Possessive Adjectives: French Grammar

Basically saying what they are, what they're used for and some examples.

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Possessive Adjectives
Used instead of articles (le, la, l' and les ­ i.e. `the')
Indicate to whom something belongs
They are used similarly to English possessive adjectives (his, her, my etc.)
1. There are far more possessive adjectives in French than in English, this is because there are
different forms for who it is referring to (i.e. me or you or he etc.) and the number (plural or
singular), but also the gender and the first letter of the thing possessed
2. When describing two or more nouns, a possessive adjective must be used in front of each one:
His brother and sister ­ son frère et sa soeur (note that the possessive adjective depends on the gender of
the noun, not the gender of the subject ­ his sister will always be `sa soeur')
Our aunt and uncle ­ notre tante et notre oncle
3. Possessive adjectives are hardly ever used with body parts in French ­ you can't say `my hand' or
`my hair.'
4. Instead, the French use pronominal verbs to show possession of body parts ­ this means a verb
that needs a reflexive pronoun (me, te, se, nous, vous) in addition to a subject pronoun (je, tu, il,
elle, nous, vous, ils, elles), because the subject performing the action of the verb is the same as
the object being acted upon
You're taking a bath (bathing yourself) ­ Tu te baignes
I broke my leg (I broke the leg of myself) - Je me suis cassé la jambe
He is washing his hair (He washes the hair of himself) ­ Il se lave les cheveux
Singular Plural
English Masculine Feminine Before vowel
My mon ma mon mes
Your ton ta ton tes
His, her, its son sa son ses
Our notre notre notre nos
Your votre votre votre vos
Their leur leur leur leurs
In French there are three forms of the possessive for each singular grammatical person (I, you,

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When a feminine noun begins with a vowel, the masculine possessive is used (to avoid saying
`ma amie' ­ you would say `mon amie')
The gender of the noun determines which form to use, not the gender of the subject ­ so both a
man and a woman would say `ma maison' as `maison' is feminine
Sometimes, this can be particularly confusing when talking about him/her/it ­ son, sa and ses
can all mean his, her, its depending on the context
For example, `son lit'…read more


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