so... as far as i have been doing this execersises and reading all the coments..... i must understand that the words sua, sue and suo belongs to the gender of the objects ( like chairs, beds, birds.... etc etc ) and doesn't belongs to the owners ( persons ) of those things................. am i right???
Yes, that's the way it is. It takes a while to get used to I know but I that's part of the fun. (for me, I mean discovering new things about languages etc)
Some good sites if you are new: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1352379 http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Frequently_asked_questions
Go to comments whenever you have question?
This might sound ignorant, but how is that part of the fun? It seems like the fact that sua, sue, and suo match to the object, not the owner, leaves a large hole in misinterpretation. There's a lot of lost information between saying "Her horse eats the rice" and "His/her/its horse eats the rice." Those aren't even the same sentence in my mind. How do Italians typically make up for that lost information?
It's not lost. It's the sort of thing that was probably established earlier in the conversation. You're just used to the English way of saying things.
How would you say a sentence such as "I drink his wine, not her wine"? "Io bevo il suo vino, non il suo vino"? That is the exact information loss I'm talking about. There's no context.
So, like "I drink their wine (belonging to those women), not their wine (belonging to those men)".
English lives with information loss like that as well.
Think about how you would add back the appropriate information in English, and Italian will probably have something similar.
I don't know about Italian, but its sister language Spanish has the construct "X de él/ella".
My suggestion to reduce any ambiguity in the absence of a clear context would be to include a noun, e.g., "Io bevo il suo vino, cioe' il vino dell'uomo..." Awkward I admit, given the lack of a context, but the sentence would at least be clear.
I am hungarian and we doesnt even she/he/it. We have one word for it. I dont think we lose something. They say hungarian grammar one of the most difficoult in the whole word. I think its just different logic. For me took a while get used to the english logic:)
Rae.F: The last convention I attended, the horses weren't eating rice.
I agree w/ Rae F. It's the context that supplies the intended meaning or most likely scenario. If e.g., proper names were a part of that context -- Mario, Maria, the ranch -- then the meaning of the possessive would be obvious.
Well it's one thing to say that the context of a given situation would eliminate confusion, but in theory it's highly ambiguous and leaves a lot to be desired. Just because context would usually eliminate the issue doesn't mean it is not an issue.
I agree that the lack of a context is an issue with this program but in DL's defense, no program I'm familiar with that involves the kind of grammatical exercises we're presented with here is going to be in a position to present those exercises in any form of meaningful context. It's simply not that sophisticated. So yes, in theory it's highly ambiguous, but in practice I doubt it would be, why? because of the context.
Help me understand please. "Il cavallo" is masc. so we use "il suo". Does "il suo" mean only 'his horse" or could it be "her horse" and the rest we get from context? I should have asked Santa for a big box of "contexts". Next year.
"suo" or "sua" must reflect the gender and number of the thing possessed. So "il suo cavallo" can mean either "his horse" or "her horse." "Le sue gatte" can mean either "his cats" or "her cats."
In the Italian-to-English lessons, there are Italian speakers wondering why it's "her cat" even though the cat is male. English possessives reflect the gender of the owner, but only in 3rd person singular. Italian possessives always reflect the gender and number of what's owned.
Sadly, I was marked incorrect for this response and didn't have the time//confidence/wherewithal to report it to Duolingo while I was doing the exercise. I'll try again!
If Duo meant for it to be the polite "your", it would have capitalized the S in Suo.
Rae: Just a quick search resulted in the following--other results were similar: Capitalizing the pronoun when it is referring to the person/people to whom a communication is directed is normally used in commercial/business communications. Capitalizing it would mean to consider the receiver of the communication important.
Nowadays, it is less and less used; somebody could also find it affected. Eventually, the communication can start with Gentile Cliente, but then the pronoun or the possessive is written normally as any other word (which means it is capitalized only at the beginning of a sentence.)
In any case, it is not a matter of grammar; It just a way to convey a meaning
RaeF & sylvietr: Technically that's correct, but I believe that capitalization is becoming more and more optional. I'm corresponding with two natives with whom I have a formal relationship -- both language school representatives -- and neither uses capitalization.
That's as may be, but the question remains how Duolingo teaches it. There's a well-known disconnect between how language is taught and how it's used in real life.
Re: "You can't break the rules until you know what the rules are". This is meant to apply to writing with skill for an audience. Natural dialects vs the artificial standard is a different issue entirely.
Rae: I see your reply and totally agree with you. It reminds me of what my h.s. English teacher used to say: You can't break the rules unless you first know the rules. I mentioned it only to point out current and perhaps even ever more common usage.
Because it's ambiguous here whether it means "His horse..." or "Her horse...," I think "His/her horse..." or "His (or her) horse..." ought to be acceptable answers.
In the real world, if you are writing something, then yes, it would work. But I think Duolingo wants you to be specific to gender.
Do horses really eat rice? If this had been a dictated sentence that I had to write down, I'd have probably gotten it wrong since it wouldn't have occurred to me that what the horse was eating was rice - maybe rice pilaf, but just plain rice?
Isnt rice and pilaf the same thing? I speak English as well as Albanian and in Albanian pilaf is basically cooked rice.
Yeah, as well the fish, which, according to duolingo, also include rice on their meals
"il suo" depends on the gender of "cavallo" (masc), but RaeF's correct, it's the context that would let us know if it's "his" horse or "her" horse since the possessive adjective can refer to either. Regardless of whose horse it is, it's evidently one who's already sown all his oats and now has to settle for plain rice.
In English, the possessive reflects the gender of the owner, but only in the third person singular. You don't know who exactly "they" are if I say "Their dog is brown," and you have no idea whether the dog is male or female. You don't even know if "you" is one person or multiple people. You need a greater context to fill that in, and Italian speakers learning English are tearing their hair out because "her dog" could mean a male or female dog.
In Italian, the rules are different. The possessive reflects the gender and number of the thing possessed. In real life, there's always a greater context that tells you who "they" are. But these sentences only exist to teach grammar and vocabulary. That's why monkeys read books and cows drink milk, and why Duolingo accepts both "His horse eats rice" and "Her horse eats rice" as equally correct translations for "Il suo cavallo mangia il riso."
Rae.F - I liked and appreciated all of your detailed explanations! Thanks!
These sentences don't necessarily mean anything. It's just a way of teaching vocabulary and grammar.
mizinamo: not very helpful - "Why do I have to do that mommy?" "Because I said so!" - You never heard that as a child and absolutely hated it? :-(
There is no "why" when it comes to language. It just developed that way. We can't say why English is predominantly Subject-Verb-Object, or Adjective-Noun. It just is. We can't say why it's ungrammatical in English to say "the my horse" even though it's required to be grammatical in Italian. It just is. We can track the evolution of languages and observe the "how", but there really is no "why".
Rae.F: I totally agree, but how come Tonto always used to greet the Lone Ranger with his customary "How?" :-)
BethSager: Except with singular nouns referring to family members, Italian uses definite articles with nouns. In the plural nouns referring to family members also require definite articles.
In the singular, the formal "you" is "Lei" and "your(s)" is "Suo/Sua/Suoi/Sue". In the plural, the formal "you" is "Loro" and "your(s)" is "Loro". Note the capitalization.
I think itbis always with ( uo, ue, and ua ) but m is for me, t is for you, and s is for her or his thats why it is a little bit hard
His horse eats the rice and her horse eats the rice are both Il suo cavallo?
A more pressing question continues to be why is her horse eating rice!
Another pressing question: does the horse eat the rice with chopsticks or a fork?
And further: after eating something like rice, will it be seen to have altered its wok?
I'm thinking too much in Spanish-- "Suo" is not a form of 2nd person Formal-- "your"??
Can anyone tell me why the form mangia is used? Because the cavallo is it and its the same as she and he?
Verbs have nothing to do with gender.
MANGIARE = TO EAT
io mangio = I eat
tu mangi = you (s) eat
lui/lei mangia = he/she eats
noi mangiamo = we eat
voi mangiate = you (pl) eat
loro mangiano = they eat
thanks, when I completed the lesson I discovered it by my self. Things are it (to me) so it's the same as he and she. This way I can memorize
Try reporting it as "my answer should be accepted". They have to code in all of the variants and typos by hand, and they can't possibly think of all of them on their own.
jack.tribb: It could be either - it depends on the context. The verb form is the same.
Its always so easy to accedently press the button while trying to add another word
I translated the above sentence as ' His horse eats rice'. Duolingo said I was incorrect, ' Her horse eats rice'. Now the above sentence translation says ' His'. As the possessive has to agree with the possessed object (horse) how is one to know whether it is ' His' or ' Hers'?
AnnaTamba: It's possible yours was a multiple choice in which case if you only answered "his horse" then Duo may have marked your response incorrect since "her horse" is also a correct. I don't know if that's what happened, but out of context it can be both "his horse" or "her horse".
OK when I entered His horse eats rice, the software corrected me to say the right answer was Her horse eats rice. Is there a glitch in the software?
Perhaps, unless it was multiple choice and you failed to select both options. Possessives agree in gender and number with the thing possessed.
Thanks, I think when I ran through this section and then the strengthen part I finally am beginning to understand that the possessive belongs to the object. I think I'll keep going back and redoing this section periodically till it becomes second nature. Thanks Karina.
thanks for your response Rae F. That is the point that people are trying to make. "It is the sort of thing that was established earlier in the conversation". however in this case there is no earlier conversation.
Pud...The simple answer is because that's where it's supposed to come. Asking why a particular grammatical structure "has to be what it is" is counterproductive. How would you answer the Italian who asks why English doesn't have to include the article "the": "The his/her horse"?
Jenny...No, why? Horse is masculine, so it has to be: "Il suo cavallo" even if it were say, "her horse" - it'd still be "il suo cavallo".
Yes and no. They all translate into the same thing in English, but that's only because English does not encode the same amount of information.
English doesn't have grammatical gender and we don't have adjective agreement. Singular or plural, no matter what it is, we say my thing, my things, thing is mine, things are mine. His vs hers is a matter of who it belongs to.
In Italian, they do have grammatical gender and adjective agreement. The possessive must agree in gender and number with what is possessed.
il mio = my singular masculine thing
i miei = my plural masculine things
la mia = my singular feminine thing
le mie = my plural feminine things
il suo = his/her singular masculine thing
i suoi = his/her plural masculine things
la sua = his/her singular feminine thing
le sue = his/her plural feminine things
Rawan...That's correct, just as mia, mio, etc have the same meaning. The endings relate to the gender and number (sg/pl) of the noun.
Out of context there is no way to know whether this is his horse, her horse (as it said on the answer to mine) So I guess I don't understand why either/or isn't accepted.
If you're typing it in, just go with one.
If you're selecting from multiple choice, pick all that apply.
I wouldn't say "his=her".
In Italian, the possessives agree with what is possessed, not who possesses it. Cavallo is masculine, therefore the possessive must be masculine, unlike in English where "his" or "her" reflects whose it is.
Assuming the grammatical usage is the same between languages (which is never a safe assumption to make), "Il suo cavallo mangia riso".
But some people have said that usage-wise, "... mangia riso" is equivalent to "... eats the rice" (specific instance) and "... mangia il riso" is equivalent to "... eats rice" (general habit").
How do I know when Suo is his, and when is her? In the translation it says that you can use for both
Context. Suo means the thing owned is masculine and singular and had nothing to do with who owns it.
If it makes you feel better, there are Italian speakers learning English who are wondering why we say the cat is "his" when clearly the cat is a girl.
In any case, such strange sentences are better because they force us to remember words to avoid losing hearts
No, if you use "la" you'd be changing the gender of horse which grammatically is masculine gender. Context tells you whether "il suo cavallo" is to be interpreted as "her horse" or "his horse".
Spanish has a similar problem but it has a fix. Su caballo de el or de ella. Portuguese has a fix too. O cavalho dele or dela. Italian has the problem of vagueness.
With no gender neutral singular pronoun in English, my response of "its horse" should have been correct because il suo applies to the horse, not the owner.
Yes and no. "il suo" does agree with the masculine singular "cavallo".
Usually, though, people own horses. So you get to decide if it's "his horse" or "her horse".
Thanks for the reply, after gaining a little more experience I appreciate that you're right. Thanks, mate. A bit of confusion but I absolutely love this language.
I dont think Rae F or German understand people's confusion here. I for one put in "His horse" and was marked wrong with duolingo saying it should be "Her horse." You're saying they're both said the same way, so they should both be correct
Was it perhaps a multiple-choice question? The instructions say to select all of the correct answers. If you only chose one when there were at least two, then that's why you got marked wrong.
kevinc: It is both: His horse and her horse. The 'suo' agrees with the gender of the horse not with who owns it. If you were marked wrong report it. Context would have to tell you which is the correct or intended meaning. Furthermore: here is what I copied as DL's answer: "Il suo cavallo mangia il riso."Translation: HIS horse eats the rice. So, here's the point. If you put in "his horse" and DL also says it's "his horse" then something's wrong and you should report it.
I wrote "your horse", thinking that "suo" in this case could be the formal you. How does one say, Your (formal) horse eats rice?
I thought it was her horse eats the rise. But instead it says suppose to be his instead of hers. It confuse me a little here.
BetzaidaFisic: See below: It can be both: his horse or her horse - they'd both be "il suo cavallo". Context tells you whether it's his or her horse.
I spelled rice wrong (Rise) and got the whole answer wrong? I just seen the word riso hence my spelling mistake :( Not fair
Because "rise" is an entirely different word, and a verb, so Duo can't count it as a typo.
but I am only a kid and I don't know a lot of grammar so i think rise spelled like this should be correct!
"Rise" and "rice" are two different words. They're even pronounced differently.
"Rise" rhymes with "size". It has a "z" sound and has to do with going up. You rise out of bed in the morning. The sun rises in the east.
"Rice" rhymes with "nice". It has an "s" sound and is a popular grain that people like to eat.
Duolingo will forgive typos if they don't make another word. But if they do make another word, Duolingo can't tell the difference between a typo and not knowing what the word means.
The forms of the possessives indicate the gender of the thing owned, not the gender of the owner. So you are half-right. It's only greater conversational context that will tell you who the owner is.
This has been discussed numerous times on this page already. If you read the rest of the comments, you'll see.
No. The Romance languages do not work the same way English (a Germanic language) does.
The possessive, like all other modifiers, must agree with the noun that it modifies. Therefore "suo" can only apply to a singular masculine thing, regardless if it's his or hers, and "sua" can only apply to a singular feminine thing, regardless if it's his or hers.
Daniel: No. As RaeF has explained so well: the possessive adjective agrees in gender with the noun it's modifying, not with the gender of the subject. So out of context "il suo cavallo" could be 'his horse' or 'her horse" even 'its horse.'
come on.... "il suo" means yours, if it wants to mean his horse should be "lui cavallo", won't it?
Only for the formal "you", which is capital "Lei". "Lui" is strictly the "he/him" pronoun, not the possessive. Also, "suo" is "his/hers"
This table should help:
The sentence above says: his horse (that is the way it is right) the initial sentence was with translated with 'her' horse. Anf i can say, after being 7 years married with a italian woman, i never heard this personal objective theory. Her / la sua, his / il suo.... cheers
They all say the same thing: It agrees in gender and number with the noun possessed, not the possessor.
Daniel: Not to be a horse's ass about it, but let me again say that the gender of the subject doesn't matter; it's the gender of the noun being modified. Here are two sentences: Her horse is black, his horse is white and the Italian reads: Il suo cavallo è nero, il suo cavallo è bianco. Hope this helps.