Possessive Pronouns in Spanish

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Janet Long

Janet Long has taught post-secondary Spanish and English for over 15 years. They have a master's degrees in English from Southeast Missouri State University and a master's degree in Spanish literature from the University of Missouri Columbia.

When people want to say that something belongs to them, they use possessive pronouns. Learn about possessive pronouns in Spanish, their forms and uses, and how to choose the correct pronoun. Updated: 12/22/2021

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Have you ever been in the baggage claim area at an airport after a flight? Everyone is looking for his or her suitcase. You watch carefully as each new suitcase appears in the luggage carousel and think, 'mine is pink.' In Spanish, you would think, 'la mía es rosa.' In Spanish, words like 'mine' or 'mía' are possessive pronouns; we use them to say 'who' something belongs to.

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  • 0:00 Recommendations & Suggestions
  • 0:29 Possessive Pronoun Forms
  • 3:04 Choosing the Correct Pronoun
  • 4:02 Use of the Pronouns
  • 5:30 Lesson Summary
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Possessive Pronoun Forms

In Spanish, there are only five different possessive pronouns, but each pronoun has different forms for masculine and feminine nouns and for singular and plural nouns. Let's now look at these different forms of the Spanish possessive pronouns. First, we'll look at the pronoun itself. Then we'll look at the singular masculine and feminine versions. Then we'll explore the pronunciation and then we'll do the same for the plural versions.

Pronoun Singular M/F Pronunciation Plural M/F Pronunciation
Mine mío / mía mee-oh / mee-ah míos / mías mee-ohs / mee-ahs
Yours (s) tuyo / tuya too-yoh / too-yah tuyos / tuyas too-yohs / too-yahs
His / Hers / Yours (s/pl) / Theirs suyo / suya soo-yoh / soo-yah suyos / suyas soo-yohs / soo-yahs
Ours nuestro / nuestra nway-stroh / nway-strah nuestros / nuestras nway-strohs / nway-strahs
Yours (pl) vuestro / vuestra vway-stroh / vway-strah vuestros / vuestras vway-strohs / vway-strahs

Here, you can see that there are three different ways to say 'yours' in Spanish: tuyo, suyo or vuestro. This is because Spanish uses a familiar and formal form of 'you.' You use the familiar form for people you know well, like family and friends: tuyo (singular) and vuestro (plural). For strangers or to show respect, use the formal form, suyo, for both singular and plural references.

So, for a quick recap, here's how to choose the correct possessive pronoun form of 'yours:'

  1. For a person you know, you say tuyo
  2. For a person you do not know, you say suyo
  3. For a person you show respect to, you say suyo
  4. For a group of people you know, you say vuestro
  5. For a group of people you don't know, you say suyo
  6. For a group of people you show respect to, you say suyo

Choosing the Correct Pronoun

The pronoun that you use depends on the noun that it describes. First, decide if the noun is singular or plural. For instance, at the airport, were you looking for one suitcase, una maleta, or many suitcases, unas maletas? For singular nouns, use the forms without an '-s' on the end, and for plural nouns, add an '-s' to the end of the pronouns.

Also, every noun and pronoun in Spanish is either masculine or feminine. For the possessive pronouns, the masculine forms end in -o (singular) or -os (plural), and the feminine forms end in -a (singular) or -as (plural).

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