Possessive Pronouns

Pronoms possessifs

French possessive pronouns
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French possessive pronouns are used in place of nouns to indicate to whom or to what those nouns belong.

Par exemple…

Où est le tien ? Where is yours?
J’ai perdu les miennes. I lost mine.

Characteristics of French possessive pronouns

  1. Start with a definite article
  2. Replace a possessive adjective + noun
  3. Must agree with the possessed noun in number and gender

French has 21 different possessive pronouns

  Singular     Plural  
  Masculine    Feminine      Masculine    Feminine
mine le mien la mienne   les miens les miennes
yours (tu form) le tien la tienne   les tiens les tiennes
his, hers, its le sien la sienne   les siens les siennes
ours le nôtre la nôtre   les nôtres les nôtres
yours (vous form)  le vôtre la vôtre   les vôtres les vôtres
theirs le leur la leur   les leurs les leurs

Note that the singular pronouns have four forms:

  1. Masculine singular: le mien, le tien, le sien
  2. Feminine singular: la mienne, la tienne, la sienne
  3. Masculine plural: les miens, les tiens, les siens
  4. Feminine plural: les miennes, les tiennes, les siennes

While the plural possessive pronouns have just three:

  1. Masculine singular: le nôtre, le vôtre, le leur
  2. Feminine singular: la nôtre, la vôtre, la leur
  3. Plural: les nôtres, les vôtres, les leurs

  Fais gaffe !

The gender of the French possessive pronoun must agree with the gender of the noun possessed, not that of the possessor. Men and women both say le mien in reference to travail, and la mienne when talking about their voiture, because travail is masculine and voiture is feminine. This is particularly tricky for the third person singular, where English uses gender differently: we say "his" and "hers," but in French, both of those must be translated by la sienne if talking about, say, une voiture. The gender of the owner is completely irrelevant, grammatically speaking.

  Remember that when the prepositions à and de precede the definite articles le and les, they must contract.

Par exemple…

Mon père n’est pas là, donc il faut téléphoner au tien.   My dad isn’t home, so we have to call yours.
J’aime bien cette idée, mais que pensez-vous des leurs ?   I really like this idea, but what do you think about theirs?

 French Possessives Quizzes

Test yourself on French possessive pronouns vs possessive adjectives with these fill-in-the-blank exercises:

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 Related lessons

Learn Spanish En español

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French possessive pronouns

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