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In a recent post the following sentences appeared:

Die Frau besitzt eine Gabel. Das ist ihre Gabel. Diese Gabel ist ihre. Diese Gabel ist die ihre.

Both the sentences "Diese Gabel is ihre." and "Diese Gabel ist die ihre." read to me as "This fork is hers." I would like to understand the difference between them and what are the appropriate use cases.

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That piece der/die/das Seine, der/die/das Ihre, also put as der/die/das Seinige, der/die/das Ihrige are nouns made from the pronouns.

The meaning is similar to the pronouns but more definite. That's also the reason why those nouns always go with the definite article. It's not just his or hers but his for real and hers for real.

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  • Might there be a suggestion by the use of "die ihre" (rather than just "ihre") that there is potentially more than one fork around, and the particular one being referenced is the one that belongs to her?
    – cruthers
    Oct 13, 2022 at 19:29
  • Yes, but in general it's just more definite.
    – Janka
    Oct 14, 2022 at 14:41

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