Possessive Adjectives

Spanish possessive adjectives
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Adjetivos posesivos

Spanish  possessive adjectives are used in front of nouns to indicate to whom or to what those nouns belong. They are considerably more complicated than English possessive adjectives because Spanish has several different forms depending on the gender and number of the possessed noun.

Por ejemplo…

Estamos escuchando mi música.   We’re listening to my music.
He perdido mis llaves.   I lost my keys.

Characteristics of Spanish possessive adjectives

  1. Used in place of an article, not with one
  2. Placed directly in front of a noun or an adjective + noun
  3. Must agree with the possessed noun in number and sometimes gender
  4. Possessive adjective + noun can be replaced by a possessive pronoun
  5. Come in two different sets: short/unstressed forms (explained here) and long / stressed forms.

Short forms of Spanish possessive adjectives

  Singular Plural
  masc fem masc fem
my   mi mi mis mis
your ()   tu tu tus tus
his, her, your (Ud.)   su su sus sus
our   nuestro nuestra nuestros nuestras
your (vosotros)   vuestro vuestra vuestros vuestras
sus sus
their, your (Uds.)   su su

Spanish has many more possessives than English. For 2nd and 3rd person plural subjects (nosotros, vosotros), there are four forms of the possessive. The gender and number of the possessed noun determine which form to use.

  Our Your
masc sing   nuestro libro vuestro libro
fem sing   nuestra mesa vuestra mesas
masc plural   nuestros libros vuestros libros
fem plural   nuestras mesas vuestras mesas

Singular subjects (I, you, he) and third person plural (they) have only two forms: singular and plural.

  My Your His / Her / Their
sing   mi libro tu libro su libro
plural   mis mesas tus mesas sus mesas

 An important difference between Spanish and English is in the third person. In English you have to choose between his, her, its, and their, whereas in Spanish there is no distinction by gender, only by number. Su and sus can each mean his, her, its, your, or their depending on the context. Su cama can mean his bed, her bed, its bed (e.g., the dog’s), your bed, or their bed. To clarify, you can use the possessive de.

Por ejemplo …

Tengo su libro.
¿De quién?
El libro de Ana.

When describing two or more nouns, a possessive adjective must be used in front of each one.

Por ejemplo …

his brother and sister   su hermano y su hermana

Spanish quiz Possessive Adjectives Quizzes

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Possessive adjectives in Spanish

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