I think they do phrases because its easier to construct sentences from that. They give you phrases that you can interchange and then they give you possesion. I think its kind of easier than learning possesion forst because you missapply it more. That may be me. But keep your chin up you've gone this far
@machmoudel: I know you asked this two years ago but I'll answer just in case anyone reads your question and wonders about the answer. "These" is used for something you are pointing out that is very close to you, perhaps in your hands. "They" is used for something you're pointing out that is a little farther away, very far away, or not even present. For instance, "These are my children" would be said if your kids are standing next to you, "They are my children" could be said if your kids were standing across the room from you, or even across the street, and you were pointing to them. You could even be talking about kids who live in a different country and say "They are my children".
Both "these" and "they" are 3rd person plural pronouns and both "These are my apples" and "They are my apples" should be accepted as correct answers here in the absence of a specific Italian pronoun.
It's a different way of saying the same thing. Normally you are expected to stay as close as possible to the original when translating:
- [Loro] sono le mie mele. = They are my apples.
- [Questi] sono le mie mele. = These are my apples.
- Queste mele sono le mie. = These apples are mine.
- "other pronouns like these do not have a person."
Interesting point, but that's actually only half true.
Pronouns are used in sentences instead of nouns ("pro nouns"). When used with finite verbs, they automatically carry person and number. In English, like in most languages, all demonstrative pronouns are 3rd person. You can see this by examining the verb forms used:
- "this is" - is is an exclusively 3rd person singular verb form.
- "these are" - are is a 3rd person plural verb form. (It could also be 2nd person singular or plural - but it's clear both intuitively and by examining related languages that that's not what it is here.)
In other languages closely related to English, such as German, Dutch and the Scandinavian languages, this is even more obvious because finite verbs have clearer markings for person and number. (Often when English grammatical terminology isn't very intuitive this is because it's really meant to handle other languages, in which certain distinctions are much clearer.)
Since demonstrative pronouns are always 3rd person, one doesn't usually mention the fact. Also, it's unlikely that any language has a 1st person demonstrative pronoun because that doesn't really make much sense. However, a 2nd person demonstrative pronoun for expressing something like you here or you there in a single word does make sense, so there probably exist languages which have this.
However, things are actually more complicated. In some languages, even when all demonstrative pronouns are actually 3rd person, one has three sets referring to things that are "here" (near the speaker), near the person addressed (English doesn't have this), or "there" (elsewhere, in a third place, possibly with a third person who is not being addressed). Hence they are somehow associated to 1st, 2nd and 3rd person even though they are technically all 3rd person.
Now it occurs to me that maybe you were referring to the possessive pronoun in the Italian sentence, which is [le] mie. But this is also 3rd person plural.
Mio/mia/miei/mie is always used in connection with a noun phrase, usually a noun. This noun is either masculine or feminine, either singular or plural. Just as for definite articles, you have to choose the correct form accordingly:
- il mio figlio (my son) - masculine singular
- la mia figlia (my daughter) - feminine singular
- i miei figli (my sons) - masculine plural
- le mie figlie (my daughters) - feminine plural
You can see that this is actually quite regular. Even more so if you consider that il/la/i/le came about as abbreviations of illo/illa/illi/ille.
We don't use the words "these" and "those" based upon which word sounds better but upon how close the objects are to us. "These" is used for things that are close to us, that we can touch, and "those" is used for things further away. Those objects could be four feet away, across the room, or in a different city.
Possessive pronouns in Italian are very easy for us who speak Portuguese. We can also put definite articles before possessive pronouns (unlike in French and Spanish).
Examples: - "É a minha casa!" (It's my house)
"Aquele é o seu gato" ("That is your cat")
"O meu carro é caro" ("My car is expensive").
Seems like a feature that only Italian and Portuguese have kept, among all Romance languages.
In Latin, personal pronouns were only used for emphasis because person and number were already included in the verb ending. Italian already uses the personal pronouns more than Latin, but still less than English. This is why "They are my apples" is correct: The personal pronoun loro (they) is implied by the verb form sono. (Though it's ambiguous. Theoretically the implied pronoun could also be io and the translation: "I am my apples." But that's probably a bit too absurd to be accepted.)
There is no such implied word meaning there in the sentence. Though it is true that there exist languages where you can simply drop there in a translation, in Italian one would use ci. So "There are my apples" (not a very natural English sentence anyway) would be "Ci sono le mie mele."
If you want. But I think it's fine either way. On one hand: In most cases, when someone gives this absurd answer it will probably mean they weren't aware of the more sensible meaning. On the other hand: Being told it's wrong when it's technically correct can be confusing, especially when you are not aware of the more sensible meaning.
Are you speaking a variant of English in which they can only be applied to people, not to things, and these or those must be used instead, even when there is no demonstrative aspect involved? That's interesting. It could mean that after centuries of slowly losing grammatical gender more and more completely, in some areas English is sharpening gender distinctions again.
That's not a normal English sentence. And to the very limited extent that it makes sense in English, it is not a translation of the Italian sentence. Assuming that its is used as a noun in order to pass your sentence "Its are my apples", the Italian translation would be "Le sue sono le mie miele."
Or if Its was a typo for It's, then it isn't grammatical at all because of the extra verb ("is are" or "has are").
Or if Its was a typo for It, then it isn't grammatical at all because of the mismatch in number between singulear it and plural they. English grammar allows this in some situations, but not here.