Spanish Possessive Adjectives and Pronouns are a collection of words which express possession or belonging (who owns something).
They are the equivalent of the English words “my, mine”, “your, yours”, “his”, etc.
In Spanish, we divide Possessive Forms into Short Forms and Long Forms. We need to learn both types, and also learn when each type applies.
In this grammar lesson, we will go through the following points:
1. Understanding Gender and Number
During this lesson, at different points we will talk about the need to match Possessive Forms’ gender and number.
By that we always mean matching their gender and number to THE OWNED THING, not to the person who owns. Keep that in mind for the rest of the lesson.
2. Short Forms
The short forms are presented in the following table:
English Singular Plural my mi mis your tu tus our nuestro, nuestra nuestros, nuestras your (of you guys) vuestro, vuestra vuestros, vuestras his, her, their, polite your su sus
Notice this about Short Forms!
- We always need to match the Short Form’s number to the owned thing (singular or plural).
- Only “nuestro” and “vuestro” need to also match the gender of the owned thing, apart from its the number.
Use as Adjectives
The short forms are used as adjectives. We place them before the noun that expresses the owned thing.
Here are some example sentences:
Mi camiseta es azul.
My t-shirt is blue.
Tus muñecas son muy lindas.
Your dolls are very beautiful.
Su coche es alemán.
His/her/their/ your (polite) car is german.
Nuestras vecinas tienen un perro.
Our neighbors (female neighbors) have a dog.
3. Long Forms
The long forms are presented in the following table:
English Masculine Singular Feminine Singular Masculine Plural Feminine Plural mine mío mía míos mías yours tuyo tuya tuyos tuyas ours nuestro nuestra nuestros nuestras yours (of you guys) vuestro vuestra vuestros vuestras his, her, theirs, polite yours suyo suya suyos suyas
Notice this about Long Forms!
- For the long forms, we always need to match BOTH the number and the gender of the owned thing.
Use as Adjectives or Pronouns
The long forms are placed anywhere in the sentence, EXCEPT directly before the noun (the owned thing).
Most times they are still considered Adjectives, as happens in the following sentences:
La camiseta es mía.
The t-shirt is mine.
Las camisetas son mías.
The t-shirts are mine.
El coche es suyo.
The car belongs to him/her/them/ you (polite).
Las mochilas son vuestras.
The backpacks belong to you guys.
However, if they come after a Definite Article (“el-la-los-las”), the long forms are considered Pronouns, because represent a noun that is not explicitly mentioned but is understood by both speaker and listener:
El mío es verde.
Mine is green. (“mine” is representing a noun that is not explicitly mentioned but it is understood. For example, it could be “my notebook”).
Mi impresora es más moderna que la tuya.
My printer is more modern than yours. (here, we understand that “yours” represents “your printer”)
4. Practice: A Quiz about Spanish Possessive Adjectives and Pronouns
Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge!:
5. Practice: An Exercise
In the following sentences and short dialogs, fill the gaps in your mind or on a piece of paper using Possessive Adjectives. After completing the exercise, check the solutions at the end of this post.
– ¿Este móvil es tuyo?
– Sí, es _____ (1).
Las gafas son de Ana. Son _____ (2).
El libro es de Ana. Es _____ (3).
Los libros son de Ana y Laura. Son _____ (4).
– ¿Esta botella es tuya?
– Sí, es _____ (5) botella. Es _____ (6).
– ¿Los lápices son vuestros?
– Sí, los lápices son _____ (7).
Solutions to the Exercise: 1 = mío, 2 = suyas, 3 = suyo, 4 = suyos, 5 = mi, 6 = mía, 7 = nuestros