Easy Learning German

Possessive pronouns - Easy Learning Grammar German

What is a possessive pronoun?
In English you can say This is my car or This car is mine. In the first sentence my is a possessive adjective. In the second, mine is a possessive pronoun.

A possessive pronoun is one of the words mine, yours, hers, his, ours or theirs, which are used instead of a noun to show that one thing or person belongs to another, for example, Ask Carol if this pen is hers.
  • German possessive pronouns are the same words as the possessive adjectives mein, dein, sein, ihr, unser, euer, ihr, Ihr, with the same endings, EXCEPT in the masculine nominative singular, the neuter nominative singular and the neuter accusative singular, as shown below.
Possessive AdjectiveMeaningPossessive PronounMeaning
Masculine Nominative SingularDas ist mein WagenThat is my carDieser Wagen ist meinerThat car is mine
Neuter Nominative SingularDas ist mein BuchThat is my bookDieses Buch ist meinsThat book is mine
Neuter Accusative SingularSie hat mein Buch genommenShe has taken my bookSie hat meins genommenShe has taken mine
  • Here is the German possessive pronoun meiner, meaning mine, in all its forms:
CaseMasculine SingularFeminine SingularNeuter SingularAll Genders Plural
Nominativemeinermeinemein(e)smeine
Accusativemeinenmeinemein(e)smeine
Genitivemeinesmeinermeinesmeiner
Dativemeinemmeinermeinemmeinen
  • Note that the nominative and accusative neuter forms only of all the possessive pronouns are often pronounced without the last -e, for example meins instead of meines.
Der Wagen da drüben ist meiner.The car over there is mine.
Er ist kleiner als deiner.It is smaller than yours.
Das ist besser als meins!That’s better than mine!
Das Haus nebenan ist schöner als seins.The house next door is nicer than his.
Meine Jacke war teurer als ihre.My jacket was more expensive than hers.
  • Note that deiner, meaning yours (familiar), seiner, meaning his/its, ihrer, meaning hers/its/theirs, Ihrer, meaning yours (polite), unserer, meaning ours and euerer, meaning yours (plural familiar) have the same endings as meiner.
TipUnserer, meaning ours is often pronounced unsrer and euerer, meaning yours (plural familiar) is often pronounced eurer. This pronunciation is occasionally reflected in writing.
CaseMasculine SingularFeminine SingularNeuter SingularAll Genders Plural
Nominativeuns(e)reruns(e)reuns(e)resuns(e)re
Accusativeuns(e)renuns(e)reuns(e)resuns(e)re
Genitiveuns(e)resuns(e)reruns(e)resuns(e)rer
Dativeuns(e)remuns(e)reruns(e)remuns(e)ren
 
CaseMasculine SingularFeminine SingularNeuter SingularAll Genders Plural
Nominativeeu(e)rereu(e)reeu(e)reseu(e)re
Accusativeeu(e)reneu(e)reeu(e)reseu(e)re
Genitiveeu(e)reseu(e)rereu(e)reseu(e)rer
Dativeeu(e)remeu(e)rereu(e)remeu(e)ren
 
War euer Urlaub billiger als unsrer?Was your holiday cheaper than ours?
  • Note the translation of of mine, of yours etc, where the personal pronoun in the dative is used:
Er ist ein Freund von mir.He is a friend of mine.
Ich habe eine CD von dir bei mir zu Hause.I have a CD of yours at home.
Key points
  • German possessive pronouns have the same form and endings as the possessive adjectives mein, dein, sein, ihr, unser, euer, ihr, Ihr, except in the masculine nominative singular, the neuter nominative singular and the neuter accusative singular.
  • The nominative and accusative neuter forms of all the possessive pronouns are often pronounced without the last -e, for example meins instead of meines.
  • Unserer, meaning ours is often pronounced unsrer and euerer, meaning yours (plural familiar) is often pronounced eurer. This pronunciation is occasionally reflected in writing.

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