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In this lesson https://studyspanish.com/grammar/lessons/posspro there is written:

"The definite article is usually omitted when the possessive pronoun comes after the verb ser:

El carro grande es mío. = The big car is mine."

I personally encountered once the situation when in one movie scene (translated from English to Spanish) in both subtitles and speaking there was the following:

Este es el mío

It was a scene in which 2 guys were walking and one of them pointed at his car and said it.

So, usually definite article is ommited after the verb "ser" before the possesive pronoun, but not in this case. Questions:

1) Was it correct in this scene to say like this?

2) Even if it is correct, could it be used without definite article in this case?

3) How do you define the exception in which you can use definite article after the verb "ser" before the possesive pronoun?

5

Using the definite article with the "long possessive" (mío as opposed to mi, etc.) is a matter of definiteness.

  • If you say “Éste es mío” that means "This one is mine"; you're just signaling possession of a particular item, singling it out from a group.
  • If you say “Éste es el mío” that's idiomatically untranslatable in English; it would mean "This is my one". You're not simply singling an item from a group and indicating it's yours; you're actually specifying that that item is the one that is yours, and no other. In fact, el mío is not a possessive anymore: it's a definite noun phrase, which can stand in for a noun in any suitable syntactic context.

So:

1) Yes, the phrase in the scene was correct, as far as I can tell from your description. The owner of the car is pointing out that that car is his car, and no other. Saying “Éste es el mío is equivalent to “Éste es el auto que es mío.

2) Yes, it would be grammatically correct in this scene not to use the definite article, but it would be a little odd. Saying “Éste es mío” in a parking lot full of cars would suggest that the car is yours and you have other cars parked there as well.

3) This difference between es mío and es el mío is not an exception. It's just a result of how Spanish treats possessives. The Spanish long possessive pronouns are always indefinite. When you precede them with the definite article you turn them into definite noun phrases.

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  • 1
    Understood, thank you. Regarding question 1, indeed it was a scene where many cars were present in a row along the pavement. So yes, hence why "este es el mío" is used there. – Alex Nov 21 '19 at 11:53
  • I think that "éste es el mío" has a translation to English: "this is the mine one". – naggety Nov 22 '19 at 10:32

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