I've stumbled on a construction that confused me in Kafka's Die Verwandlung where a definite article is used where I would expect to see a possessive pronoun.

wenn er den Kopf ein wenig hob

translation: (if he lifted his head a little)

my faulty translation: (if he lifted the head a little)

Could seinen also be used here, and if so, would it change the meaning in any way, and if not, how do I know when to use an article vs a possessive pronoun for these types of constructions.

  • This is not a duplicate. The other answer tells us when it is necessary to use the possessive. This question asks about the difference in meaning between the two. – sgf Apr 30 '19 at 13:21
  • This is a duplicate. The other question asks exactly the same thing, the only answer merely fails to adequately address the difference in meaning. – Jan Apr 30 '19 at 15:11