Adjectives and Pronouns (possessive)
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Video Lesson
Summary of Lesson
What are possessive adjectives and how are they formed? A look at two different types (my / your and mine /yours etc in English.) A look at how possessive adjectives are used to make possessive pronouns. What is the difference between the two?
Looking at when the two different types of possessive adjectives are commonly used in conversation. A specific look at word, order, gender and spelling. Comparing how possessive adjectives are used in both Spanish and English.
When possessive pronouns are commonly used in conversation and when 'de' + name or subject pronoun to mean 'the one(s) belonging to..' might be used instead of using possessive pronouns.
A look at how certain pronouns (formed in the same way as possessive adjectives and subject pronouns), are used with prepositions; conmigo / a ti / de él etc.
   
  What you can learn from this lesson
   
Understanding what the differences between the two types of possessive adjectives are and knowing how each type is used differently in conversation (word order).
Being able to use possessive adjectives and pronouns correctly in conversation. Understanding how they agree with the thing that is being 'owned' and not the 'owner' of that thing. Using 'el, la, los and las' correctly with possessive pronouns.
Understanding how possessive adjectives and pronouns might be used differently in Spanish and English.
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PART 1

 

The first part of this lesson defines what possessive adjectives and pronouns are and looks at each type in comparison to those that are used in English.

 

Possessive adjectives

 

These are words such as my/your/his/her or mine/yours/his/hers etc in English which are used with nouns or pronouns to identify who or what is the owner of the noun. There are two types of possessive adjectives. The first type is as follows:

 

Possessive adjectives - type 1 (my/your/his/her etc in English)

 

singular

 

plural

 

 

masculine

feminine

masculine

feminine

English meaning

mi

mi

mis

mis

my

tu

tu

tus

tus

your

su

su

sus

sus

his / her / its / your (polite)

nuestro

nuestra

nuestros

nuestras

our

vuestro

vuestra

vuestros

vuestras

your (group of people)

su

su

sus

sus

their / your (group of people - polite)

 

These types of adjectives normally go before the noun that they are used with.

 

Voy a traer mi pelota. - I’m going to bring my ball.

Tu novia es muy guapa. - Your girlfriend is very beautiful.

 

Note: The possessive adjective tu does not take an accent mark to distinguish it from the subject personal pronoun meaning you.

 

Possessive adjectives - type 2 (mine/yours/his/hers etc in English)

 

singular

 

plural

 

 

masculine

feminine

masculine

feminine

English meaning

mío

mía

míos

mías

mine / of mine

tuyo

tuya

tuyos

tuyas

yours / of yours

suyo

suya

suyos

suyas

his - of his / hers – of hers / its – of its / yours – of yours (polite)

nuestro

nuestra

nuestros

nuestras

ours / of ours

vuestro

vuestra

vuestros

vuestras

yours - of yours (group of people)

suyo

suya

suyos

suyas

theirs - of theirs / yours – of yours (group of people - polite)

 

These types of adjectives normally go after the noun that they are used with.

 

Este borrador es mío. - This rubber is mine.

¿Él es un amigo tuyo? - Is he a friend of yours?

 

Possessive pronouns (mine/yours/his/hers in English)

 

Possessive pronouns are words that are used in place of nouns to identify who or what is the owner of the noun. They use the same words as possessive adjectives - type 2, except they are preceded by a masculine or feminine definite article el / la / los / las.

 

The thing that distinguishes them from possessive adjectives is that they are used in place of nouns instead of being used with nouns. When translated into English they are not preceded by of.

 

singular

 

plural

 

 

masculine

feminine

masculine

feminine

English meaning

el mío

la mía

los míos

las mías

mine

el tuyo

la tuya

los tuyos

las tuyas

yours

el suyo

la suya

los suyos

las suyas

his / hers / its / yours (polite)

el nuestro

la nuestra

los nuestros

las nuestras

ours

el vuestro

la vuestra

los vuestros

las vuestras

yours (group of people)

el suyo

la suya

los suyos

las suyas

theirs / yours (group of people - polite)

 

No me gusta este abrigo. ¿De dónde sacaste el tuyo? 
I don’t like this coat. Where did you get yours?
Mi madre es más joven que la tuya.
My mother is younger than yours.

 

PART 2

 

The second part of this lesson looks specifically at possessive adjectives. It looks at how the two different types are used in conversation, word order and the gender of possessive adjectives when used with masculine and feminine nouns.

 

Possessive adjectives - type 1

 

1)      They are used WITH nouns

2)      They come BEFORE the noun they are used with and usually directly next to it.

3)      The gender of possessive adjectives must agree with the gender of the nouns they are used with. (Only affects nuestro/a and vuestro/a)

4)      Singular possessive adjectives are used with singular nouns and plural possessive adjectives with plural nouns.

 

¿Puedo ver tus dientes? Can I see your teeth?
No quiero perder mi pasaporte.  I don’t want to loose my passport.
Sus diseños fueron un poco extraños. Their designs were a bit strange.

 

In the last example above it is assumed that sus means their, but how do we know this? It could actually mean his/her/its/your (polite)/their/ or your (group of people - polite).

 

In these situations we can use de + subject personal pronoun (or name), instead of using a possessive adjective as follows:

 

Sus diseños fueron un poco extraños.   OR       Los diseños de ellos fueron un poco extraños. Their designs were a bit strange.
Su caballo fue el más rápido.    OR                 El caballo de él fue más rápido. His horse was the fastest.

 

Note: Possessive adjectives are NOT normally used to describe parts of the body like they are in English. Instead a direct article is used (el/la/los/las - the). ‘Me duele la cabeza.’- instead of -‘Me duele mi cabeza.’ (My head hurts.) For more information on this take a look at the lesson titled ‘Gustar’ and similar verbs.

 

Possessive adjectives - type 2

 

1)      They are used WITH nouns or pronouns.

2)      They come AFTER the noun that they are used with and usually directly next to it.

3)      The gender of possessive adjectives must agree with the gender of the nouns they are used with.

4)      Singular possessive adjectives are used with singular nouns and plural possessive adjectives with plural nouns.

5)      Most of the time they are used to mean of mine / of yours / of his etc

6)      We can use de + subject personal pronoun (or name), instead of possessive adjectives type - 2 when it is not clear who or what the possessive adjective refers to.

 

Son recuerdos tuyos. They’re memories of yours.
Amigos tuyos son amigos míos. Friends of yours are friends of mine.
Ella fue una mascota nuestra.  She was a pet of ours.
Es un coche viejo suyo. Its an old car of…… his/hers/yours (polite)/theirs/yours (group of people – polite)
Es un coche viejo de Antonio. Its an old car of Antonio’s.

 

Sometimes possessive adjectives - type 2 can be used in certain phrases or without a noun when we use a form of the verb ser (to be) before the possesive adjective.

 

¡Dios mío!  My god!
No es mío.  It’s not mine.
¿Es tuyo? Is it yours.

 

PART 3

 

The third part of this lesson looks specifically at possessive pronouns and how they are commonly used in conversation in both Spanish and English.

 

Possessive pronouns are used in the same way as possessive adjectives. The only difference is that they are not used directly with nouns; they are used in place of nouns where it might not be necessary or desirable to specify what that noun is.

 

1)      Possessive pronouns are used in place of nouns.

2)      The gender of possessive pronouns must agree with the gender of the noun that they are replacing.

3)      Singular possessive pronouns are used in place of singular nouns and plural possessive pronouns in place of plural nouns.

 

Enséñame tu anillo.  Show me your ring. (possessive adjective – type 1)
Es un anillo tuyo.  It’s one of your rings. (possessive adjective – type 2)
Este anillo es el tuyo. This ring is yours. (possessive pronoun)

 

In the last sentence above a possessive pronoun is used instead of having to repeat the noun that has already been mentioned.

 

Este anillo es tu anillo.  This ring is your ring.
Este anillo es el tuyo. This ring is yours.

 

More examples:

 

¿Estos aretes son los tuyos o son los míos? Are these earrings mine or yours?
Las comidas tuyas son más ricas que las mías. Your dishes are more tasty than mine. (Your cooking is better than mine.)

 

Distinguishing between suyo/suya/suyos/suyas

 

Like with possessive adjectives we can also use de + subject personal pronoun (or name).

 

Esta miel es más dulce que la suya. This honey is sweeter than…… his/hers/yours (polite) / theirs / yours (group of people – polite)
Esta miel es más dulce que la de....Marco / él / ella / usted etc This honey is sweeter than..   Marco's / his /hers /yours (polite) etc

 

PART 4

 

The final part of this lesson looks at a separate set of pronouns which are formed in a similar same way as certain possessive adjectives and the same way as certain subject personal pronouns but which are only used after prepositions.

 

Spanish

English

me

ti

you

él

him

ella

her

usted

you (polite)

himself / herself / yourself (polite)

nosotros

us (masculine)

nosotras

us (feminine)

vosotros

you (all) masculine

vosotras

you (all) feminine

ellos

them (masculine)

ellas

them (feminine)

ustedes

you (all) polite

themselves / yourselves (polite)

 

Note: , and él take accent marks to distinguish them from mi (my), si (yes/if) and el (the).

 

Much of the time these pronouns are used after prepositions in the same Spanish that they are in English, but not always. For more information about prepositions take a look at the separate lesson on prepositions.

 

¿Esta galleta es para mí?  Is this biscuit for me?
Cada día (yo) pienso en ti.  Every day I think about you.
Muchas gracias a usted.  Thank you / many thanks (polite).

 

Prepositions and pronouns used for clarification

 

Se lo dio a él.  I gave it to him.
(a él is used to clarify the word se)  
A ella le gusta bailar.  She likes to dance.
(a ella is used to clarify the word le)  

 

Prepositions and pronouns used for emphasis

 

A nosotros ellos no nos quieren. They don't love us.

 

Using mismo / misma / mismos /mismas after a preposition and pronoun.

 

These words are used in Spanish when we want to refer to ourselves instead of using just , ti or si.

 

Spanish

English

mí mismo/a

myself (masculine / feminine)

ti mismo/a

yourself (masculine / feminine)

sí mismo

himself

sí misma

herself

sí mismos

themselves (masculine)

sí mismas

themselves (feminine)

 

Ella solamente piensa en sí misma. - She only thinks about herself.
Yo lo hice por mí mismo. - I did it for myself.
Ellos solamente hablan de sí mismos.  - They only talk about themselves.

 

Using the preposition con with , and

 

When the preposition con precedes either , ti or the words are always combined to form one word as follows:

 

English

Spanish

conmigo

with me

contigo

with you

consigo

with him / with her / with them / with you (polite)

 

Baila conmigo.   - Dance with me.
Quiero venir contigo.  - I want to come with you.
Ellos me trajeron consigo. - They took me with them.

 

That concludes this lesson on possessive adjectives and pronouns. If you have not done so already watch the actual video for this lesson and then try one of the associated quizzes to test your understanding.

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Adjectives and Pronouns (possessive)
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