Unit 3: Introduction to the present tense and adjectives

3.7 Possessive Adjectives

The following are the short forms of the possessive adjectives in Spanish:

Singular Plural
mi, mis (my) nuestro/-a, nuestros/-as (our)
tu, tus (your (fam.)) vuestro/-a, vuestros/-as (your (fam. pl.))
su,sus (his, her, its, your (form.)) su, sus (they/their, your (form. pl. [fam. pl. also in L.A.]))

Spanish possessive adjectives agree with the noun possessed, not the possessor or owner, unlike English. They agree both in number and gender with what is owned.

Tengo mi dinero. I have my money.
Aquí está nuestra casa. Here is our house.
Tenemos tus libros. We have your books.

That the possessive adjective agrees in number and gender with the noun modified should not cause comprehension problems.

Due to the ambiguity of su and sus, a prepositional phrase can clarify the meaning if necessary. When the prepositional phrase is used, the possessive adjective is dropped and is replaced by the corresponding article. For example, the sentence ¿Dónde está su perro? is ambiguous out of context. If the meaning remains unclear, you should see one of the following prepositional phrases to clarify su:

¿Dónde está el perro de él? Where is his dog?
¿Dónde está el perro de ella? Where is her dog?
¿Dónde está el perro de Ud.? Where is your (s.) dog?
¿Dónde está el perro de ellos/-as? Where is their dog?
¿Dónde está el perro de Uds.? Where is your (pl.) dog?


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