Updated: Apr 13
Spanish possessive pronouns are words used to talk about the things that belong to us or to other people. They are very useful in daily conversations in the language and very easy to use as well. This lesson will introduce a list of these pronouns and more importantly, you will read and listen to sentences with Spanish possessive pronouns so you can also talk about your possessions in Spanish. Comencemos…
What are Spanish possessive pronouns?
In Spanish there are several ways of expressing possession: by adjectives, pronouns, prepositions or definite articles. Spanish possessive pronouns or LOS PRONOMBRES POSESIVOS are words like “Tuyo” (yours) and “mío” (mine) that can be used to talk about the things we own. Each possessive pronoun is linked to a subject pronoun in a certain way, for example: Yo – Mío, Tú – Tuyo and so on.
Esta es mi maleta.
Estas son nuestras maletas.
There are five possessive adjectives.
Three possessive adjectives (mi, tu, su) have only two forms, singular and plural.
Possessive adjectives agree with the nouns they modify. That is, they agree with the thing possessed, not the possessor.
mi libro my book
mis libros my books
tu pluma your pen
tus plumas your pens
Mi, tu and su do not have masculine and feminine forms. They stay the same, regardless of the gender of the nouns they modify
mi amigo mi amiga
tus hermanos tus hermanas
su libro sus plumas
Mi means “my” ; tu means “your.”
Mi casa es tu casa. My house is your house.
Su, like tu, can mean “your.” The difference between your (tu) and your (su) lies in the degree of formality the speaker wishes to convey.
Mi casa es tu casa. (speaking to someone you would address as “tú”)
Mi casa es su casa. (speaking to someone you would address as “usted”)
Note: The two words “tu” and “tú” are pronounced the same. Tú (with the written accent) is the subject pronoun meaning “you” (informal). Tu (without the written accent) is the possessive adjective meaning “your” (informal).
Su has four meanings: his, her, their and your (formal).
María busca a su hermana. María is looking for her sister.
Juan busca a su hermana. Juan is looking for his sister.
Ellos buscan a su hermana.They are looking for their sister.
Su madre busca a su hermana. Your mother is looking for your sister.
Possessive Prepositional Phrases
Since su be translated so many ways (his, her, formal singular your, their, formal plural your), it is sometimes helpful to use a prepositional phrase with personal pronouns or names instead.
María busca a la hermana de él. María looks for his sister.
El hombre busca las llaves de ella. The man looks for her keys.
María busca el cuaderno de Juan. María looks for Juan’s notebook.
El hombre busca las llaves de Samanta. The man looks for Samanta’s keys.
Two possessive adjectives (nuestro and vuestro) have four forms.
Nuestro means “our.”
nuestro hermano our brother
nuestra hermana our sister
nuestros hermanos our brothers
nuestras hermanas our sisters
Vuestro means “your” (familiar, plural). Like vosotros, vuestro is primarily used in Spain.
vuestro libro your book
vuestra pluma your pen
vuestros libros your books
vuestras plumas your pens
Spanish possessive pronouns chart
In Spanish, possessive adjectives are normally not used when talking about body parts. They're also often not used when talking about abstract concepts or something that it is obvious that only the speaker could possess. Instead, you'll see a definite article (el, la, los, las) used in Spanish, though in English translations a possessive adjective may be used.
Te has roto la pierna (correct)
Te has roto tu pierna. (incorrect)
El balón le dio en la mano (correct)
El balón le dio en su mano. (incorrect)
Listening Activity No. 1: The possessive pronouns
In today’s video you will learn the possessive pronouns (0:10 - Masculine, singular 0:49 - Feminine, singular 1:28 - Masculine, plural 2:06 - Feminine, plural) Take notes of the information you consider important and listen carefully to identify the phrases presented above plus a few new ones. Press PLAY when you are ready.
Quiz Activity No. 2: Complete with mi, mis, tu, tus, su, sus.
It is time to practice the words and rules for possessive pronouns in Spanish with a short quiz. Read each sentence and complete it with the proper “pronombre posesivo”.
1. Ana está casada. _____ marido trabaja en un banco.
2. ¿Tu vives con ____ padres?
3. ¿Ellos viven aún con _____ padres?
4. Juan es médico y _____ mujer, también.
5. Voy a invitar a todos _____ amigos a la fiesta.
6. Gracias por _________regalo.
7 Sra. Colón, ¿dónde está ______ hijo?
8 Tengo dos hermanas y viven con _____ padres.
Free Student Handout Activity No. 3: Test yourself
Students can work individually or in pairs to solve the exercises on this handout.
This handout consists of six exercises where students need to complete a set of sentences or text using possessive adjectives in Spanish. Before starting with the activities, remember to contact your tutor with any question you have or to ask for more homework.Enjoy it!
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¡Hasta la vista!,
The Español Latino Team.