Possessive Adjectives: Plural Possessions

Adjectifs possessifs pour possessions plurielles

Ma musique, notre café - French possessive adjectives
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

When dealing with plural possessions, there’s only one French possessive adjective for each grammatical person:

my   mes
your (tu form)   tes
his, her, its   ses
our   nos
your (vous form)   vos
their   leurs

Par exemple…

Où sont mes frères ?   Where are my brothers?
Nous écoutons tes chansons.   We’re listening to your songs.
Il a perdu ses clés.   He lost his keys.
Ce sont nos livres.   These are our books.
Je vois vos voitures.   I see your cars.
Il veut leurs idées.   He wants their ideas.

 The tricky part

You have to be careful when deciding whether a plural owner’s possession is singular or plural.

For example, my husband and I live in the same house. Though there are two of us, we have one house that we share, so we say notre maison. Likewise, since we share a car, we say notre voiture.

Par exemple…

Nous avons acheté notre maison en 2015.   We bought our (shared) house in 2015.
David et Anna, votre voiture elle belle !   David and Anna, your car is beautiful!

There are two types of scenarios in which the possession is considered plural:

  1. We each have our own house and our own car (we’re divorced).
  2. Collectively, we have multiple houses and multiple cars (we’re rich).

Par exemple…

Nous avons vendu nos maisons en 2017.   We sold our houses in 2017.
Où sont vos voitures ?   Where are your cars?

 The really tricky part

With the third person plural, using the plural adjective automatically means that each person has more than one of the item.

Par exemple…

Ils aiment bien leurs profs.   They really like their teachers. (they have several)
Elles ont fait leurs lits.   They made their beds. (they each have two)

When the item is not shared, it’s more idiomatic to use the singular possessive, even though this is ambiguous.

Par exemple…

Ils aiment bien leur prof.   They really like their teacher. (they share a teacher)   or
They really like their teachers. (they have different teachers)
Elles ont fait leur lit.   They made their bed. (the two girls share a bed)   or
They made their beds. (each girl made her own bed)

More French possessive adjectives

 Possessive Adjective Quizzes

Quizzes on possessive adjectives vs possessive pronouns

Note: You must be logged into your Progress with Lawless French account to take these tests. If you don’t have one, sign up – it’s free!

 Related lessons

Learn Spanish En español

Learn Italian In italiano

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Mon, ma, mes, notre, nos French possessive adjectives

Questions about French?

 Visit the Progress with Lawless French Q+A forum to get help from native French speakers and fellow learners.

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.

Leave a Reply