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Adjectives in Spanish:
Possessive Adjectives

Adjectives in Spanish are also classified by their function. In this section we'll talk about possessive and demonstrative adjectives.

As you may recall from the previous section on Spanish adjectives, you may recall that adjectives are words that say something about nouns.

Possessive adjectives are those that determine to whom an object belong.

As their name suggests, they determine possession.

English language examples of possessive adjectives are "my, yours, his, hers, its, our, your (plural), and theirs."

Masculine Feminine English Equivalent
mi mi my
tu tu your
su su your, his, her, its *
sus sus your, his, her, its *
nuestro nuestra our
nuestros nuestras our
su, vuestros su, vuestras your (plural)
su (de ellos) su (de ellos) their

  1. Possessives agree in gender and number with the thing or things possessed, not with the possessor:

    mi casa, mis casas, nuestro libro, nuestra casa (my house, my houses, our book and our house).

  2. * Su casa means: your house, his house, her house, its house, their house.

    If you find using this word confusing, you can always use de usted, de él, de ella, de usteds, de ellos, de ellas. Examples:

    Su casa = la casa de usted; su casa (de ella) = la casa de ella. Get it?

  3. Use the definite (or indefinite) article instead of a possessive adjective when referring to a part of a persoh's body or an article of clothing:

    Ella se lava las manos (she washes her hands), Yo me quito el sombrero (I take off my hat).

Possessive Pronouns

Don't confuse possessive adjectives in Spanish with possessive pronouns in the same language. they are 2 very different items in the grammar bag!

Possessive adjectives in Spanish qualify their accompanying noun. Possessive pronouns replace them.

Masculine Femenine English Equivalent
mío mía mine
míos mías mine
tuyo tuya yours
suyo suya yours, his, hers
suyos suyas yours, his, hers (plural)
nuestro nuestra ours
nuestros nuestras ours
vuestro vuestra yours (plural)
suyo suya yours, theirs
suyos suyos yours, theirs

  1. Possessive pronuns agree in gender and number with the thing or things they replace - that is, with the thing or things possessed, not with the possessor.

    Use el, la, los, or las before the pronouns:

    su casa es grande, la mia es pequeña. (your house is big, mine is small);

    Mis amigos hablan inglés, los suyos hablan español (my friends speak English, yours speak Spanish).

  2. Suyo means: Yours, his, hers, theirs.

    For clarification, instead of suyo (suya, suyos, suyas), use el (la, los, las) de usted, de él, de ella, de usteds, de ellos, de ellas:

    Mi casa es grande, la de ellos es pequeña (mi house is big, theirs is small);

    SuyoLos amigos de usted hablan inglés, los de ella hablan español (your friends speak English, hers speak spanish).

  3. Omit el, la, los, and las when a form of ser (to be) is used before possessives:

    La casa es mía (the house is mine); los libros son mios, las lápices son de ustedes (the books are mine, the pencils are yours)

  4. The English possessives (the apostrophe ('), apostrophe s ('s), and s apostrophe (s') translate into el (la, los, las) and de:

    Mi casa y la de maria (my house and Mary's.)

    La casa de María y la del profesor (Mary's house and the professor's).

    El libro de los muchachos y el de los profesores (The boys' book and the professors').

  5. The English "of" drops out before the possessive pronouns:

    Un amigo mío (a friend of mine).

The next type of adjectives in Spanish I'll discuss is demonstrative adjectives. I could discuss it here, but I rather contain that information in a separate page.

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