"The onion is mine."
Translation:La cebolla es mía.
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That's just how the language works. If the object is feminine, like cebolla (onion), semana (week), bandera (flag), etc. you'd use 'mía.' For example, "La cebolla es mía." However, if the object is masculine, like Plato (plate), cerebro (brain), perro (dog, etc. You'd use "mío." For example, "El perro es mío."
Learning the genders of objects can be tricky, but there's a generality that words that end in "a" are feminine and words that end in "o" are masculine. This is not always the case, which is why it's a generality and not a law. Also, words that end in 'tion' in english change to 'ción' in spanish. For example, admiration changes to admiración. I believe that all of the ción words are feminine... there might be some exceptions, but at least most of them are.
I got this wrong at first also...here's the explanation from the notes on Duolingo: Note that the possessive adjectives vary by number and gender. The change is with the nouns they modify, not with the person(s) who possess the object. For example, for a male cat you say "El gato es tuyo" (The cat is yours) regardless of whether you are talking to a man or a woman.
I'm a native Spanish speaker. I guess you could say "La cebolla es la mía", but it would mean something like "The onion is the one that belongs to me", for example as an answer to the question "which is the vegetable that belongs to you?" I would not use it to say "The onion is mine".
Razon, usually with the verb 'ser', the possessive pronoun, usually the definite article is left off. The text books will tell you that the possessive pronouns Do take a definite article. 'mia' is a possessive adjective meaning 'of mine''. It is the long form of the possessive adjectives. It like saying 'they are onions of mine' or 'son cebollas mias. 'They are my onions' http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/long_form_possessive_adjectives.htm http://spanish.about.com/od/pronouns/a/possessive_pronouns.htm
If you say, you are saying that this particular onion is mine, but when you said "la cebolla es la mia" you are selecting between diferent products. For example: you have the melon and theonion, an you said to your friend: the melon is mine and the onion is yours, you can said in spanish, el meón es el mio i la cebolla es la tuya.
So why es (ser) rather than está (estar)? I think of ser as being more innate or permanent and estar as being more ephemeral or extrinsic and, as an English speaker, I tend to think of possession as being temporary or contingent. Would "La cebolla está mía" be correct as well? Or would that have a different connotation?