Adjectifs possessifs pour propriétaires singuliers
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Grammatically speaking, French has three singular possessors because it has just three* singular grammatical persons:
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:
|your (tu form)||ton||ta||tes|
|his, her, its||son||sa||ses|
|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.
|mon idée||my idea|
|ton histoire||your story|
|son 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 …
|mon autre idée||my other idea|
|ton unique histoire||your only story|
|son ancienne auto||his/her old car|
… even if the noun itself begins with a consonant.
|mon autre projet||my other project|
|ton unique fille||your only daughter|
|son 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.
|ma deuxième idée||my second idea|
|ta bonne histoire||your good story|
|sa 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.
|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.|
- à lui – "belonging to him"
- à elle – "belonging to her"
|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
- Introduction to nouns and gender
- Introduction to adjectives
- More French possession
- PwLF super list of possession lessons
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