There are three different ways to talk about our possessions in the language – “nuestras pertenencias”. The first way is through possessive pronouns, the second by using the preposition DE (of) and the third, and perhaps the most popular way, is by using Spanish possessive adjectives. In this grammar lesson, we will focus providing examples of sentences expressing possession in Spanish with possessive adjectives and the rules to use them appropriately. Comencemos…
What are Spanish possessive adjectives?
Spanish possessive adjectives or “Los adjetivos posesivos” are words that tell us to whom something belongs. They are words like MI (my), TU (yours) and so on, and can be used like this: “Ellos son mis padres” (they are my parents). The picture below sums up their basic features and how they must agree in number and gender with the noun they modify.
Placement of Spanish possessive adjectives
Spanish possessive adjectives are always placed before nouns or words, just like in English. Therefore, if we want to say “His car is new”, then we just need to find the proper possessive adjective (SU) and say “Su carro es nuevo”, where CARRO is the noun this person owns.
Noun-adjective agreement rules
Unlike their English counterpart, Spanish possessive adjectives must agree in gender (masculine/feminine) and number (plural/singular) with the noun they own. Most of these words have invariant gender, that is, they will stay the same no matter the word they modify like “MI” in “Mi carro” and “Mi amiga”. For talking about possessions in common, then we will use “Nuestro” for masculine nouns like “Nuestro perro” and “Nuestra” for feminine nouns like “Nuestra mascota”
For a singular noun such as CARRO, we could use Spanish possessive adjectives in singular form like “MI” or “SU”, but not in plural form like “SUS” or “MIS”, e.g. “Mi carro” and “Tu carro”. Following the same rule, a plural noun like FLORES (flowers) would need a possesive adjective in plural form, which are formed by adding the letter “S” at the end of the word in singular form, e.g. SU -> SUS, MI -> MIS: “Mis flores”, “Sus flores…” and so on.
A chart for possessive adjectives in Spanish
|His, her, its, your||Su||Sus|
Using Spanish possessive adjectives in Sentences
In order to make sentences with Spanish possessive adjectives, we just need to keep in mind the rules about noun-adjective agreement and placement explained above. Imagine you want to say “Her husband is an artist and my brother too”. This sentence includes two possessive adjectives: HER and MY. According to the chart above, SU corresponds to HER and MI to MY, so we should say “Su esposo es artista y mi hermano también“.
Remember that some Spanish possessive adjectives will change their ending to -A or -O (nuestro -> nuestra) depending on the gender of the noun they modify, for example: Nuestra casa… (our house) and Nuestro amigo (our friend). Know that Vuestro(a) will only be used in Spain, not in Latin America and instead we will use SU.
Sentences using possesive adjectives in Spanish
Mi nombre es Carlos y su nombre es Juan
My name is Carlos and his name is Juan
Mis amigos son muy divertidos.
My friends are very fun
¿Tu papá vive contigo?
Does your father live with you?
¿Dónde están tus primos?
Where are your cousins?
Ella es una buena chica. Sus padres son amables
She is a good girl. Her parents are very kind.
Nuestra meta es terminar esto para el viernes.
Our goal is to finish this by Friday.
Nuestros patrocinadores son muy exigentes.
Our sponsors are very demanding.
¿A vuestros amigos les gusta este tipo de comida?
Do your friends like this type of food?
Su mama y sus hermanos son tan listos
Her mom and her siblings are so smart