French Possessive Adjectives

Beginner French - Level A1

Overview

Possessive adjectives are words used in place of articles to indicate to whom or to what something belongs. French possessive adjectives are used in similar ways to English possessive adjectives. Like English, the French language has a special group of adjectives that indicate possession of the nouns that follow. Possession, as you probably already know, indicates who owns an object or who that object belongs to. In French grammar, there are three forms of the possessive for each singular person (I, you, he/she/it). The gender, number, and first letter of the noun possessed determine which form to use.

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French Possessive Adjectives

A possessive adjective shows that a noun belongs to a specific person. In English, possessive adjectives translate to my, your, his/her, ours, yours, and theirs.

Unlike in English, the gender of the object being possessed is very important in French. The correct possessive adjective agrees in gender and number with the noun being possessed and not with the possessor.

Before a masculine singular noun

Before a feminine singular noun

Before a plural noun

Meaning

mon

ma

mes

my

ton

ta

tes

your

son

sa

ses

his/hers

notre

notres

nos

ours

votre

votre

vos

yours

leur

leur

leurs

theirs

 

Note: The gender of the object is not important only when that object begins with a vowel; in that case, the muscular singular possessive adjective is used.

            Mon appartement (masc.) → My apartment

            Mon histoire (fem.) → My story

The questions you should ask yourself before choosing a possessive adjective are:

  1. “What is being possessed?”
  2. “Is that person or thing a masculine, feminine, or plural word in French?”
  3. “If it’s feminine singular, does it come before a vowel?”

Other Examples:

Note the gender and number of each word that is possessed and how the possessive adjective changes. This concept is consistent in French grammar whether or not people are being talked about, as all objects have an assigned gender.

Mon frère = My brother          Ton père = Your father           Son oncle = His oncle

Ma soeur = My sister              Ta mère = Your mother          Sa tante = His aunt

Notre famille = Our family     Vos amis = Your friends        Leurs cousins = Their cousins

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Learn the possessive adjectives in French masculine feminine singular plural : My your his her our their. Les adjectifs possessifs en français au masculin féminin singulier pluriel : mon ma mes ton ta tes son sa ses notre nos votre vos leur leurs. Los adjetivos posesivos en francés masculino femenino.
-credit: YouLearnFrench

Directions: Choose the appropriate possessive adjective for each sentence based on the word provided in parenthesis. Hint: Refer back to the three questions you should ask yourself before choosing possessive adjectives. Use the Quizlet in this module to help identify the gender of the words.

  1. Le patron (the boss) regarde ________ portable. (his)
  2. L’homme cherche un crayon dans __________ trousse. (his)
  3. J’utilise ______ clavier pour taper (type) un courriel. (their)
  4. ______ feutres ne marchent plus. (Our)
  5. J’ai besoin de ________ agrafe pour les papiers. (my)

Answers and Translations

  1. Le patron (the boss) regarde son portable (masc). / The boss looks at his cellphone.
  2. L’homme cherche un crayon dans sa trousse (fem). / The man looks for a pencil in his pencil case.
  3. J’utilise leur clavier (masc) pour taper (type) un courriel. / I use their keyboard to type an email.
  4. Nos feutres (plural) ne marchent plus. / Our markers no longer work.
  5. J’ai besoin de mon agrafe (fem, vowel) pour les papiers. / I need my stapler for the papers.

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