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Il tuo vs. un tuo

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:00 pm
by Coyote blu
I recently encountered the phrase un tuo (translated as "your") rather than IL tuo. It appears to be an alternative possessive pronoun form. Is is common? Is there a difference between il tuo and un tuo, i.e. using the definite versus the indefinite article? Grazie.

Re: Il tuo vs. un tuo

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:59 am
by Peter
Coyote blu wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:00 pm
I recently encountered the phrase un tuo (translated as "your") rather than IL tuo. It appears to be an alternative possessive pronoun form. Is is common? Is there a difference between il tuo and un tuo, i.e. using the definite versus the indefinite article? Grazie.
Ciao Coyote,

Yes, you can use both the definite and indefinite articles in a possessive sense.

Questo libro è il mio. This book is mine/This is my book.

Il libro sul tavolo deve essere un tuo, perché non è il mio. The book on the table must be one of yours, because it's not mine.

The indefinite article is not used as much in Italian as it is in English, which may be why you not have seen it. Often it is not used at all. For example, it is not used before nouns of profession, nationality, religion. Also, while we would say 'Paul is a doctor', in Italian you would say 'Paolo è dottore'.

Hope this helps.