June 17, 2020 ·

Possessive Adjectives in Spanish = Posesivos

What is the definition of possessive adjective?



Possessive adjectives indicate who or what owns something. Possessive adjective are a key part of the Spanish language and are important to study because there are more possessive adjectives in Spanish than there are in English. This is because just like all adjectives in Spanish, they must agree with the gender and singularity or plurality of the noun it possesses. Lets take a look at them! Feel free to contact one of our Spanish Teachers if you have more questions 🙂

Possessive adjectives are used to indicate a relationship of possession or ownership:

  • mi celular
  • my cellphone
  • tu lapicera
  • your pen

There are four main possessive adjectives in Spanish:

  • mi
  • tu
  • su
  • nuestro

Three of the four possessive adjectives have only two forms depending on whether or not the noun the are describing is plural or singular:

  • mi
  • mis
  • tu
  • tus
  • su
  • sus

As mentioned above, possessive adjectives need to agree with the noun that they modify meaning they agree with the thing that is being possessed.

mi celularmy cellphone
mis celularesmy cellphones
tu lapicerayour pen
tus lapicerasyour pens

The possessive adjectives mi, tu and su do not have masculine or feminine forms. They stay as is regardless of the gender of the noun that is being modified.

  • mi abuelo
  • mi abuela
  • tu tío
  • tu tía
  • su hermano
  • su hermana

The possessive adjective mi means “my” and tu means “your”

  • Mi casa es tu casa.
  • My house is your house.

Su, like tu, also means “your” in certain situations. The difference depends on the formality of the relationship with which you are referring to.

  • Mi casa es tu casa. (speaking to someone you would address as “tú”)

Mi casa es su casa. (speaking to someone you would address as “usted”)

Note: Both “tu” and tú” are pronounced the same. The difference is that the “tu” without the written accent is the possessive adjective meaning your and the “tú” with the accent refers to the subject pronoun “you”

Su has four meanings: his, her, their and your (formal):

Roberto está en su casa.Roberto is at his house.
Juana está en su casa.Juana is at her house.
Ellos están en su casa.They are at their house.
Su madre está en su casa.Your mother is at your house (formal).

If it is unclear who the possessive adjective “su” is referring to, a prepositional phrase will be used instead.

Roberto está en la casa de él.Roberto is at his house.
El hombre limpia la casa de ella.The man cleans her house.
María lava el plato de David.María washes David’s plate.

The possessive adjective nuestro has four different forms of use:

  • nuestro
  • nuestra
  • nuestros
  • nuestras

The possessive adjective nuestro means “our”

nuestro abueloour grandpa
nuestra abuelaour grandma
nuestros padresour fathers
nuestras madresour mothers

Here are all of the possessive adjectives:

tu/syour (informal)
su/shis, her, your (formal), their

It is important to note that possessive adjectives are not used with pieces of clothing or body parts:

Me gusta la falda nueva.I like my new skirt.
Me duele la cabeza.My head hurts.

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