"Il cane beve la sua acqua."

Translation:The dog drinks its water.

December 23, 2012

136 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guyon

Also - "The dog drinks her water"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gnani

"il cane" e' maschile, "la cagna" e' feminile


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DamienLiu

It can be the water of the dog's owner, who may be male or female. It's not necessarily the dog's own water.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scarletrosierose

...arghhhhh I wrote the dog drinks your water...my brain is about to explode


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Sorry that would be: "Il cane beve la Sua acqua." Oh, for just a capital letter!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David126947

so, my friend has a glass, and the dog starts drinking out of it. how do I say "the dog drinks his water"? meaning the water of my friend, not of the dog... I also wrote "the dog drinks his water"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobyBartels

Yes, and for all we know, that is what this sentence is about.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Y.

Is there a plural masculine form for 'suo, sue and sua'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sazzon.oka

"Your water" doesn't work for me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes. As allintolearning wrote, "the formal version of "your" should be capitalized".

So "your water" would be "la Sua acqua", but this sentence has "la sua acqua".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kacongdon

I agree. Wouldn't 'it's' imply the use of 'proprio'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

"it's own" would use "propria" for "own" for a feminine noun such as acqua.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrunAnimas

But in English "il cane" is not him nor her, il cane is its


[deactivated user]

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BraiSaddam

    i guess this is it


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eharwagon

    Not exactly true. We like to personify our pets. We will use words like he/his/him instead of it/its/it. Some people will even get offended if you refer to their pet as "it".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ByronPersello

    Well technically we aren't personifying purs pets by refers to them with he or she as gender isn't exclusive to people.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

    Il cane would be masculine- and English allows for this rendering


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

    CORRECTION & apologies: "La sua" -feminine (its or her)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RileyThorn1

    I wrote "his water" and that was incorrect also.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sassicat

    La sua aqua = his/her water .... La propria acqua = his/her own water ... it has more emphasis


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aeneas75

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom567806

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tracie279235

    Bingo! That's the problem in a nut shell. Duo is marking it wrong when it's not.


    [deactivated user]

      How do we know whether it is 'it's', 'her's' or 'his'?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deedot1

      It's is short for it is. Possessive its has no apostrophe.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pm2008

      I see Italians love to use the definite article a lot!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jenni7771

      La cagna.. Is the female dog.. Il cane is male dog.. La cagna beve la sua acqua....


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catthie

      I am yet to understand how to determine whether an object is feminine or masculine


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

      The best way is to learn the gender along with the noun :)

      But you can often guess the gender from the last letter of the word -- have a look at the lesson notes for "Plural", for example: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/it/Plurals


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolMottaT

      What not is possible... the dog drinks YOURS water..?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo
      1. "yours water" is not correct English.
      2. "your water" would be "la Sua acqua", with a capital S.

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chinyere11

      It took me three times to not forget the "a" at the end of "sua" because she doesn't enunciate the "a" in "acqua".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Illuminati704158

      That sounds very weird. The dogs aren t water producers


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatherineLR

      Wht not its own water?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SapinhoLop

      "The dog drinks her water" was accepted.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marivegaalpizar

      Why the dog drinks its own water is incorrect?


      [deactivated user]

        How can we tell if it is 'drinks' or 'drinking'?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Felipe_Acevedo

        starting with vowels or sq doesnt change anything?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

        l'acqua becomes "la sua acqua" in possessive for "his, hers or its".


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silviaisonfire

        so it doesn't become "la su'acqua"?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ewwwitssteph

        Can it become l'acqua sua


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

        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.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyleeLewis

        can la sua acqua be translated as your (Lei) water?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DamienLiu

        yes it can, but the first letter of 'sua' needs capitalization, namely 'la Sua acqua'


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gwenolita

        Is la sua acqua here equivalent to "la propria acqua" ? Are they interchangeable?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

        "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."


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Y.

        Why isn't there a plural masculine form of 'its'?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AKPdesign52

        unclear speaking - il sounds like i but can tell by the verb. sua or tua?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MP72233

        Can you say, "Il cane beve sua acqua."?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicodemus13b

        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.)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ardiealonzo

        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.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trapezio

        When I translate this sentence, can't I use 'The dog drinks your water'? La sua could be yours also.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/avocadohummus

        No, 'sua' is only her/his/it. 'Your' would be 'tua'.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        If you want the formal "you", then you should capitalise it: "la Sua acqua" would be "your water" when speaking to someone politely.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aphrofella

        So he, she, it can all be used interchangeably depending on the context? Im really not sure


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        In possession, yes. "La sua" can be any of his / her / its.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephensTrey

        the dog drinks the water


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        That would be "Il cane beve l'acqua", without the "sua" in it.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryLea11

        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?

        Thank you.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        You can't assume that the dog is drinking a female person's water. It could be a male person's, or the water belonging to something non-human such as an animal. The -a ending in "sua" only tells you that the water is feminine, not the gender of the water's owner.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piamgo

        Could somebody please explain to me, why the water needs an article at all? Or in other words, would “Il cane beve sua acqua“ work as well?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErikFish2882

        It's not a question of why they do it - they just do it. So we have to do it too.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swoops10

        I put "the dog drinks it's water" but it told me it was wrong and said it was meant to be "the dog drinks its water"!!! Without the apostrophe on the it's!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        That's right.

        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!).


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AllysonHaz

        You're not allowed to use emojis


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lilyroseoar

        Why is this one "la sua" and not something else


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James773478

        As we learn "the water" as "l'acqua", how are we supposed to know whether the noun is masculine or feminine?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mdono9089

        I agree. I thought the water was l'acqua in Italian. I understand why it needs to change; "Il cane beve l'suo acqua" would sound weird, but I'm not sure when to use la acqua vs l'acqua.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        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.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Piotr389753

        And why not "his"?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Claudia831202

        Why is his or her water not correct? The dog is a he or she.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redlover73

        i put "il cane beve la sua l'acqua" and it was counted wrong. why is that?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DamienLiu

        The definite article was repeated (la and l'). Either "l'acqua" or "la sua acqua"


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bindaas

        Thanks DamienLiu for the clarification


        [deactivated user]

          If you put the l' before acqua it becomes 'the dog drinks its the water' instead of 'the dog drinks its water'


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpaghettiCorgi

          Eww! What if you drink the water after the dog drinks it?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dlung1

          That would not be possible if the dog already drank it.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpaghettiCorgi

          but who says the dog drank it all?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A1Jody

          What is the difference between sue and sua? I thought sue was feminine suo masculine, so I put "il cane beve la sue acqua".


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/proulier

          Sue is feminine plural, sua is feminine singular.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A1Jody

          yes, ugh thank you


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CentroBenjiamin

          STOP WITH THIS apostrophe ISSUE!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rawd.Rassoul

          How do they accepted my answer?? The dog drinks (your) water!!!!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreairon

          I wrote "the canine drinks his own water" why is it wrong?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidaRich

          I typed "drink" - a typo only, and was corrected to the present continuous tense: "the dog is drinking his water"


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MusicMan97

          eww. thats one of the reasons i don't own a dog.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/boobielicious

          why isn't it's accepted


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          "it's" is a contraction for "it is".

          "The dog drinks it is water" is not correct.

          You need the possessive form of "it", which is "its" (no apostrophe -- just like "his" and "their", for example, have no apostrophe, and are not "he's" or "they's").


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diana127141

          I wrote it correctly, il cane beve la sua acqua...the dog drinks his water, and I got red flashed ! Am i wrong?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Enakshi976706

          How to determine his or her?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          How to determine his or her?

          Context.

          Like how in English we know whether "they" means "lots of men" or "lots of women" or "mixed group of men and women".


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sam68710

          I thought another way would of been propria , the dog drinks its own water?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateMcCabe4

          The dog drinks his water was marked incorrect. Dogs do have gender and this one is masculine. Therefore, his water should be correct.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benton.1

          I wrote "The dog drinks his water" and it was accepted as a correct answer. "La sua" means "his, her, or its" and can mean the dog is drinking its own water or the dog is drinking someone else's water.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom567806

          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."


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kev460254

          Here we go again, no answers from Duolingo. Don't have time to keep trawling through all these comments. Earth to Duolingo, are you receiving, over...


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          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.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David126947

          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...


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Moir1

          The dog drinks his own water is also perfectly grammatically correct. Since nouns in Romance languages have gender, it's normal to personalize pets, and not refer to them as neuters (even if, they are).


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Edgar416704

          isnt it "your"? the option wasnt there.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          isnt it "your"?

          No; that would be la Sua with capital S.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JillianPeraccini

          Why do we use "Il" at the beginning of the possessive?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlaCulve

          Isnt cane masculine? Shouldnt it be il suo?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          Isnt cane masculine?

          Yes. Hence il cane and not la cane.

          Shouldnt it be il suo?

          No. acqua is feminine, thus you need la sua acqua for "his water, her water, its water".


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LelViLamp

          Yes! The possessives are attached to the possessed object in Italian. Here, acqua, which is feminine, therefore, la sua. English attaches it to the possessor, here, the dog. Russian and German for example attach it to both.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LelViLamp

          I want to write "The dog drinks their water." with singular they but didn't want to lose a heart by trying whether Duolingo's ideology overlaps with mine.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benton.1

          "Dog" is singular but "their" is plural. "Their" would only be correct with the plural of "dog": "The dogs drink their water."


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LelViLamp

          However, if the existence of a singular “they” is accepted, it works also for singular “dog”. But I suppose that’s a particularity of the English I want to use.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benton.1

          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.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RokaGmr

          Why " the dog drink her water " isn't right?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          "the dog drink" is not correct English.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mdono9089

          When should on use l'acqua vs la acqua? Also, is water feminine or masculine in Italian?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LelViLamp

          It is always l’acqua. Singular definite articles (il and la) are always shortened to l’ when followed by a vowel sound. In plural however they’re not shortened, l’acqua -> le acque, l’uomo -> gli uomini


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lur1962

          How do you know “it’s”, not his or her water?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alevelswithzara

          I said its own water why is that wrong


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LelViLamp

          I suppose that’s because the focus on own is more reflected by proprio/propria


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thutson

          Is anyone else having problems hearing the "L" in "il cane"? It's not just this listening exercise, but most of the time it sounds like they're saying the plural "i" but it ends up being "il". Do Italians just glide over that L?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yolanda7817

          Why isn't it l'acqua? There are 2 vowels together.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LelViLamp

          I suppose you wrote "il cane beve l'acqua". In that case you would be right but the possessive, "the dog drinks ITS water", is missing --> "il cane beve LA SUA acqua"


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichelleRe277876

          should this not be il suo since cane (it) is masculine?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          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.)

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