Although in Italian possessives, like most other adjectives, agree in gender and number with the noun they qualify, not as in English with the possessor they refer to, their is always translated by loro; however, since Italian possessives, unlike English ones, are normally preceded by an article, the article - if not the possessive loro - will have to agree with the noun: loro + masculine singular noun ( their neighbour, their dog = il loro vicino, il loro cane), loro + feminine singular noun ( their teacher, their house = la loro maestra, la loro casa), loro + masculine plural noun ( their children, their books = i loro figli, i loro libri), and loro + feminine plural noun ( their friends, their shoes = le loro amiche, le loro scarpe). - When own is used after their to intensify the meaning of the possessive, it is not usually translated in Italian: they are getting to London in their own car = stanno andando a Londra con la loro macchina. - When their (or their own) is used to avoid saying his or her after words like everyone, no-one, anyone etc., it is usually translated by the adjective proprio in Italian: everyone is responsible for their own actions = ognuno è responsabile delle proprie azioni. - When their is used before nouns indicating parts of the body (for which ), garments, relatives, food and drink etc., Italian has an article instead: they had their hair cut = si sono fatti tagliare i capelli; they kept their hat on = hanno tenuto il cappello; they came with their sister = sono venuti con la sorella, con la loro sorella; they have eaten up their soup = hanno finito la minestra; they are in their forties = hanno passato i quaranta.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.
Grammar and usage help for Italian:
- Usage notes for English speakers translating into Italian 30: SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION
- Italian Grammar Notes for English speakers translating into Italian 10: HER
- Italian Grammar Notes for English speakers translating into Italian 11: HIS
- Italian Grammar Notes for English speakers translating into Italian 12: IN
Most popular in the US
Most popular in the UK
Most popular in Australia
Most popular in Malaysia
Most popular in Pakistan
Subscribe to Oxford Dictionaries Italian
- Italian-English and English-Italian dictionary
- more than 750,000 words, phrases, and translations, including idioms
- covers Italian and British & American English
- thousands of example sentences to show language in use
- listen to Italian words and sentences
- hundreds of grammar and usage notes for tricky translation problems
- up-to-date and accurate translations
- remove adverts*
*Advertising-free access on main Oxforddictionaries.com site only. Advertising also appears in embedded videos on Oxforddictionaries.com