Unlike in English, when referring to someone's own body parts (or own pieces of clothing, such as pockets, clothes...), in French the definite article (le,la,l',les) is used rather than the possessive adjective (ma,mon, sa, son etc).
Ils ont les yeux fermésThey have their eyes closed
Nous sommes rentrés, les vêtements tout sales et les cheveux en bataille.We came home, our clothes all dirty and our hair ruffled.
Croisons les doigts !Fingers crossed! / Let's cross our fingers!
J’ai mal à la têteMy head hurts
Tu as les mains dans les poches.You've got your hands in your pockets.
NOTE: You can also use the reflexive version of the verb when it exists (laver = to wash -> se laver = to wash oneself) to make the owner more clear:
Je me lave les piedsI'm washing my feet
Nous nous grattons la têteWe're scratching our heads
Tu t'es cassé le brasYou broke your arm
Il se brosse les dentsHe's brushing his teeth
ATTENTION: Using the reflexive form doesn't work systematically, especially when the reflexive form has a different meaning to the simple form, like lever = to lift/raise vs se lever = to get up.
In this case, you'll simply use the verb lever with the definite article: for French people, the possessive meaning would be obvious, unless a clear context states otherwise.
Jean lève la mainJean raises his hand
Le garçon a levé la tête du poisson mort pour la couper.The boy lifted the head of the dead fish to cut it.
Elle a baissé la têteShe lowered her head
Note that it applies also to animals' bodies:
Mon chien agite la queue quand il me voit.My dog wags his tail when he sees me.
As usual, there are special cases that don't follow that rule:
See Using mon, ma, mes, etc with parts of the body (possessive adjectives) .
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