Spanish Grammar Guide

Possessive Pronouns (e.g.: mío, tuyas, suya, nuestros, vuestra, etc.)

An Overview of Possessive Pronouns:

Using Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns replace nouns that belong to someone. The important thing to keep in mind is that they show gender and number agreement with the noun they replace (NOT with the person who owns the noun), e.g.: La señora Gonzalez tiene muchos carros, el convertible es suyoNote also that possessive pronouns are NEVER followed directly by a noun without a determiner, they stand on their own and are NOT the same as possessive determiners that occur before a noun.

  • Es su libro OR El libro es suyo OR Es suyo el libro, but NOT Es suyo libro

The different forms a possessive pronoun can take are presented in the following table:

    Singular  Plural 
Possessor English Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
first sg. "mine"
mío* mía míos mías
second sg. "yours" () tuyo tuya tuyos tuyas
third sg. "his", "hers", "its", "yours (usted) suyo suya suyos suyas
first pl. "ours" nuestro nuestra nuestros nuestras
second pl. "yours" (vosotros) vuestro vuestra vuestros vuestras
third pl. "theirs", "yours" (ustedes) suyo suya suyos suyas

*Note the accent on the first person possessive pronouns.

Let's look at a few more examples of the possessive pronouns in use. Note how the possessive pronoun agrees in gender and number with the noun it replaces and refers to:

  • Todas las blusas son hermosas pero me gusta más la tuya.
  • ¿Debo mover estas hojas? No, son mías, déjalas por favor.
  • Esa casa blanca va a ser nuestra
  • ¿Son suyos los lentes? Sí, son míos, gracias. 

Normally, possessive pronouns replace the noun they refer to as just seen, but they can also be used as adjectives if they are placed immediately AFTER the noun, e.g.:

  • La tarjeta nuestra no sirve.
  • Los estudiantes míos son los más obedientes.

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Tricky Stuff

  • Don't confuse the possessive determiner (mi libro es negro) with the possesive pronoun (el libro negro es mío).
  • Remember that the possessive pronouns agree in gender and number with the noun they replace or refer to, NOT the person who is doing the possessing.
  • The nosotros and vosotros forms are the same for both the possessive determiner and the possessive pronoun, e.g.: Vuestras computadoras son Macintosh. Las Macintosh son vuestras
  • NEVER use a possessive pronoun before a noun without a determiner (because the pronoun REPLACES the noun). You can write Es su mochila, La mochila es suya, but NOT Es suya mochila.
  • Possessive pronouns can also be used as adjectives when placed directly following the noun, e.g.: Pásame el plato tuyoWhen used in this way the noun is preceded by a determiner of some kind (el/las/un/esta/ese, etc.)
  • When answering questions or in a dialogue with someone, remember to think about how the pronouns are being used to refer to first, second, and third persons. If someone asks if something is yours using second person pronouns, you will need to answer using first person pronouns, e.g.: Son tuyos? Sí son míos.

 

Verb conjugation:
 
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