French Possessive Pronouns
French possessive pronouns are used in place of nouns to indicate to whom or to what those nouns belong. In French, possessive pronouns vary in form depending on the gender and number of the noun they replace. The gender and number of the possessive pronoun must agree with the gender and number of the noun possessed, not that of the possessor.
A possessive pronoun dictates the possession of a noun without that noun being explicitly expressed in the sentence. In French, possessive pronouns translate to mine, yours, his/hers/its, ours, yours, or theirs. Take a Look at the following examples in English.
Yes, these keys are mine.
Stop looking for your wallet – I have yours!
That coat over there is hers.
Like nearly all other French grammar concepts, there are multiple variations of these possessive pronouns based on the gender and number of what is being possessed. In the sentences above, the spelling/form of mine, yours, and hers would depend on the items keys, wallet, and coat respectively. The following table lays out the possible forms of possessive pronouns.
|Masculine Singular||Feminine Singular||Masculine Plural||Feminine Plural|
|mine||le mien||la mienne||les miens||les miennes|
|yours (tu)||le tien||la tienne||les tiens||les tiennes|
|his/hers/its||le sien||la sienne||les siens||les siennes|
|ours||le nôtre||la nôtre||les nôtres||les nôtres|
|yours (vous)||le vôtre||la vôtre||les vôtres||les vôtres|
|theirs||le leur||la leur||les leurs||les leurs|
Mon frère a mon portable (m), donc je crie, “ce n’est pas le tien !”
My brother has my phone, so I shout, “That is not yours !”
In this example, yours refers to “phone.” Phone, or mon portable is a masculine singular noun, making le tien (ou le votre depending on who is getting talked to in the sentence) is a correct answer.
Le jardin (m) que vous voyez devant la maison est le nôtre.
The garden that you see in front of the house is ours.
In this example, oursrefers to “garden.” Garden, or le jardin is a masculine singular noun, making le nôtre a correct possessive adjective that could be used in the sentence.
Ne touchez pas les valises, elles sont les leurs.
Don’t touch the suitcases, they are theirs.
In this example, theirs refers to “suitcases.” Suitcases, or les valises is a feminine plural noun, making les leurs a correct possessive adjective that could be used in the sentence.
Notice how the definite article (le. la, les) of each change depending on the gender of the noun being replaced. Also notice how the possessive adjective for “ours,” “yours,” and “theirs” does not change between the mascuine and feminine singular forms like the others – only the definite article changes.
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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.