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Clarification on possessives


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Old February 10, 2013, 03:19 PM
ducviloxi ducviloxi is offline
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Clarification on possessives

Me dijeron que no es posible usar posesivos como mí, tu, su etc. por cualquier cosas que no pertencen a ti como es posible en Inglés. Por ejemplo, en Inglés puedo decir:

My spanish is not good

¿lo puedo decir como eso en Español?

Español no es bueno

en lugar, me dijeron que decir: "no hablo bien el español" y no debo usar "Mí" antes de las palabras como "Español"

Last edited by ducviloxi; February 10, 2013 at 03:31 PM.
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Old February 10, 2013, 03:32 PM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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Originally Posted by ducviloxi View Post
I was told that you cannot use possessives like mi, tu, su etc. on something that does not actually belong to you like you can do in English. For example, in English I can say:

My Spanish is not good
Mi español no es bueno (¿lo puedo decir como eso?)

En lugar, me dijeron que decir: "no hablo bien el español"
The particular sentence you cited doesn't sound natural in Spanish, while the suggested sentence does. I'm not aware of any rules that say you can't use a possessive determiner, but I know there are many instances in Spanish where a possessive determiner is not used where in English we would.

AdA is very good at citing examples, so you may want to wait to see what she writes.
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Old February 10, 2013, 06:05 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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@ducviloxi: I will have to disagree with the person who told you that you can't use possessive pronouns for things that cannot actually be possessed.

Your sentence is fine for me, with the correction Rusty made.

I agree with Rusty about the fact that "Mi español no es muy bueno" does sound like a calque from a foreign language, and that the other sentence sounds more "Spanish-born". But I don't find it wrong and I think anyone would understand that you don't speak the language well.
I say quite often "mi alemán es malísimo", which is mostly the same sentence, but I guess the superlative makes it sound more "Spanish".

Anyway, I don't think there can be any rule against saying things like this, because the sense of possession is quite personal:

- Quiero mi sol de vuelta. Hace muchos días que está nublado.
I want my sun back. It's been cloudy for many days.

- Cuando dejé el pueblo, se quedaron allá todas mis estrellas. Ya no puedo ver ninguna aquí en la ciudad.
When I left my home town, all my stars were left there. I can't see any of them here in the city. (Notice here that I certainly used here one less possessive pronoun, as "mi pueblo" and "mis estrellas" would mean I'm trying to grab too much.)

- A cualquier lugar que voy, parece que me sigue la lluvia. Mis amigos me dijeron que me deshaga de mi nube o no van a volver a salir conmigo.
Wherever I go rain seems to follow me. My friends have told me to get rid of my cloud or they won't go out with me again.

- En mi ciudad siempre hay embotellamientos.
In my city there are always traffic jams.

- Cuando vengas a mi país yo seré tu guía.
When you come to my country, I'll be your guide.

- (In the subway) Dale tu asiento a la señora.
Let the lady have your seat.

However, you can check this thread, where we discussed the cases when proper Spanish does not use a possessive pronoun the way English does.
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Old February 12, 2013, 05:38 PM
ducviloxi ducviloxi is offline
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muchas gracias
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