What is a possessive adjective?
Possessive adjectives (1) - Easy Learning Grammar Spanish
In English a possessive adjective is one of the words my, your, his, her, its, our or their used with a noun to show that one person or thing belongs to another.
- Like other adjectives in Spanish, possessive adjectives have to change for the feminine and plural forms.
|tu||tu||tus||tus||your (belonging to someone you address as tú)|
|su||su||sus||sus||his; her; its; your (belonging to someone you address as usted)|
|vuestro||vuestra||vuestros||vuestras||your (belonging to people you address as vosotros/vosotras)|
|su||su||sus||sus||their; your (belonging to people you address as ustedes)|
- For more information on Ways of saying ‘you’ in Spanish, see Pronouns.
|¿Dónde está tu hermana?||Where’s your sister?|
|José ha perdido su cartera.||José has lost his wallet.|
|¿Dónde están nuestros pasaportes?||Where are our passports?|
|¿Por qué no traéis a vuestros hijos?||Why don’t you bring your children?|
|Mis tíos están vendiendo su casa.||My uncle and aunt are selling their house.|
TipPossessive adjectives agree with what they describe NOT with the person who owns that thing.
|Pablo ha perdido su bolígrafo.||Pablo has lost his pen.|
|Pablo ha perdido sus bolígrafos.||Pablo has lost his pens.|
- Note that possessive adjectives aren’t normally used with parts of the body. You usually use the definite article instead.
|Tiene los ojos verdes.||He’s got green eyes.|
|No puedo mover las piernas.||I can’t move my legs.|
- For more information on Articles, see Articles.
TipAs su and sus can mean his, her, its, your or their, it can sometimes be a bit confusing. When you need to avoid confusion, you can say the Spanish equivalent of of him and so on.
|su casa||→||la casa de él||his house|
(literally: the house of him)
|sus amigos||→||los amigos de usted||your friends|
(literally: the friends of you)
|sus coches||→||los coches de ellos||their cars|
(literally: the cars of them)
|su abrigo||→||el abrigo de ella||her coat|
(literally: the coat of her)
- For more information on Personal pronouns, see Pronouns.
- The Spanish possessive adjectives are:
- mi/tu/su/nuestro/vuestro/su with a masculine singular noun
- mi/tu/su/nuestra/vuestra/su with a feminine singular noun
- mis/tus/sus/nuestros/vuestros/sus with a masculine plural noun
- mis/tus/sus/nuestras/vuestras/sus with a feminine plural noun
- Possessive adjectives come before the noun they refer to. They agree with what they describe, rather than with the person who owns that thing.
- Possessive adjectives are not usually used with parts of the body. Use el/la/los or las as appropriate instead.
- To avoid confusion, it is sometimes clearer to use el coche de él/ella/ellas/ellos/usted and so on rather than su coche.