Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Possessive Adjectives

Possessive adjectives (“my”, “your”, “his”, etc.) are encountered in lieu of the article (that is, they appear before the noun).  Each possessive adjective is associated with its corresponding subject pronoun.  With the exception of the nosotros and vosotros forms (1st and 2nd person plural, respectively), each possessive adjective only has two forms (singular and plural) and are not dependent on the noun’s gender:

1st Person
mi, mis
nuestro/-a, nuestros/-as
2nd Person
tu, tus
vuestro/-a, vuestros/-as
3rd Person
su, sus
su, sus

Mi gato es negro.  My cat is black.
Tus perros son amables.  Your dogs are friendly.
Su suéter es de lana.  His sweater is wool (made of wool).
Nuestra hija tiene quince años.  Our daughter is 15 years old.
Nuestros hijos son gemelos.  Our sons are twins.
¿Vuestro carro es rojo?  Is your car red?
Su mamá mezcla los ingredientes.  His/her/your/their mother mixes the ingredients.
Sus ejércitos cruzan el río.  Their armies cross the river.

An important concept to remember here is the ambiguity of the third persons singular and plural.  In these cases, it is important to remember that we could be referring to either “his”, “her”, “their”, “its”, or “your” (plural). 
Also, the possessive adjectives are not dependent on the number of the subject.  What this means is that if we for example are referring to several people as the subject, and we wanted to describe possession of a single object, we would still only use the singular possessive adjective (not the plural)! 

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