"Il cane beve la sua acqua."
Translation:The dog drinks its water.
136 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
Once the owner gives the water to the dog. It then belongs to the dog. If the dog is drinking the owner's water, it is drinking out of the owner's cup or bottle and the owner did not want the dog to drink it. It doesn't matter whose water, as the Italian possessive is matching the gender and number of the possessed item, in this case the water is feminine and singular since uncountable. "la sua acqua" can be either "his water", "her water" or "its water", or even "your water" when capitalized (the formal version of "your" should be capitalized). http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare132a.htm http://italian.about.com/od/grammar/a/italian-possessive-adjectives.htm http://italian.about.com/od/grammar/a/italian-possessive-pronouns.htm
Exactly how I see it now. Revelation situation :D
'HIS' or 'HERS' only when we know the gender, else it is 'ITS'
Nice one :D
One thing that many native English speakers are struggling with here is "Whose water is it? The dog? Some female, or male, or... ." Sassicat hinted at this above. As Damienliu noted, this is basically irrelevant to the proper form for the possessive. The only difference it makes is if the dog actually owns the water; then propria conveys that specificity. Just from the information Duolingo has given us there's no way to know who or what owns the water, though we can deduce that it is not the dog.
The problem with this is that while it's not important for translating from English to Italian, it is important in reverse. Or rather, Duo pretends it is. The English equivalent to this sentence is acceptable with all three of his/hers/its, but Duo marks only the last correct.
http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare132a.htm (Possessive adjectives)
su' does not exist and "su" is a preposition: http://dictionary.reverso.net/italian-english/su'/forced
No, the possessive adjective usually goes before the noun.
http://dictionary.reverso.net/italian-english/sua There are some idiomatic expressions without the definite article in which I have seen the possessive after the noun. http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare132a.htm We would need to find a native speaker to find out if anyone says it that way.
"la propria acqua" would refer to the subject and could work in this sentence, but in English we would say "The dog drinks his own water." "La sua acqua" is more ambiguous, the dog could be drinking his own water or another animal's or person's water that is "The dog drinks his water.", "The dog drinks her water." or "The dog drinks its water."
No, when using the possessive form in Italian, the grammar requires the use of the article, as well as the possessive adjective. So, is must be 'la sua acqua', not 'sua acqua'. (There is an exception for referring to relations (by blood, marriage or adoption), e.g. '(Io) mangio mio marito', rather than '(Io) mangio il mio marito'. However, odd that may seem.)
It can also mean "The dog drinks his/her water." given the fact that the dog steals someone's water and drink it. Either way, it is still correct in Italian version however still matters in English translation whether it pertains 'its', 'his' or 'hers' depending on the understanding of the listener.
I'm assuming from this sentence that the dog is male, and he is drinking some female person's water? That is, if Italian like French also has a female form for female animals. But I don't know if that is the case. Can 'il cane' be both 'the dog' and 'the bitch'? (I'm not using the latter as a rude word by the way.)
If not, what is the rule?
In English, it's is a contraction meaning it is (e.g. It's a bird - it's a plane - no, it's Superman!), and its is a possessive adjective.
Perhaps it may help you to remember that possessive its has no apostrophe by comparing it with my, your, his, her, their which also have no apostrophe (we don't say hi's or m'y!).
I'm not sure when to use la acqua vs l'acqua.
You never use la acqua -- before a vowel, la becomes l'.
So l'acqua but la sua acqua.
Compare English "an elephant" but "a big elephant"; "a dog" but "an angry dog". Whether to use "a" or "an" depends on not on "elephant" or "dog" but on the immediately following word.
If you put the l' before acqua it becomes 'the dog drinks its the water' instead of 'the dog drinks its water'
Since su- can mean his/hers/its, all three should be accepted in this sentence. I see people in the discussion stating that since the dog is male (il cane, not la cagna) then his is acceptable, but hers is not, however: if it were specifically the dog's water, the question would have used propri-. This is the sentence I would use to say the dog is drinking my (female) cat's water (or if pets are not referred to as people in Italian, my sister's water). Ergo "The dog drinks her water."
no answers from Duolingo.
Have you been reading the tips and notes? Depending on whether you are using one of the various mobile apps or the web site, they may be completely missing or not easily accessible, so you might not be aware of them.
On the website https://www.duolingo.com/ , when you choose a lesson unit, click on the lightbulb:
to see the grammar tips and notes for that unit, if there are any.
Don't have time to keep trawling through all these comments.
That's quite some sense of entitlement.
Helpful people who answer learners' questions don't have the time to answer your question personally, either, if they have already answered it before on the same page, but you're not willing to read the previous comments to find it and instead insist on having YOUR personal question answered FOR YOU.
I help out on the German course and it's incredibly frustrating when people ask a question that has been answered before on that page -- often multiple times before. But apparently they "don't have time to keep trawling through the comments" but they expect others to take the time to answer the same question again and again and again -- once for each learner or something.
Agree completely, however.... I do think DL miss a trick here. I have a Prusa 3D printer, and the online manual is amazing. Users posts comments against sections, which are available, however not shown as default, and then they are read and incorporated into the manual. What this means, is that they have probably the best, most user friendly, complete and simple to follow manual I've seen for something that complex.
I could imagine how a massive language database, driven by user feedback could end up being a definitive guide. There's a LOT of data here, which is just being lost really....
I think the introductory light bulb sections need to be short and to the point, however extended course notes built based on user feedback and comments could be quite massive. Work to maintain, but there's all kinds of AI and ML to facilitate this knowledge gathering...
There are some people who want to change the English language and the use the plural "they" instead of the singular pronouns "he" and "she". I even slip into it sometimes. But, "they" is only grammatically correct for the plural and it sounds really strange when you pair it with a noun and say something like "The dog they eat their food" or "The girl they go to school". Stick with correct grammar and you won't go wrong in a language class.
should this not be il suo since cane (it) is masculine?
No; it should be la sua because acqua is feminine.
The gender of the owner is irrelevant in Italian; it's the gender of the possession that counts.
(In other words, Italian doesn't have separate words for "his" and "her" and "its", which identify the gender of the owner.)