Possessive Adjectives Possessive adjectives in English are words such as “my”, “your”, or “their”. In Spanish these words come before the noun too. You’ve seen “mi amigo” and “tus padres” before. These mean “my” and “your”, but why are they spelled this way? What are the other possessive adjectives? Home
Possessive Adjectives my = mi / mis your = tu / tus his = su / sus her = su / sus its = su / sus our = nuestro, a / nuestros, as your (plural) = vuestro, a / vuestros, as your (plural) = su / sus their = su / sus Here are all the possessive adjectives. Why are there so many spellings? Why is the word “su” used so much? Home
Agreement mi libro = my booksingular mis libros = my booksplural nuestro padre = our dadmasculine singular nuestra madre = our momfeminine singular nuestros hermanos = our siblingsmasculine plural nuestras tías = our auntsfeminine plural As with other adjectives, possessive adjectives have to agree. Only the adjectives that end with “o” (nuestro / vuestro) have to agree for gender. Home
Agreement nuestro abuelo = our grandpa nuestra prima = our (girl) cousin nuestros abuelos = our grandparents nuestras hijas = our daughters Be careful with agreement! The adjective agrees with what is “owned” or “possessed” NOT with who owns it. Every example here means “our”, but the ending changes depending on what is owned. Some students think that “nuestras” is something only girls would say, but that’s not true. It just depends on what comes after “our”. Home
¿¡SU!? This one little word causes so much confusion for Spanish students! Don’t worry, my older students occasionally make mistakes with this word. su / sus = his her your (Ud.) its your (Uds.) their Home
¿¡SU!? This word agrees for what is owned, NOT who owns it, so the word “sus” not only means “their”, but it could mean so many other things. You’ll know by context. In English you’d never say “his dad” unless you had already mentioned who you were talking about. The same applies in Spanish. Home su regla = his, her, its, your, their ruler sus reglas = his, her, its, your, their rulers su & sus do not agree for gender
Plural Your?!? This is awful grammar, but just about all of you say it... your guys’ Say this sentence out loud. “I walked past your house yesterday and your guys’ dog chased me.” I guess it’s not as bad as “yunz’s dog”! In English the word “your” can be singular or plural. If I’m talking to a group of people and say, “your parents” the group knows that I am talking about all of their parents. In English we use context. In Spanish there are several words for “your”. Home tu / tus = your (singular & informal, tú) su / sus = your (singular & formal, Ud.) vuestro,a / vuestros, as = your (plural in Spain, vosotros) su / sus = your (plural in Latin America, Uds.)
Plural Your?!? These examples are essentially the “your guy’s” of Spanish. If you are talking to more than one person, and you want to say “your”, use these examples. Remember, the word should only end in “s” if more than one thing is owned. Home vuestro primo = your (boy) cousin vuestra prima = your (girl) cousin vuestros libros = your books vuestras carpetas = your folders su tío = your uncle sus papeles = your papers *Remember that su / sus don’t agree for gender. *Also remember that su / sus can mean many other things.
Home One Last Note Think of the possessive adjectives like the way you think of verb endings. SingularPlural myouryouryour histheir her its singularplural mi / misnuestro,a / nuestros, as tu / tus vuestro,a / vuestros, assu / sus
Home Examples A mi padre le gusta ir de pesca.My dad likes to fish. Mis amigos van también.My friends are going too. Tu primo es muy perezoso.Your cousin is very lazy. ¿Quiénes son tus padres?Who are your parents? ¿Necesita Ud. su regla?Do you need your ruler? (formal) ¿Cuándo es su cumpleaños?When is your birthday? (formal) El va con su familia.He’s going with his family. El no quiere sus guisantes.He doesn’t want his peas. A ella le gusta su escuela.She likes her school. Ella tiene sus libros.She has her books. Nuestro abuelo es alto.Our grandfather is tall. Nuestra familia es grande.Our family is big. Nuestras hermanas son gemelas.Our sisters are twins Nuestros amigos no van.Our friends aren’t going.
Home Examples Vuestro amigo es simpático.Your friend is nice. ¿A vuestra madre le gusta cocinar?Does your mom like to cook ¿Tenéis vuestros libros?Do you guys have your books? ¿Vais con vuestras familias?Are you all going with your families? Uds. necesitan hacer su tarea.You guys need to do your homework. ¿Van Uds. con sus padres?Are you guys going with your parents? Ellos juegan con su perro.They play with their dog. A ellos les gustan sus videojuegos.They like their videogames.
Things to Keep in Mind Home Possessive adjectives come before the noun. Possessive adjectives agree for number, and sometimes number and gender (nuestro / vuestro). The word “su” means many things, and can be confusing. There are several ways to say “your” in Spanish. Be sure you have the right one! Look through the notes and examples several times, and do the practice activities.