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Los posesivos

Why do you want to know this?

English and Spanish are a bit different in the way we express possession. We want to be accurate when doing so in order for others to understand our meaning. To express possession we use several constructions and we will explore three types here.

1. Using “De”

In English when we want to indicate that something belongs to someone we add an apostrophe and an “s” to their name. For example:

  • Susana’s book
  • Francisco’s bicycle
  • Esteban and David’s dogs

We don’t do the same in Spanish. Instead we need to use the following formula: 

So, in Spanish we say: 

  • El libro de Susana
  • La bicicleta de Francisco
  • Los perros de Esteban y David

*This is why you might hear Spanish dominant people say things like:

  • “The book of Susana” or “The bicycle of Francisco!”


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2. Possessive adjectives

In English we don’t always use people’s names to express possession and neither do we in Spanish. Instead we use possessive adjectives. For example: 

  • My dog – Mi perro
  • His book – Su libro
  • Our flowers – Nuestras flores

You don’t normally think of them this way, but words like “my,” “your,” “our” are actually adjectives. They do, after all, modify nouns like any other adjective.

Since possessive adjectives are adjectives, they have to agree in number and gender with the noun, but you will notice that the gender is only altered for “nosotros” and “vosotros.”

You might also notice that “Su” is used for several subjects, but that is usually clarified by context.


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3. Possessive pronouns

Pronouns are words that take the place of a noun. Possessive pronouns are the words that replace a possessive adjective/noun combination. See them here compared to the other forms we learned:

*The pronoun has to agree in gender and number with what is being possessed



¡Hola! A continuación tienes algo para practicar. Debes lograr al menos 80% ¡Suerte!

This unit “Los posesivos” was created by Alegría Ribadeneira by combining original material and sections about possessives from Spanish411.net, licensed CC BY-NC-SA and Spanish Grammar Manual by Enrique Yépez licensed  CC BY-NC-SA.