Spanish languageAdjetivos posesivos - Spanish Possessive Adjectives

Possessive adjectives are the words used in place of articles to indicate to whom or to what something belongs. Their usage is similar to English, but there are some differences in form. In Spanish there are different forms of possessive adjectives depending on whether the noun is masculine or feminine, singular or plural. There are also two different sets of possessive adjectives: short/unstressed forms (explained in this lesson) and long/stressed forms.

The following table shows the short forms of Spanish possessives. Don't worry - I'll explain them all below.

Singular Plural
masc fem masc fem
my mi mis
your (tú) tu tus
his, her, your (Ud.) su sus
our nuestro nuestra nuestros nuestras
your (vosotros) vuestro vuestra vuestros vuestras
their, your (Uds.) su

Spanish has many more possessives than English. For 2nd and 3rd person plural subjects (nosotros, vosotros), there are four forms of the possessive. The gender and number of the noun possessed determine which form to use.

masc sing: pencil nuestro lápiz vuestro lápiz
fem sing: pen nuestra pluma vuestra pluma
masc plural: books nuestros libros vuestros libros
fem plural: tables  nuestras mesas vuestras mesas

Singular subjects (I, you, he) and third person plural (they) have only two forms: singularand plural.

sing: pencil mi lápiz tu lápiz su lápiz
plural: tables  mis mesas tus mesas sus mesas

An important difference between Spanish and English is in the third person. In English you have to choose between his, her, its, and their, whereas in Spanish there is no distinction by gender, only by number. Su and sus can each mean his, her, its, your, or their depending on the context.

Su cama can mean his bed, her bed, its bed (e.g., the dog's), your bed, or their bed.

In order to clarify, the possessive de may be used.

Tengo su libro.
¿De quién?
El libro de Ana.

When describing two or more nouns, a possessive adjective must be used in front of each one.

his brother and sister = su hermano y su hermana


Test on possessive adjectives

Possessive de     More Grammar Lessons


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