Unit 10: Structures with “hacer,” introduction to perfect tenses, translation considerations (part 1)

10.9 Emphatic Forms of Possessive Pronouns

All of the possessive pronouns already studied (mi, tu, su, nuestro, vuestro and their feminine and plural forms, as appropriate) also have corresponding emphatic or “long” forms, which have one of two meanings:

Possessive Pronouns Translation
1st person sing. mío of mine, mine, my (emphatic)
2nd person sing. tuyo of yours (fam.), yours, your (emphatic)
3rd person sing. suyo of his, of hers, of its or yours (form.), his, hers, its, yours, her, your (emphatic)
1st person plural nuestro of ours, ours, our (emphatic)
2nd person plural vuestro of yours (fam. pl.), yours, your (emphatic)
3rd person plural suyo of theirs, of yours (form. pl. [fam. pl. in L.A.]), their, yours, your(emphatic)

All of these possessives have four forms each: masculine and feminine in both the singular and plural. Note that the first and second persons plural (nuestro, vuestro) are identical to the simple possessives already studied:

Es nuestra casa It’s our house.
Es una casa nuestra. It’s a house of ours.

It’s our house. (emphatic)

In English, emphasis is communicated via information and stress (when spoken) while in Spanish the use of the long form of the possessive plays this role:

Esta es la casa nuestra, no la suya. This is our house, not his.

If, out of context, the above meaning is not clear, the form of suyo is replaced by the corresponding definite articles and a prepositional phrase:

Esta es la casa nuestra, no la de él. This is our house, not his.

Study these further examples:

El coche azul es mío y el blanco es suyo (el de ella). The blue car is mine and the white one is hers.
Rosa no es amiga mía. Rosa isn’t a friend of mine.
No son papeles suyos (de Ud.). They’re not papers of yours.
¿Todas estas llaves son tuyas? Are all these your keys? (emphatic)

Are all these keys of yours?

The minimal ambiguity of the last sentences is negligible and both translations are accurate renderings of the Spanish.



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