"My suitcase is not as big as hers."
Translation:Mi maleta no es tan grande como la de ella.
Why do I need to have the article "la" if I say it as "mi maleta no es tan grande como [la] suya" ?
Just a hypothesis of mine: Maybe the Spanish put "la" here to make it more obvious that "suya" is a possessive pronoun that is reflexive on the noun introduced in the half-phrase before, in this case "maleta".
(Since after "tan grande como" also any noun could follow, like "Mi maleta no es tan grande como un elefante".)
My impression is that the Spanish like to put strong signals just as they do with the upside-down question mark that already marks a phrase as a question before it ends. Perhaps it's a similar issue with "la suya".