Possessive Adjectives in English and Spanish

Grammar Glossary for Spanish Students

Round house
Mi casa es tu casa. (My house is your house.). Antonio/Creative Commons.

An adjective used with a noun (or less commonly, pronoun) to indicate possession, ownership or close relationship. In English grammar, the term "possessive determiner" is sometimes used.

Possessive Adjectives in English

  • My
  • Your
  • His
  • Her
  • Its
  • Our
  • Their

Possessive Adjectives in Spanish

In Spanish, there are two types of possessive adjectives, the short form and the long form. Except rarely in poetry, the short form, which is more common, is used before the nouns they refer to, while the long form is used afterward.

Here are the possessive adjectives of Spanish, with the short form first:

  • Mi, mío (my)
  • Tu, tuyo (your)
  • Su, suyo (his, her, your, its, their)
  • Nuestro, nuestro (our)
  • Vuestro, vuestro (your)

As is the case with other adjectives, possessive adjectives must agree with the nouns they refer to in both number and gender. Plurals are formed by adding s, while feminine forms are made by turning the final o (if it is used) to a.


Note that the English translations don't always use adjectives (which are indicated in boldface): Bienvenidos a nuestro hogar. (Welcome to our home.) Es mi madre y amiga. (She is my mother and my friend.) Son mi madre y mi amiga. (They are my mother and my friend.) No abrieron esos libros suyos. (They didn't open those books of theirs.)

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Erichsen, Gerald. "Possessive Adjectives in English and Spanish." ThoughtCo, May. 11, 2017, thoughtco.com/definition-of-possession-adjective-3079117. Erichsen, Gerald. (2017, May 11). Possessive Adjectives in English and Spanish. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-possession-adjective-3079117 Erichsen, Gerald. "Possessive Adjectives in English and Spanish." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-possession-adjective-3079117 (accessed March 21, 2018).