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In this "são os seus sapatos?" - "os seus" in Portuguese the words "A", "AS" or "O", "OS". which in English is: "The" but also in the Portuguese language is an escort before a abjetivo or a word in a certain context. It has no meaning, it's just the grammar of the Portuguese language. Do not learn the Portuguese language as if it were our native language. Learn as children, repeating and repeating until we serious head, each country has its grammar different from ours. And we only get used to it.
Seu (s), sua (s) is sungular and plural, masculine and feminine. right! Your - Sue: sungular masculine, feminine singular Sua. The (S) plural. Depending on the context, "Your" is, "her or his". that is Seu (s) Sua (s) too. and Teu (s), Tua (s) you can say that is the same as Seu (s), Sua (s), but with another word, the meaning is similar. "Yours" is the same. seu (s) Sua (s), Teu (s) Tuas (s) is more accustom to repeat for us to be more easy. an example. Her life: sua life, his life: seu life. "your life: Sua Seu life or life." Milk is yours: O leite é seu. Male - singular. Portuguese language utilisa much the male and female genders. just repeat and repeat until we learn, I hope I have explained. So a little.
"Os seus" will typically indicate "your" unless it was preceded by something like "Ele". So theoretically "Ele tem seus sapatos" = "Does he have his shoes?" If the sentence didn't have a subject like that, where it was already using "He" or "she" or someone's name, etc. then it would likely be said like "Tem sapatos deles?" Or that's what I've come to understand at least.
The way I understood using the article before possessive pronouns was to do with whether the noun was mentioned in the clause. So the answer to this could be "Quais sao seus sapatos?" because the noun sapatos is used so it's a choice whether to use the article or not. Where as if you said "whose shoes are those? Mine or yours?" You would say "cujos sapatos são aqueles? O meu ou o seu?" In the first clause you can choose to use the article or not but in the last clause there is no noun mentioned so you need the articles.
I am new to this and a little confused by it all myself but that was how i was lead to understand it based on other comments on here in different sections. Please correct if this is all wrong. Also I had to use google for the translation of "whose shoes are those" so i hope thats right ha
Thank you for replying. I believe I am still without an answer (the moderator addressed another aspect, not the same as mine), but I did not phrase my question very succinctly either, I apologize. This part of the exercise said that "Quais são seus sapatos" was wrong when I gave it as an answer, and I do not understand why the article is necessary in this specific instance. I have pretty much assumed that in this context I must always use articles prior to possessives in Portuguese, but I don't have a reason why, which is what is bugging me.
The artigo is optional in this sentence in BrP.
This link describes contexts in which the article is required and, in some cases, should be omitted.