One must be careful about this rule: It applies to words beginning with vowels, etc. Thus, even if a masculine noun begins with a vowel, if it is preceded by an adjective which begins with, say, an n, then you'd use il instead of lo.
lo stivale but il nuovo stivale.
The presence of mio thus removes the necessity of using lo, and nel mio stivale would be correct, grammatically, as it is actually in il mio stivale.
But then, as MadelynWrit points out, you don't need mio - but then without the mio you have to use nello, so it's either:
nel mio stivale or nello stivale
It's implied because most of the time clothing that you are wearing belongs to you anyway. And even if you don't actually own the clothing, if you are wearing it still sort of belongs to you at the time. In English it seem logical to always say 'my boot', 'my t-shirt', but in Italian it seems logical that it is your clothing so you don't always need to say mio ect. This sentence implies a boot that you are wearing as you haven't specified it to be anything else. I think you would only really need to point out if it is not your boot, or not a boot that you are wearing. Personally, if there was a snake in the boot I was wearing I wouldn't worry about whose boot it was, I'd use the shortest sentence possible, lol!
but that doesn't answer why it would not be "ON the boot" compared to "IN the boot" because you can have things on your shoes that are not inside your shoes. Sometimes I have mud or a bug ON my shoes but not IN my shoes (thank god). Semantically, could both IN and ON have been correct in this boot case? If not, how would you say "I have a snake ON my boot" ?
When you're learning a foreign language, you just have to accept that prepositions won't make much sense to you in the other language. They don't translate well if you're just trying to find one equivalent word. Instead, you always have to think of them as part of a phrase and memorize them that way.
two good and easy charts for prepositions
I've been collecting e words in a list of feminine or masculine. Here's what I've collected so far:
prigione prison, jail
costume costume, suit, bathing suit
dolce dessert, sweet
Say this in your best Australian accent. "There's a snake in my!!" Saying anything in an Aussie accent makes it sound so much better. Even when they say something mean it sounds nice like, "Go to hell cobber!" Say it an Australian accent and people will think your being friendly. I know cause I got one.
The difference between and nello and nel is the same as la/il and lo. Use the one that ends in o for words that start with s+consonant and z+consonant. Il piatto would be nel piatto. Lo zucchero would be nello zucchero. Etc. It took me a little bit to realize that as well because it isn't very well explained, but if you know which "the" to use then you'll also know which "in the" and "on the" to use.
These are called "prepositional articles" because they combine a preposition and and article together. There is a nice chart showing the different forms at http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare153a.htm
Partly because "nello" means "in the" and not just "in". So you at least need the "the" to make a coherent English sentence. But as a previous commentor said, the "my" is implied because Italian doesn't use possessives for clothing unless you're specifying whose item it is. If there is no possessive it is accepted that you're talking about your own item.
So, can it be "Io ho un serpente nel mio stivale," if you're trying to be completely clear?
I only started Italian a few months ago and I am finding the lack of personal pronouns and possessives difficult to grasp. This I translated as ...in the boot, which was accepted. The implication was that it was the speaker's boot, but I have found Duo gets a bit touchy if you put in words that are not actually there.
This is what I had io ho... The first time I saw it and it was marked incorrectly Does Duolingo make lots of errors
You marked this incorrect on me the first time I used io ho... So please don't confuse the lesson
The reason for this being implied is because of the fact that we use ho at the beginning which is in the "I/me" form. We follow that with Nello which is in the singular, if we used nel, then we would need to state "Mio" as nel is plural. As we used Nello, "Mio" becomes unnecessary and thus we don't use it. A sentence wouldn't make much sense if we said, "I have a snake in my my boot." Google translate cannot pick up on these little but important details.
Nel is plural nello is singular. We used nello in this sentence meaning we are still talking about one person. Your comment above makes little sense, first, you say that I stated nel is not plural when I said the polar opposite. Then you contradict yourself by saying nel is plural. I don't care whether or not you are convinced, I am giving you the facts, it is your choice whether to follow and practice my advice.
Well here we go again ....poor language instruction...nello stivale...Duo says its in my boot..of course no direct instruction was provided but they say its implied..this is q non sequitur since this lesson is after possessive pronouns...or in this case they leave out mio...why not use a model where mio is omitted and then let the student learn then from deduction that mio is omitted. Or when these are inteoduced like this the DONT DELETE POINTS. I HAVE WRITTEN LANGUAGE TEXTBOOKS THAT HAVE SOLD MILLIONS ONLY BEVAUSE OF NEW EDITIONS CORRECTED MISTAKES OR IMPROVED THE INSTRUCTION FROM INPUT.