Possessive Pronouns

Pronoms possessifs

French possessive pronouns
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French possessive pronouns are used in place of nouns to indicate to whom or to what those nouns belong.

Par exemple…

Où est le tien ? Where is yours?
J’ai perdu les miennes. I lost mine.

Characteristics of French possessive pronouns

  1. Start with a definite article
  2. Replace a possessive adjective + noun
  3. Must agree with the possessed noun in number and gender

French has 21 different possessive pronouns

 Singular  Plural 
 Masculine   Feminine    Masculine   Feminine
minele mienla mienne les miensles miennes
yours (tu form)le tienla tienne les tiensles tiennes
his, hers, itsle sienla sienne les siensles siennes
oursle nôtrela nôtre les nôtresles nôtres
yours (vous form) le vôtrela vôtre les vôtresles vôtres
theirsle leurla leur les leursles leurs

Note that the singular pronouns have four forms:

  1. Masculine singular: le mien, le tien, le sien
  2. Feminine singular: la mienne, la tienne, la sienne
  3. Masculine plural: les miens, les tiens, les siens
  4. Feminine plural: les miennes, les tiennes, les siennes

While the plural possessive pronouns have just three:

  1. Masculine singular: le nôtre, le vôtre, le leur
  2. Feminine singular: la nôtre, la vôtre, la leur
  3. Plural: les nôtres, les vôtres, les leurs

  Fais gaffe !

The gender of the French possessive pronoun must agree with the gender of the noun possessed, not that of the possessor. Men and women both say le mien in reference to travail, and la mienne when talking about their voiture, because travail is masculine and voiture is feminine. This is particularly tricky for the third person singular, where English uses gender differently: we say "his" and "hers," but in French, both of those must be translated by la sienne if talking about, say, une voiture. The gender of the owner is completely irrelevant, grammatically speaking.

  Remember that when the prepositions à and de precede the definite articles le and les, they must contract.

Par exemple…

Mon père n’est pas là, donc il faut téléphoner au tien.   My dad isn’t home, so we have to call yours.
J’aime bien cette idée, mais que pensez-vous des leurs ?   I really like this idea, but what do you think about theirs?

 French Possessives Quizzes

Test yourself on French possessive pronouns vs possessive adjectives with these fill-in-the-blank exercises:

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

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French possessive pronouns
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