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?
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 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.
"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.
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
"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."
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".
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".
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"?
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
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").
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.
"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.
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:
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.