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?"
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.
@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 ?
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!)
In English, "Its own milk" would indicate that the cat is consuming milk from its own body. You can only use an expression like that if you are doing it in a comparative way: "Is the cat drinking milk from the dogs bowl?" "No, the cat is drinking its (his), own milk."
(please don't give your dog milk) :-)
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.
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?
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 ?
Because in English, it's with an apostrophe is a contraction for it is, while its without an apostrophe is a possessive adjective or possessive pronoun indicating which belongs to it.
So its milk = the milk which belongs to it but it's milk = it is milk.
If you often confuse them, perhaps it helps you remember that we do not write you'r milk, m'y milk, hi's milk, he'r milk with an apostrophe, either -- all the possessive adjectives have no apostrophe, and similarly for the possessive pronouns: we do not write this milk is mi'ne, your's, hi's, her's, it's, our's but instead this milk is mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours.
No; it is a pronoun, and those form their possessive forms differently.
(Do you also say "this is hi's book / he's book" or "this is you'r book / you're book"?)
The possessive form of the pronoun it is its, without an apostrophe (just as his, your, my, her etc. have no apostrophe).
The form it's is short for it is (It's raining) or it has (It's been two years since I last saw him).
Queenofgeek is correct here: 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'. That has to be for animals.
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!
This is stupid, this should translate to the cat drinking someone's milk not its own. Because if we were to say "The cat drinks its milk" it's just about the same as "The cat drinks its own milk" and we could translate that as "Il gatto beve il proprio latte" which would be distinct and not ambiguous.
"its" and "it's" are two different words in English and do not mean the same thing.
"it's" is short for "it is" or "it has".
"its" is the possessive form of "it", i.e. "of it" or "belonging to it".
For example: It's (= it has) drunk all of its milk (= the milk belonging to it) and now it's (= it is) drinking water.
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.
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.
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.