A possessive adjective is a word which describes a noun by showing who possesses that noun. Whose house is that? It’s my house. My shows who possesses the noun house. The posessor is “me.” The object possessed is house.
Like subject pronouns (I, you, he/she, we, etc.), possessive adjectives are identified according to the person they represent.
1 st personmy 2 nd personyou masculine his 3 rd person feminine her neuter its
Is that John’s house? Yes, it is his house. Is that Mary’s house? Yes, it is her house. Although the object possessed is the same (house), different possessive adjectives (his and her) are used because the possessors are different (John and Mary).
Like English, a French possessive adjective changes according to the possessor, but unlike English it also AGREES, like all French adjectives, in GENDER and NUMBER with the noun possessed.
For example, in the phrase mon frère (my brother) the 1 st person singular possessor (my) is indicated by the first letter of the possessive adjective, m-, and the gender and number of the noun possessed, frère (brother), which is masculine singular, is reflected in the masculine singular ending - on. Let us see what happens when we change my brother to my sister.
J’aime ma soeur. fem. sing. ending 1 st pers. sing. possessor The first letter m- remains the same because the possessor is still the 1st person, but the ending changes to –a to agree with soeur which is feminine.
J’aime ma soeur. J’aime mon frère. J’aime mes animaux. M indicates the 1 st person posesssive adjective. -a represents the feminine gender, single noun -on represents the masculine gender, single noun -es represents the masc./fem. gender, plural noun
In French, each of these possessive adjectives has three forms depending on the gender and number of the noun possessed: the masculine singular, the feminine singular, and the plural (the same for both genders).
My m - Your t- His Hers s- Its
If the noun possessed is MASCULINE (or feminine in front of a vowel sound) add – on. Anne lit mon livre. Anne reads my book. (Masc. Sing. Noun) noun possessed Anne lit ton livre. Anne reads you r book. Anne lit son livre Anne reads her/his book.
Paul connaît mon amie. Paul knows my friend. fem. sing. Noun noun possessed begins with vowel Paul connaît ton amie. Paul knows your friend. Paul connaît son amie. Paul knows his/her friend.
If the noun possessed is feminine singular beginning with a consonant add -a Paul lit ma lettre. Paul lit ta lettre. Paul lit sa lettre. If the noun possessed is plural add –es Anne lit mes livres. Paul lit tes lettres. Elle lit ses livres.
In French, each of these possessive adjectives has only two forms depending on the number of the noun possessed; that is, whether the noun possessed is singular or plural.
Marie est notre fille. Mary is our daughter. possessor is plural noun possessed is singular Paul lit votre lettre. Paul reads your letter. Ils lisent leur lettre. They read their letter.
Les parents sont nos amis. › The parents are our friends. owner is plural noun possessed is plural Anne lit vos livres. Anne reads your books. Elles lisent leurs lettres. They read their letters.
Although VOTRE and VOS are classified as “the second person plural” they can also refer to just one person when used as a formal form of address (such as when speaking to your teacher). Remember to use the same form of YOU, either familiar or formal, for the verb and the possessive adjective: › “You are reading your book” would be either “ Tu lis ton livre” or “ Vous lisez votre livre.”
Singular PossessorPlural Possessor Singularplural masculine My feminine + vowel feminine Mon Ma Mes your masculine (tu form) feminine + vowel feminine Ton Ta Tes masculine His,Her, Its fem. + vowel feminine Son Sa Ses