Possessive pronouns and determiners in French

What are possessives?

Possessive pronouns and determiners (les déterminants et pronoms possessifs) indicate possession or belonging. They agree in gender and number with the noun that they describe (determiners) or replace (pronouns).

Learn all about possessive pronouns and determiners in French grammar with Lingolia’s quick and easy examples, then put your knowledge to the test in the free exercises.

Example

Je m’appelle Julie et je cherche mon chapeau. Mon papa dit qu’il y en a un dans le placard, mais ce n’est pas le mien, c’est le sien. Ma maman aussi a un chapeau. Regarde! Le chien porte le sien.

How to use possessive determiners in French

Possessive determiners, also known as possessive adjectives (les adjectifs possessifs) always come before a noun and agree with it in terms of gender and number. The plural forms are the same for both masculine and feminine. Possessive determiners correspond to the English words my, your, his, hers etc.

Examples:
Je cherche mon chapeau.I’m looking for my hat.
Elle cherche son chapeau.She’s looking for her hat.
Person Masculine Feminine Plural
1st person singular mon ma mes
2nd person singular ton ta tes
3rd person singular son sa ses
1st person plural notre notre nos
2nd person plural votre votre vos
3rd person plural leur leur leurs

To Note

Before a vowel or a silent h, the determiners ma, ta, and sa become mon, ton, and son.

Example:
Je cherche ma amie.
Je cherche mon amie.I’m looking for my friend.

How to use possessive pronouns in French

Possessive pronouns (les pronoms possessifs) stand alone, without an accompanying noun. Usually, the noun has already been mentioned in the previous sentence and is now replaced with the possessive pronoun, which agrees in number and gender with the noun. Possessive pronouns correspond to the English determiners mine, yours, his, hers etc.

Example:
Ce n’est pas mon chapeau, c’est le sien.It’s not my hat, it’s his.
Je ne trouve pas ma jupe. Est-ce que tu peux me prêter la tienne?I can’t find my skirt. Can you lend me yours?
Person Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
1st person singular le mien la mienne les miens les miennes
2nd person singular le tien la tienne les tiens les tiennes
3rd person singular le sien la sienne les siens les siennes
1st person plural le nôtre la nôtre les nôtres les nôtres
2nd person plural le vôtre la vôtre les vôtres les vôtres
3rd person plural le leur la leur les leurs les leurs