"Il gatto beve il suo latte."

Translation:The cat drinks its milk.

August 3, 2013

107 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Nicole_Di_Kansas

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

December 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/XlUi8bZ7

I frequently feel the same way.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/queenofgeek

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

August 3, 2013

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

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

December 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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?"

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mugger450

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

October 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rogmaj

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

August 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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...

May 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PeterSheppard16

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

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/moomoo263601

I got confused by that as well

April 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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 ?

April 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevin968039

I'll delete my next comment, it's redundant.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

August 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/robdb2

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

November 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Dhaemon

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

the cat drinks its milk is what was correct for me

October 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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

May 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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!)

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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!!

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

April 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

August 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/queenofgeek

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

August 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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??!!

January 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tobyponz

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

December 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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??!!

January 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DappleHorse1839

Yes. You would say "his" instead because then it would be "his cat drinks his milk". You get it?

May 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nicoleaxelrod

But in this case, "his" is the same word as "its", so how do we know that they are referring to the cat's milk rather than someone else's milk?

July 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DappleHorse1839

True.

July 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevin968039

The sentence says that the milk belongs to the cat.

April 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/RemiArielle

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

March 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

Yes.

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/FabioRiato

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

July 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

January 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lexht

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

October 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DappleHorse1839

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!

April 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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

April 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevin968039

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

April 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/.Blaze.

3388winterthur is right. If you want to make the cat a she you have to make the whole sentence feminine.

May 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DappleHorse1839

Ah...I get it. So DuoLingo was wrong too! They let me think...eh,never mind. Thanks!:)

May 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Berryelmo

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

July 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/eliana192837465

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

March 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/FabioRiato

That's exactly my doubt. Any answers anyone?

July 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rogmaj

"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.

August 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevin968039

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) :-)

April 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/EricContre4

I don't agree with the translation in English. It's not good.

March 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ksoo

Care to explain?

August 22, 2014

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

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

August 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

August 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

August 22, 2014

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

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

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DanteDevilEF

The cat drinks its own milk ???

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/joolsthorp

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

June 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lorrana208664

I thought sue could refer to the formal you?

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

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

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lorrana208664

Thank you! That clears it up for me.

June 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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"?

January 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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")

May 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/moncoeur3

What's the difference between suo and sue?

March 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Connor_devonish

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

April 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ksoo

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

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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".

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rogmaj

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

August 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mariannarelli

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

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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)

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/shany18922

His milk

July 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

Yes, that could also work.

July 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/caricam

Can we say "la gatta"? La cane,

July 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

September 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rogmaj

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!

August 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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 ?

October 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GaboAraya0

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

November 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

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

November 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GenevieveHalsted

"the cat drinks it's milk" is our translation, so why is the apostrophe incorrect?

December 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Evolx18

Because it's is a contraction between it and is you're basically saying the cat drinks it is milk

April 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Evolx18

And in this case it's looking for the possessive form of its saying the milk belongs to the cat

April 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/GenevieveHalsted

the cat drinks it's milk is a direct translation. So why is the apostrophe incorrect?

December 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

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.

December 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GenevieveHalsted

Thank you - very good explanation.

December 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Glenys781076

Well... English is my 'native' language, and I did NOT know that! I also wrote 'it's', using a possessive apostrophe. I stand corrected, thank you.

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/RoinujNosde

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

February 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/2b2t.org

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

February 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rogmaj

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!

August 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/dancrayZ

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

February 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CaroleLloy

It's is correct as it is a possessive noun.

February 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

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).

February 20, 2017

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

system says: "is drinking."

March 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/helena222222

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

March 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Philinguo

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.

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

April 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rogmaj

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!

August 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Abi982108

Surely it is IT'S

April 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

April 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Master_Katarn

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.

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TheoRosen

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

May 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rogmaj

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

August 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/rosana378752

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

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SusiRavina

No lo ho compreso

September 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielCincinato

I used IT'S instead of ITS. Is that a joke?

November 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

"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.

November 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanophile22

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

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

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

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Valerie86481

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

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Hector290697

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

February 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

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

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

February 19, 2019
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