfectly literally. In cold weather, I would still say I put my hand on the door handle, even though actually my hand is in contact with my glove, not the door handle. I would say that my phone is on the table, even though my phone is actually on the pile of un-opened post, which is on a newspaper, which is on the table.
We have to apply a bit of intelligence to each sentence, and we have to speak and listen as humans, not machines.
What do you mean? What is the recognized idiom? The only one I know is "place a hand over (my/your/his/her/our heart(s)" when a national anthem plays, for example. "On his heart?" - not an idiomatic expression at all, but yes, it could be used if you're doing cardiac surgery or butchery, as someone already said.
of course it's idiomatic. (in many languages) it's a promise of fidelity or truthfulness. you place your hand on your chest actually. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/put+hand+on+heart and another https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/with-hand-on-heart.2493105/
"la mano" is the hand of the subject. Is "suo cuore" also the heart of the subject??
Probably on its own heart though. You put (your) hand on (your) heart when you pledge an oath or you swear you are telling the truth.
I think you're a little confused --you can put your "hand on the bible," (direct contact with the book), for example, pledging to tell truth, but you put your hand "over your heart" -- indirect contact with the organ, as a sign of respect.. Check this link: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/putting-your-hand-over-your-heart-makes-you-both-appear-and-behave-more-honestly-180950233/ Which is which in this exercise? Impossible to tell, therefore both should be accepted.
hidetouk yes I believe so. Both hand and heart belong to the subject he
What, he's a heart surgeon operating on himself and he put his hand on his heart after cracking open his own chest? That is impressive, very impressive. I wonder if he lived.
With that preface, Duo did not accept "He put his hand over his heart" - which is the English idiom for the Italian idiom, and is a better, more accurate translation of what the Italian actually means.
Reported 9 Aug 2017
I don't understand what part of the sentence says that it's HIS hand and HIS heart. I wrote"she put the hand on the heart". For all we know she could be playing with dolls and put the doll's hand over another doll's heart. "La mano" doesn't specify whose hand it is.
I think that only the genders are ambiguous here. As I understand it, parts of the subject's body (and also clothes on the person) take the definite article without the possessive pronoun, others don't. So this sentence says that s/he put her/his hand on someone else's heart (as one does :-). If it had been her/his own heart, it should have read simply "... sul cuore".
It's ambiguous, yes, as a lot of sentences are. This is just how Italian works - unless there's something to say otherwise, "he put the hand" is assumed to mean "he put his hand".
In this context, where "the" body part is part of the verb action, it is almost always linked to the subject of the verb. So, it's either "he put his hand" or "she put her hand"'. And, unless the context suggests a change, if the place where the action continues to has a possessive pronoun of indeterminate gender, it will also be of the same gender as the subject - it will be the same person. You assume these things unless the context directs you elsewhere. So, it's foolish to try other combinations of his/her when there's no context suggest you should do so.