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…

O霉 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 possessive pronouns

In French, there are different forms of possessive adjectives for each grammatical person depending on whether the possessed noun is masculine or feminine, singular or plural.

  Singular   Plural  
    Masculine聽聽聽 Feminine聽聽聽 Masculine聽聽聽 Feminine
mine   le mien la mienne les miens les miennes
yours (tu)   le tien la tienne les tiens les tiennes
his, hers, its   le sien la sienne les siens les siennes
ours   le n么tre la n么tre les n么tres les n么tres
yours (vous)聽   le v么tre la v么tre les v么tres les v么tres
theirs   le leur la leur les leurs les 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 n么tre, le v么tre, le leur
  2. Feminine singular: la n么tre, la v么tre, la leur
  3. Plural: les n么tres, les v么tres, 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.

His Hers
le travail le sien le sien
la voiture la sienne la sienne
les livres les siens les siens
les pommes les siennes les siennes

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

Par exemple…

Mon p猫re n’est pas l脿, donc il faut t茅l茅phoner au tien.   My dad isn’t home, so we have to call yours.
J’aime bien cette id茅e, mais que pensez-vous des leurs ?   I really like this idea, but what do you think about theirs?

 French Possessive 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 espa帽ol

Learn Italian In italiano

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French possessive pronouns

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