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3.10: Gramática. Los adjetivos posesivos

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    • Erica Brown, Alejandra Escudero, María Cristina Montoya, & Elizabeth Small
    • SUNY Oneonta via OER SUNY

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    • Recognize possession indicated by possessive adjectives

    Posesión con ser + de

    There are two ways to indicate possession in Spanish. As you may recall, one way is to use the verb ser in the following pattern: object(s) + ser de + person who has the object(s)

    • El libro es de María. (The book is María’s.)several books, one open
    • El libro de María explica la gramática. (María’s book explains grammar.)
    • Las mochilas son de los muchachos. (The bookbags are the boys’.)
    • La casa es del Sr. Rodríguez. (The house is Mr. Rodríguez’s.)

    Note that the apostrophe+s construction used in English does not exist in Spanish!

    Los adjetivos posesivos

    A more common way to express possession, especially when it is clear to whom something belongs, is to use possessive adjectives:

    singular possessor plural possessor
    mi (my) nuestro (our)
    tu (your) vuestro (your)
    su (his, her, your) su (their, your)

    Remember that in Spanish, and usted both mean “you”. Therefore, the possessive adjective for “your” needs to follow the correct register: Tú – tu/tus; Usted – su/sus.

    Atención a la acentuación (Pay attention to accent marks):

    , with the accent mark, is the subject pronoun referring to the person “you”. Tu, without the accent mark, is the possessive adjective “your”. For example: tienes tu libro. (Youhave your book.)

    The chart above, however, only shows the basic form. Possessive adjectives in Spanish—like all adjectives!—must agree in number with the noun that they modify. In the case of nosotros and vosotros, they also must agree in gender with what is owned:

    • mi libro (my book)
    • mis libros (my books)
    • mi familia (my family)
    • mis familias (my families)
    • nuestro libro (our book)
    • nuestros libros (our books)
    • nuestra familia (our family)
    • nuestras familias (our families)
    • tu libro (your book)
    • tus libros(your books)
    • tu casa (your house)
    • tus casas (your houses)
    • vuestro libro (your book)
    • vuestros libros (your books)
    • vuestra casa (your house)
    • vuestras casas (your houses)
    • su libro (his book, her book, or your book)
    • sus libros (his books, her books, or your books)
    • su casa (his house, her house, or your house)
    • sus casas (his houses, her houses, or your houses)
    • su libro (their book or your book)
    • sus libros (their books or your books)
    • su casa (their house or your house)
    • sus casas (their houses or your houses)

    Remember: The adjective will be singular or plural (and feminine or masculine for nosotros and vosotros) based on the object(s) owned, not the person who owns the object. Choose which possessive to use based on the owner, but the ending you give to the possessive does not have anything to do with the number of people who have the object or the gender of the owner. Note that since the 3rd person possessive adjectives could cause some confusion, the use of ser+de is common in these instances for clarification. Context clues can also be used to clarify to whom an object belongs.

    Contributors and Attributions

    CC licensed content, Original
    • Indicar posesiu00f3n. Authored by: Deborah M. Edson. Provided by: Tidewater Community College. License: CC BY: Attribution
    CC licensed content, Shared previously
    • Gramu00e1tica: Los posesivos. Authored by: SUNY Oneonta with Lumen Learning. Provided by: SUNY Oneonta. License: CC BY: Attribution

    This page titled 3.10: Gramática. Los adjetivos posesivos is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Erica Brown, Alejandra Escudero, María Cristina Montoya, & Elizabeth Small (OER SUNY) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.