I'm a spanish native speaker, and i think its to make an emphasis on "own". This boths are valid sentences: a) They eat their dinner b) They eat their own dinner.
Nevertheless, in sentence "b"' it is more highlighted the fact that they: buy or cooked the dinner, in "a"... they eat the dinner, but maybe their mother cooked it for them.
Imagine this escenario: You go out to camping, and you have cooked for all. However, there is one family, that has brought their "OWN" meal. Maybe they have personal reasons not to share this great moment of eating in community.
"Propria" is a reflexive possessive pronoun, which means that it refers back to someone or something mentioned earlier in the sentence. If the sentence above were part of, say, a conversation, "their dinner" could mean the dinner belongs to anyone previously mentioned. However, "their own" can only mean that the dinner belongs to the "Loro" mentioned at the beginning of the sentence. Hope that was helpful (I know it's been 3 years since this was put up, but you never know...).
I'm so confused. In one of the other sentences given 'they eat their own cake' was 'loro mangiano loro propria torta' which I translated as 'loro mangiano la propria torta' but 'they eat their own dinner' is okay as 'loro mangiano la propria cena'. Why was it okay in this instance?
Context. You need to pay attention to the subject.
Io mangio la propria cena = I eat my own dinner.
Tu mangi la propria cena = You eat your own dinner.
Lui/Lei mangia la propria cena = He/she eats his/her own dinner.
Noi mangiamo la propria cena = We eat our own dinner.
Voi mangiate la propria cena = Y'all eat your own dinner.
Loro mangiano la propria cena = They eat their own dinner.
Propria means their own??? Whaat I am confused, I eat own dinner mangio propria cena. ---is it right??? Aiuto italiani!!!
propri* means "one's own". Here are some English examples with their Italian equivalents:
I eat my own dinner = Io mangio la propria cena.
You eat your own dinner = Tu mangi la propria cena.
He eats his own dinner = Lui mangia la propria cena.
She eats her own dinner = Lei mangia la propria cena.
We eat our own dinners = Noi mangiamo le proprie cene.
You eat your own dinners = Voi mangiate le proprie cene.
They eat their own dinners = Loro mangiano le proprie cene.
Because “mangiano” means “they eat” and not “they have”. Duolingo usually prefers literal translations because they reflect how ideas are expressed in Italian better. Plus, I don’t think Italian ever describes eating or consuming a meal with the verb avere ( to have ) so it’s better not to make that association ( even if it’s a natural way to express the idea in English .)
Not a fluent Italian speaker - but I see 'proprio' used a lot - think "own" - so: "It's his knife." = "E' 'il suo coltello. BUT: "It's his own knife" = E' il suo proprio coltello. E' il proprio coltello. (i.e. it's his own knife, not anyone elses knief). "conosce il proprio corpo" = "he/she knows his/her own body".Also, "truly/really" as in, "Lui è proprio bello" (He's truly handsome - really handsome etc.) And sometimes I see it simply as "Proprio io" (Who is going to the store?" Proprio io = Me. I really am going to the store, not them, but I'm going....proprio io - proprio lui = he's going - he's the one who's actually going to the store...proprio lui, etc.). It has a much wider scope than just a simple possessive pronoun (la sua/il suo) being an adverb/adj. It's a great word and very slippery - you just need to see more examples of it then I think you'll get it ;). E' proprio lei! = It's really her. Non proprio = Not quite. Proprio no = not at all... Il proprio dovere = one's own duty... lavorare in proprio = to be self-employed... "This is just what I mean" = "È proprio ciò che indendo".etc. etc.
I'm watching "Renegade" with Italian subtitles (and Italian audio) and it just came up twice in quick succession: "Oh, now I understand you Sheriff" and the Sheriff replies: "Sì! Credo proprio di averlo capito!" = "Oh, I bet you understand me!" i.e. "You REALLY understand me" and a moment later another fellow said to the Sheriff: "He just asked me how to get to Green Haven" "haha" says the Sheriff, You're kiddinghe really asked you that?" and the fellow replied, "Proprio così, ha detto!" i.e. Yes, he really said that." Get it now? Spero che sì :) Daniel Léo Simpson
swedish use sin(singular utrum), sitt(singular neuter), sina(plural) for the 3rd person to emphasize that an object is possessed by someone. Han älskar sin hund (he loves his (own) dog). In romanian we have propriul, propria for the masculine and feminine as well (meaning the same thing). În sfârșit am propria mea casă. (Finally I have my own house)