"Il gatto beve il suo latte."

Translation:The cat drinks its milk.

August 3, 2013

106 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nicole_Di_Kansas

I'm more confused by reading the comments than I was by the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XlUi8bZ7

I frequently feel the same way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/queenofgeek

In English, animals are given non-gendered pronouns. Unfortunately, that means the sentence in English must use "its" rather than "his".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3388winterthur

Could it be possible "his" refer to someone's .the cat drink his milk ( her milk, his milk, my milk etc.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It could refer to his or her milk, e.g. "Tom is angry because the cat keeps drinking his milk (il suo latte)" or "Mary is angry because the cat keeps drinking her milk (il suo latte)".

Capitalised it could even mean "your" if you are being polite: "Why are you angry? Is the cat drinking your milk (il Suo latte) again?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seaninashoe

This would make sense, but "The cat drinks her milk" was also a possible answer for some reason.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rogmaestro

this is because the gender of "suo" refers to the gender of the word "latte" and not to the gender of whoever the milk belongs to


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harald54822

i thought it was "sue" because "latte" ends with an "e". are you saying that "il latte" is male and for male it's always "suo"? i am still not entirely sure...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

are you saying that "il latte" is male and for male it's always "suo"?

That's right, though for grammatical gender, we usually say "masculine" rather than "male".

So il latte is grammatically masculine, and suo is the form used before a masculine (singular) noun, while sua would be used before a feminine (singular) noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

@queenofgeek, no offense intended- and please don't take this personally... but that's simply Not true.

Yes, we often do use un-gendered pronouns for animals, But we do not do it as a rule We frequently use his/hers:

"That's a cute dog, how old is He ?"

"what is that dog doing swimming so far out in the lake? He's going to drown !"

"That cat keeps crying, I wonder what's wrong with Her ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterSheppard16

I'm a native English speaker, and I've heard people use gendered pronouns for animals.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sajeevck

why is this sentence translated to "the cat drinks his milk" wrong? il gatto is a male cat, so il suo becomes "his" vs "its".

am i right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robdb2

My question was a translation of the italian. I put "his" and was correct. So, both "his" and "its" are good translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dhaemon

did not see that option available when working on the question.

the cat drinks its milk is what was correct for me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PriscillaM905356

the notes say that the possessive pronoun agrees with the noun it is modifying, not the gender of the person or animal it belongs to


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenMcBrien

But you are right Priscilla - the pronoun does agree with the noun, not the gender of the cat. But "il gatto" should make the cat male, and so "his" should be acceptable... aaaaargh I'm so confused!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

You are right. I'm not an Italian scholar, but I have been an American writer for over 30 years. His should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenMcBrien

That's not what he was saying, he was pointing out that in Italian, you can use either "il gatto" or "la gatta" to specify the gender of the cat. Since this statement begins with "Il gatto", the cat would appear to be male, and so "his milk" should be accepted. However, (I don't know, I'm guessing here) I think that if you don't actually know what gender the cat is, then you default to "il gatto" - hence, given the context, the speaker might not be aware of whether the feline in question is a tom or a queen! (This reply is way bigger than I intended, sorry!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barcovsky

I thought the sentence meant "The cat drinks someone's milk", not its own, So, how it goes in italian? In any case, it will be "Il gatto beve il suo latte", but what if I need to say HIS milk, Mr. Johnson's, for example?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/queenofgeek

If you had to say specifically Mr. Johnson's milk, it'd be "Il gato beve il latte di Signore Johnson."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MohamedSam731585

What if i dont know his name and want to refer to him as third party. I would say ( his) instead of the name??!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tobyponz

"Il gatto beve il latte del signor Johnson", to be pedantically precise ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MohamedSam731585

What if i dont know his name and want to refer to him as third party. I would say ( his) instead of the name??!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

The sentence says that the milk belongs to the cat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RemiArielle

Are suo, sua, and sue all interchangeable to mean his, hers, or its?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FabioRiato

It is, but must be in accord to the gender/number of the noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eliana192837465

Why isn't "the cat drinks its own milk" right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FabioRiato

That's exactly my doubt. Any answers anyone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rogmaestro

"The cat drinks its own milk" would be "il gatto beve il propri latte," I think. Although it may be implied that it's the cat's own milk, by including the word "own" you are adding to the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/parmly

I think it is "il proprio, i propri", depending...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/britfornia

So does this sentece mean that the cat is drinking someone else's milk? How can we say "the cat drinks its milk", its meaning the cat itself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lexht

You'd have to say however you say "its own milk".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DappledHorse1839

I wrote "the cat drinks her milk" instead of "the cat drinks its milk" because I thought:'what if the cat was a she?' So I did that & I was correct!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3388winterthur

But you're wrong, if you mean the cat is she. In this way it should be: la gatta beve il suo latte. Il gatto, i gatti, la gatta, le gatte


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

And you are correct- it isn't written in female. The sentence is structured to allow for It or Him


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaliforniaNorma

However, if people in Italy are using the language as we are using English, they may be swapping out "his" for "her" at random, not to specify a gender, but to neutralize expectations of gender. A Cat can be male or female, thus his or her should be interchangeable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariannarelli

How would you say the cat drinks his or her milk meaning that the cat drinks someone's milk?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erika-Sanchez

Why is it not " i propi "or "il propio" as in "its own"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tobyponz

The sentence to translate is "il suo latte" so it's "its milk". Another possibility to have quite the same sentence (as you suggest) would be "il gatto beve il proprio latte" (pay attention to the double "r" in "proprio") and it would indeed translate to "the cat drinks its own milk".

It would be very similar, but a little different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ksoo

If "gatto" is the masculine form, then I'm guessing Duo accepted "The cat drinks her milk" with the assumption that the milk belonged to a separate female entity. In a situation where the cat in the sentence and a separate entity are both female (and both have their own milk), how would you specify whose milk the cat was drinking?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/llamabella

Im really confused by suo and sua and how you know which it refers to: its, hers or his


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Context!

Like how in English you can't tell from "you" whether it's one person or several, or from "they" whether they are all women, all men, all objects, or some combination.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/holly.k.ma

if you dont know the gender of a cat would you say "il gatto" either way


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanteDevilEF

The cat drinks its own milk ???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joolsthorp

why couldn't it also be translated your(formal) or his or hers?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorrana208664

I thought sue could refer to the formal you?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I think it's capitalised in that usage, just as the formal pronoun Lei is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorrana208664

Thank you! That clears it up for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LingWisticPJ

I am still confused because there is one more sentence which says Q- Il gatto beve il suo latte. Ans- The cat drinks his milk.

And now they have replaced his with its, this is so confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToddPhillips

Any truth to the rumor I heard that the article is sometimes dropped with animals or things?

Example:

"Il gatto beve suo latte" instead of "Il gatto beve il suo latte"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tobyponz

The correct form is the second one. I don't believe we ever drop the article, except maybe in front of a person's name (e.g. "Ho incontrato Todd" and not "Ho incontrato il Todd")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moncoeur3

What's the difference between suo and sue?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Connor_devonish

Suo is masculine, sue is plural feminine - le forchette sono le sue, il gatto è il suo - i think


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ksoo

That would make sense, but I tried "The cat drinks her milk" and it was accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes, "suo" has a masculine singular ending (-o) because the milk is masculine singular; the "su-" part can mean that the owner is either "he", "she", or (in English) "it".

So "il suo latte" could be "his milk", "her milk", or "its milk".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rogmaestro

Duolingo has since corrected this; it should have been accepted as a possible translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/germz20

Would "il gatto beve il suo latte" & "il gatto beve il proprio latte" mean the same? I mean in the end it is its own milk (not someone else's)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jayofmaya

The cat drinks it's milk... YOURE WRONG. IT'S "its milk"! Ok, whatever duolingo...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartyHulskemper

Why is 'the cat drinks her own milk' counted as wrong, whereas in an earlier exercise 'the animal eats its own food' was the correct (and suggested) translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rogmaestro

Be careful not to add the implied "own" in your translation. For that translation to be correct, the sentence would have to be "il gatto beve il PROPRI latte." Although it is implied, it does not belong in the translation. Hope this helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ammarsaneej

the cat drinks its milk - il gatto beve il suo latte the cat drinks his milk - il gatto beve il suo latte

here it is complicated,if i want to say, " the cat drinks its milk " and the audience understood it as " the cat drinks his milk". provided that both the sentences comes like "il gatto beve il suo latte" . can anyone get me out of it ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaboAraya0

i think it was the cat drinks y o u r milk


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

= il Suo latte, capitalised for politeness, if you are referring to the polite Lei for "you".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RoinujNosde

Can we refer to animals using "he" (lui) and "she" (lei)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Demonizeq

i said "the cat drinks its own milk" and then got it wrong, aa little help here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rogmaestro

Be careful not to add the implied "own" in your translation. For that translation to be correct, the sentence would have to be "il gatto beve il PROPRI latte." Although it is implied, it does not belong in the translation. Hope this helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dancrayZ

so original. cats would totally drink someone else's milk.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArleneM.1

system says: "is drinking."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helena222222

why "il suo" and not only "suo"??? thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philinguo

In everyday English (and certainly in an un-contextualised sentence such as the one under discussion) animals are referred to in English with non-gendered pronouns. Of course, we can have gendered animals in film and fiction (we even have them talking English!) and personification of objects as well as animals has a long tradition in poetry; but the need to avoid gendered pronouns for animals in everyday English is a very important one that goes to the heart of how we feel and act towards our fellow human beings: the little baby must always be a 'he' or a 'she', never an 'it'. We are deeply troubled by the idea of treating a human being in the way we would treat an animal, and our language reflects that. For that reason we use 'it' or 'that' when referring to animals, and 'he', 'she' or 'who' is necessarily reserved for our fellow humans.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Evolx18

Im confused about this as well but correct me if im wrong but from what i understand the "il" in this sentence changes the "suo" from "his" for people to "its" for in this case the cat. But i don't truly know. Can anyone help?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rogmaestro

I believe that in Italian, when using possessive pronouns, you must also use il/la/lo/gli/i. So for example if you were to say "It is my cat," that would be "È il mio gatto" or "È la mia gatta." (Remember that the gender+plurality of the pronoun must match the cat and not the owner.) Notice that in both sentences I use il or la before the pronoun. It does not necessarily make the subject of the sentence a he, she, or it. Hope this helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abi982108

Surely it is IT'S


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Surely not. We don't write "hi's" or "he'r" or "you'r" milk, if that helps you remember.

"it's" in English is a contraction for "it is" or "it has": it's raining; it's been raining the whole day.

"its" is the possessive form: its milk.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheoRosen

I want to know how tenses work -- at first, I put drank instead of drink.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rogmaestro

Until Duo teaches you other tenses, you can safely assume that the sentences are always in the present tense :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rosana378752

I thought it should be the cat drinks his milk...why her???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because su- only shows that the owner is third person singular but doesn't indicate the gender of the owner. The owner could be "he, she, it" and so su- can mean "his, her, its".

The -o ending is masculine to agree with latte.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanophile22

Why not, "The cat drinks your milk,"? That is what I said, yet I was marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It's not "your milk" because the cat drinks il suo latte (lowercase suo) and not il Suo latte (uppercase Suo).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/markshorte2

I got it wrong using 'the cat drinks your milk'. 'Il gatto' is a tom male cat. So i understand 'mascular/singular his' is suo, so 'his milk' should be right.The answer according to Duolingo should have been 'her milk'. A feline cat is 'gatta' not 'gatto'. Is this cat confused or trying to make a stand. Equal rights for all cats etc...etc...etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Valerie86481

Can't read my mistakes anymore as they are now covered up by the large red area giving me the correct answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hector290697

Is "suo" also the formal possessive for "yours" like "suyo(a)" (Sp.), "seu/sua" (Pt.), and "son/sa" (Fr)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

The formal possessive is capitalised for politeness: il Suo, la Sua.

(And in French, the formal possessive would be votre, not son/sa.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Benjamin269492

Why is "The cat deinks your milk" wrong??? I thought it doesn't matter of i say "her", "his" or "your". ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/5-Willow-Dark-5

Why its ??? The comments so far are confusing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kai.bublit

I translated this as the cat drinks "his" milk ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kev460254

Why doesn't someone from Duolingo answer these questions. Why do we have to rely on each other's comments. This course seems very hit and miss...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AurelieVan7

This answer doesn't sound right. The cat drinks his milk not its. So in English the translation is not correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

The cat drinks his milk not its.

How do you know? "his milk, her milk, its milk" would be the same in Italian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisa654566

I wrote "his milk". Why it's wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qUSD14

How do i know "suo" means "his" or "her"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

How do i know "suo" means "his" or "her"

Context. Like how you know whether it refers to a left-handed person or a right-handed person; whether to an adult or to a child; whether to an Italian or to a foreigner.

English forces you to state the gender of the possessor if they are singular; Italian does not. Like English in the plural: "their books" could mean books belonging to boys, books belonging to girls, or books belonging to a group containing both girls and boys. Seems to work out fine without forcibly calling out their gender and simply using "their" for all of those cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria818669

Animals in English are referred to as "he" or "she" when the gender is known. Since the words "il gatto" refer to a male cat, as opposed to "la gatta" which refer to a female cat, the correct translation of the sentence "Il gatto beve il suo latte." should be "The cat drinks his milk." Maybe in Italian animals are always considered gender-neutral, but that is not the case in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo639847

Never give milk to a cat. They cannot digest the lactose, leading to diarrhea.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MahamadRed

In other question i have answered (his milk)and get wrong !!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Niels868071

Is "il suo" not hers? (Not specific to the cats milk) If it should be the cats own milk, shouldnt it be "il proprio latte"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Niels868071

"Il suo latte" his milk, and "il proprio latte" his own milk=its milk?? In my opinion "il suo" does not relate specific to the cat, or am I wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FRANKDELAR3

I used "the cat drinks their milk" and it was marked wrong. Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I used "the cat drinks their milk" and it was marked wrong. Why?

il suo latte shows that the owner is singular -- so it has to be "his milk" or "her milk" or "its milk".

But not "their milk" = il loro latte.

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