Welcome to our grammar lesson about Spanish Possessive Adjectives and Pronouns, where we will practice these words after learning all about them.
Possessive Adjectives and Pronouns (“Adjetivos y Pronombres Posesivos”) are a collection of words that express possession or belonging. In other words, who owns something.
They are the equivalent of the English words “my, mine, your, yours, his, etc”.
We need to learn 2 sets of forms: short forms and long forms, and how to use them.
In this lesson we will learn them all with many example sentences.
At the end you’ll find a Quiz and an Exercise for practice.
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
About gender and number of short forms:
- All short forms need to match the number of the owned thing (either singular or plural).
- “Nuestro” and “vuestro” need to also match the gender of the owned thing.
We can only place short forms right before the noun (the owned thing). They are considered adjectives.
Here are some example sentences:
Mi camiseta es azul.
My t-shirt is blue.
Tus muñecas son muy lindas.
Your dolls are very beautiful. (“tus” is plural, in order to match the owned thing: “muñecas”)
Su coche es alemán.
His/her/their/your(polite) car is german.
¿Te gustan nuestras sillas?
Do you like our chairs? (“nuestras” is feminine plural, in order to match the owned thing: “sillas”)
The following table shows the long forms:
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
About gender and number of long forms:
- All long forms need to match both the number and the gender of the owned thing.
We can place the long forms anywhere in the sentence, except directly before the noun (the owned thing).
Most times they are considered adjectives, like in the following sentences:
La camiseta es mía.
The t-shirt is mine.
Juan es un amigo mío.
Juan is a friend of mine.
Las fresas son tuyas.
The strawberries are yours.
El coche es suyo.
The car belongs to him/her/them/you(polite).
Las mochilas son vuestras.
The backpacks belong to you guys.
Sometimes we place a Definite Article (“el-la-los-las”) before a long form.
In this case, they are considered pronouns, because they occupy the place of a noun that we don’t mention. The reason we don’t mention the noun can be because we have done it already during the conversation, and we don’t want to keep repeating it.
El mío es verde.
Mine is green. (“El mío” represents a noun that is not mentioned. For example, it could be “mi coche”, my car).
Mi impresora es más moderna que la tuya.
My printer is more modern than yours. (here, obviously “la tuya” represents “tu impresora”, but we don’t want to mention “impresora” again)
Vuestros caballos son muy rápidos, y los nuestros también.
Your horses are ver fast, and ours too. (“los nuestros” obviously represents “nuestros caballos”).
The ambiguity of “su, suyo…”
During this lesson, you may have noticed the ambiguity of possessives for the third persons.
For example, “su” in Spanish can mean all these things: “his”, “her”, “their”, and formal “your”.
Then, how do we know what it means in a specific sentence? From the context.
If we read only this, without any context:
Su casa es blanca.
… there is no way to know if we mean “his house”, “her house”, “their house” or “your (formal) house”.
However if we say:
Esta es María. Su casa es blanca.
This is María. Her house is white.
Then it is clear.
So remember: for the possessives “su, suyo, suya, suyos, suyas”, context is key.
Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about Spanish Possessive Adjectives and Pronouns:
Now we are going to practice possessives in sentences.
In the following sentences and short dialogs, fill the gaps using Possessive Adjectives and Pronouns:
¿Este móvil es ___ (1)?
Is this cellphone yours?
Sí, es ___ (2).
Yes, it is mine.
Las gafas son de Ana. Son ___ (3).
The glasses belong to Ana. They belong to her.
El libro es de Ana. Es ___ (4).
The book belongs to Ana. It belongs to her.
Los libros son de Ana y Laura. Son ___ (5).
The books belong to Ana and Laura. They belong to them.
¿Esta botella es ___ (6)?
Is this bottle yours?
Sí, es ___ (7) botella. Es ___ (8).
Yes, it is my bottle. It is mine.
¿El lápiz es ___ (9)?
Does the pencil belong to you guys?
Sí, es ___ (10).
Yes, it belongs to us.
Mi casa es más grande que __ ___ (11).
My house is bigger than yours.
11) la tuya