Possessive Adjectives: Singular Possessors

Adjectifs possessifs pour propriétaires singuliers

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

Grammatically speaking, French has three singular possessors because it has just three* singular grammatical persons:

1st person jeI
2nd person tuyou
3rd person il

 In French, each of the three* grammatical possessors has three different possessive adjectives, depending on whether the possession is masculine singular, feminine singular, or plural. Therefore, there are a total of 9 French possessive adjectives for the three singular possessors:

 Singular Plural
 Masculine Feminine  
mymon ma mes
your (tu form)ton ta tes
his, her, itsson sa ses

Par exemple…

Je suis avec mon frère.I’m with my brother.
J’écoute ma musique.I’m listening to my music.
J’ai perdu mes clés.I lost my keys.

 Remember: The gender of the owner is irrelevant. Men and women both say mon travail (my job) and ma voiture (my car), because travail is masculine and voiture is feminine.


When a feminine singular noun begins with a vowel or h muet, the masculine adjective is used to avoid a hiatus – learn more.

Par exemple…

ma idéemon idée my idea
ta histoireton histoire your story
sa autoson auto his/her car

This is also the case when an adjective that comes between the possessive and the noun begins with a vowel or mute h …

Par exemple…

ma autre idéemon autre idée my other idea
ta unique histoireton unique histoire your only story
sa ancienne autoson ancienne auto his/her old car

… even if the noun itself begins with a consonant.

Par exemple…

ma autre projetmon autre projet my other project
ta unique filleton unique fille your only daughter
sa ancienne voitureson ancienne voiture his/her old car

Note that an adjective starting with a consonant uses the normal possessive adjective – it’s only the first letter of the word that immediately follows the possessive that dictates whether euphony is required.

Par exemple…

mon deuxième idéema deuxième idée my second idea
ton bonne histoireta bonne histoire your good story
son nouvelle autosa nouvelle auto his/her new car

 * Fais gaffe !

As you can see, the third person has three distinct subjects, and in English, there’s a different possessive adjective for each of those subjects. In French, however, this is where it gets really tricky: grammatically speaking, there is only one third person owner, so all three third-person singular possessors use the same possessive adjectives. There is no distinction between his, her, and its; again, the choice of possessive adjective depends on the gender and number of the possession itself. The gender of the owner is completely irrelevant, grammatically speaking.

Par exemple…

Je suis avec son frère.I’m with his / her brother.
J’écoute sa musique.I’m listening to his / her music.
J’ai perdu ses clés.I lost his / her keys.

If you ever do need to make the distinction, you can use the preposition à plus a stressed pronoun:

  • à lui – "belonging to him"
  • à elle – "belonging to her"

Par exemple…

son frère à lui his brother
son frère à elle her brother

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

  Lawless French Files:  

Stay up to date with Lawless French

Questions about French?

 Ask me in the comments section below or 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.