Expressing possession in French
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Constructions possessives

French has four different possessive constructions, which can seem daunting until you realize that English does too – you’ve probably just never thought about them before. This page offers a quick summary of the different ways to express possession in French; click the links for detailed explanations about how to use each possessive form.

Possessive de = Apostrophe s

State the name or noun which owns something

la sœur de Gilbert   Gilbert’s sister
l’appartement des étudiants   the students’ apartment

Possessive à = Of mine/yours/his … / To me/you/him

Stress who owns something

C’est un ami à moi.   He’s a friend of mine.
Cette maison est à eux.   This house belongs to them.

Possessive adjectives = My, your, his, her, its, our, their

Modify a noun to indicate who or what owns it

Ma sœur   My sister
Leur maison   Their house

Possessive pronouns = Mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs

Replace possessive adjective + noun

Ce n’est pas ton stylo, c’est le mien.   It’s not your pen, it’s mine.
Je ne sais pas si ce sac est le tien ou le sien.   I don’t know if this bag is yours or his.

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French possession

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