This learning guide is divided into different parts
with a quick summary after each topic.
1. Difference between English and French
• In English
• In French
2. A step-by -step guide to possessive adjectives
3. Additional tips for possessive adjectives
When you need to express that a noun belongs
to a person or thing, you use possessive
adjectives. The possessive determiners basically
tell you to whom or to what a certain object
belongs to. Because it identifies or gives us a
detail about the noun it refers to, it is therefore
belonging to the group of words known as
Possessive Adjectives in English
In English, there are seven possessive adjectives: my, your
(when talking to one person), your (when talking to more
than one person), his, her, its, our, and their.
• The choice of the possessive adjective in English depends
on the gender of the owner and whether there is one or
• The possessive adjective does not change to indicate that
the thing being owned is plural or singular.
(Example: My dog, my dogs)
• In short, in English, the basis is the owner of the object.
Possessive Adjectives in French
In French, The Adjectifs possessifs (like all other kinds of adjectives) need
to agree to the gender and quantity of the noun they're describing.
The choice of the possessive adjective to use does not depend on the
gender of the owner or how many owners there are. Instead, it all
depends on the gender and number of the item being described.
To put it simply, in French, you pick a possessive adjective based on WHO
is talking, but it has to AGREE to the item being possessed. So the gender
of the owner does not matter at all, but the gender of the item being
referred to is what matters.
Here's an example:
My father = Mon père
My mother = Ma mère
A step-by-step guide to possessive adjectives
Step 1: Pick out the possessive adjective based on the subject. It
could either be:
• First person singular (je) – use mon, ma or mes
(which means 'my')
• “econd person singular (tu) – use ton, ta or tes
(which means 'your')
• Third person singular (il /elle) – use son, sa or ses
(which means 'his / her')
• First person plural (nous) – use notre or nos
(which means 'our')
• “econd person plural (vous) – use votre or vos
(which means 'your')
• Third person plural (ils / elles) – use leur or leurs
(which means 'their')
Step 2: Among the remaining options based on the choice you
made for step 1, choose the possessive adjective based on the
gender and number of the object that you're talking about.
For example, you are talking about your dog (or chien in French).
Use mon chien if there is only one dog and it is a male dog. If it
is a female dog, use ma chienne. But if you have many dogs
(whether they are all male, all female or a mix of both), you use
mes chiens. What your gender is (male or female) won't matter
Step 3: Don't forget to check out the first letter of the noun or
object! If it begins with a vowel or a silent H, use the masculine
form of the possessive adjective (mon, ton, son).
Additional tips for possessive adjectives
1. Possessive adjectives always come BEFORE the
2. Possessi e adjecti es agree not ith the
owner of the item being used in the sentence,
but with the item itself.
3. In French, possessive adjectives are not used to
point out body parts. Le, la l' or les are being
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