"His steak does not have salt."
Translation:La sua bistecca non ha sale.
What precisely was your answer?
io ho = I have
tu hai = you have
lui/lei ha = he/she/it has
noi abbiamo = we have
voi avete = you have
loro hanno = they have
There are exceptions (unless you're dealing with something like Esperanto, there are always exceptions), but in general, the rule of thumb is this:
|If the word ends in...||Then it's...|
There are some words that end in
-e in the singular and
-i in the plural, and you just have to memorize whether they're masculine or feminine.
And then there are foreign loan words that end in whatever they end in (like "yogurt") and they're almost always masculine and don't change in the plural.
As for which definite article to use...
That leaves the question how to indicate the person we speak about. La sua bistecca ... can be his or her steak. How do I add the persons gender, if i want to clarify the case? In a conversation I would tend to: Giovanni's bistecca non ha il sale or Chiara's bistecca ha troppo sale. Just as example...
In multiple choice I selected both of these options, however the second was marked wrong:
"La sua bistecca non ha sale."
"La propria bistecca non ha sale."
It seems like a valid (though perhaps slightly less accurate) translation to me, however I still struggle with Proprio.
Can anyone clarify?
How is it determined if HIS or HER steak doesn't have salt? The "sua" is linked to the fem form (La bistecca) not the person owning the steak. Sometimes it makes no sense because it is Suo, or Sue, or Sua, and it is confusing. It will come to me eventually. Practice!!!
Context, context, context.
And it does make sense. As you have observed, the possessives follow the same agreement rules as any other adjective. You're just used to how it works in English.
Italian speakers learning English want to know why it's "his" dog when clearly she's a nursing mother. Neither way is better than the other, they're just different strategies.
As explained elsewhere on this page, the possessive is just like any other adjective, so it must agree with the possessed thing and not the one who possesses it. The grammatical gender of a noun is relatively easy to determine, since most of them are regular. "La sua bistecca" can equally mean "his steak" or "her steak", but it must always be "la sua bistecca" because "bistecca" is feminine and it needs "la sua" for agreement.