Possessive pronouns or Possessive Adjectives
Possessive pronouns simplify constructions that show possession of a noun. For example:
*Peter enjoys reading Peter’s books.
It sounds odd to use Peter’s name twice in this sentence. A possessive pronoun solves the problem and helps the sentence to flow better.
*Peter enjoys reading his books.
In Spanish, the verb tener (to have) is used to express possession. However, possession may also be expressed with possessive adjectives, which we will cover today. Possessive adjectives show ownership (my books) or a relationship between people (my boyfriend).
Here is a list of Spanish and English possessive pronouns/ adjectives
Tu: your (informal); Tú: you (informal)
Su: Your (formal); usted: you (formal)
Su: Its/ Their
Nuestro: Our; Nuestra: Our
When to use them?
The choice of pronoun depends on the possessor.
If the possessor/ owner is “me”: My is used = Mi
If the possessor/ owner is “you”: Your is used = Tu/ Su
Note also that the possessive adjective, like other adjectives we studied in a previous lesson, agrees in number and sometimes gender with the thing that is possessed/ owned and not with the possessor.
My book = Mi libro
My (me) is singular and book is singular
My books = Mis libros
My is singular but ‘books’ is plural and so the possessive adjective agrees with the owned item it is describing.
Here are some more examples showing how possessive adjectives/ pronouns must agree with the noun in number
|My friend||Mi amigo||My friends||Mis amigos|
|His day||Su día||His days||Sus días|
|Her city||Su ciudad||Her cities||Sus ciudades|
|Your country||Tu país||Your countries||Tus paises|
|Your date||Su fecha||Your dates||Sus fechas|
|Their cat||Su gato||Their cats||Sus gatos|
|Our age||Nuestra edad||Our ages||Nuestras edades|
|Our desk||Nuestro pupitre||Our desks||Nuestros pupitres|
Our friend, Señor Jordan, has a great video to recap and explain this info. Check out his video.
There is no ‘s in Spanish
On the topic of possession in Spanish, here’s an interesting and important note. The ‘s does NOT exist in Spanish!
In Spanish the apostrophe s (‘s) does NOT exist.
To show possession we use “de”
Look at the following sentence:
This sentence must be re-arranged as follows to REMOVE the (‘s):
The backpack of Pablo.
Note the insertion of the definite article “the”
Then it can be translated into Spanish
La mochila de Pablo.
- Maria’s house: The house of Maria: La casa de Maria.
- Pedro’s white pants: The white pants of Pedro: Los pantalones blancos de Pedro.
- The newspaper is Rosita’s: The newspaper is of Rosita: El peridódico es de Rosita.
- Colombia’s capital is Bogota: The capital of Colombia is Bogota: La capital de Colombia es Bogota.
Possessive Pronoun Practice Exercise
So, how do you feel about possessive adjectives/ pronouns now? Do you understand why we use them? Do you understand how we use them? Test your new skills now in this downloadable exercise: Possessive pronoun exercise.
Try the exercise and let me know how you did, in the comments below!
**This post contains affiliate links to Grammarly.com**
If you enjoyed this post please LIKE or SHARE. To learn more about Spanish Language, Latin American history and culture, FOLLOW Over The Andes today via WordPress or subscribe via email (to the right of the post title).