Getting to Know Spanish Possessive Adjectives - dummies

Getting to Know Spanish Possessive Adjectives

By Gail Stein

Using Spanish possessive adjectives is just one of the ways you can stake your claim on everything from loved ones to last night’s tuna casserole. Placing a Spanish possessive adjective before the noun that’s possessed allows you to express my, your, his, her, its, our, or their. Possessive adjectives must agree in gender and number (singular or plural) with the objects that are possessed, not with the possessors. The following table delves into the details.

Spanish Possessive Adjectives
English Word Masculine Singular Masculine Plural Feminine Singular Feminine Plural
my mi mis mi mis
your tu tus tu tus
his/her/your su sus su sus
our nuestro nuestros nuestra nuestras
your vuestro vuestros vuestra vuestras
their/your su sus su sus

Here are some examples of how you can use possessive adjectives:

  • Julia escribe a sus amigas. (Julia writes to her friends.)

  • Yo perdí mis gafas. (I lost my glasses.)

  • Nosotros escuchamos a nuestro profesor. (We listen to our teacher.)

Because su can mean his, her, or their, you can clarify who the possessor really is by replacing the possessive adjective (su) with the corresponding definite article (el, la, los, or las) + noun + de + él (ellos, ella, ellas, Ud., Uds.). So the sentence I need his (her) help (which looks like Necesito su ayuda when you use the possessive pronoun) can also be written as Necesito la ayuda de ella (él).

With parts of the body or clothing, when the possessor is clear, you replace the possessive adjective with the correct definite article: Me cepillo los dientes dos veces al día. (I brush my teeth twice a day.)