Possessive adjectives and pronouns: Italian grammar lesson 29

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Summary

Dive into the world of Italian possessive adjectives and pronouns! This guide will have you mastering the art of expressing ownership in Italian, from “my” to “theirs,” with ease and confidence. 🇮🇹✨

  • Gender and Number Agreement: Italian possessive adjectives must match the gender (masculine/feminine) and number (singular/plural) of the noun they describe, not the possessor.
  • Definite Articles: Usually, you’ll pair possessive adjectives with a definite article like il or la. Remember, it’s il mio for “my hat” and la mia for “my leg”.
  • Family Exceptions: Drop the article when talking about a single family member. So it’s just mio fratello for “my brother”, not il mio fratello.
  • Possessive Pronouns: Feeling lazy? Good news! Possessive pronouns are the same as adjectives in Italian. Just swap the noun for mio, tuo, or loro and you’re set.
  • Replacing Nouns: Avoid repetition like a pro. Use possessive pronouns to replace nouns and keep things slick. Swap out “the car is mine” for “the car is mia“.
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What are possessive adjectives in Italian?

The term possessive adjectives (aggettivi possessivi ) might sound scary, but all we’re talking about is how to say my, your, her, his, its, our, and their as in the examples below:

  • Her jacket is so cool!
  • Our friend is not coming.

The Italian possessive adjectives are of utmost importance to know because they help you refer to people and their possessions.

While this table may look unapproachable, with a little bit of effort, it won’t be long before you have it down!

italian possesive adjectives 2

To use Italian possessive adjectives correctly, they need to:

  • coincide properly with gender (masculine or feminine)
  • coincide in number (singular or plural) with the noun they refer to

For instance, hat is masculine, so it uses the masculine mio and miei.

My hat il mio cappello
My hats i miei cappelli

Legs, on the other hand, are feminine. So when we’re talking about your leg or legs, we use the feminine versions, mia and mie.

My leg la mia gamba
My legs le mie gambe

When to use possessive adjectives?

We use possessive adjectives to talk about possession or ownership.

In Italian, possessive adjectives, like all other kinds of adjectives, must agree in gender and number with the noun possessed and not with the possessor, like in English.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

I miei genitori sono Olandesi.

My parents are from the Netherlands.

La mia bici è rossa.

My bike is red.

I vostri amici sono Inglesi?

Are your friends English?

Le vostre pizze sono pronte.

Your pizzas are ready.

When to use possessive adjectives in Italian

Here is a table of all the Italian possessive adjectives:

  Masculine Singular  Feminine Singular  Masculine Plural  Feminine Plural 
my mio mia miei mie
your (for tu) tuo tua tuoi tue
his, her, its suo sua suoi sue
our nostro nostra nostri nostre
your (for voi) vostro vostra vostri vostre
their loro loro loro loro

How to use possessive adjectives in Italian?

As you have probably noticed in the examples above, possessive adjectives are almost always used with a definite article (il, la, lo, i, gli, le).

La nostra macchina è nuova.

Our car is new.

Oggi ti porto il tuo libro.

I will bring you your book today.

I loro cugini vivono a Bruxelles.

Their cousins live in Bruxelles.

Le mie amiche sono tutte in vacanza.

My girlfriends are all on holiday.

Of course, there are always some exceptions: We do not use an article when talking about a blood relative in the singular.

Mio fratello è uscito.

My brother went out.

Mi ha chiamato mia mamma.

My mom called me.

Sua cugina abita a Roma.

Her cousin lives in Rome.

Nostro padre lavora in posta.

Our father works at the post office.

How to use possessive adjectives in Italian

What are possessive pronouns in Italian?

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Now that you know the possessive adjectives in Italian, we can start talking about possessive pronouns, the equivalent in English to mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, yours and theirs, like in the examples below:

  • This is mine!
  • I lost my phone, can you lend me yours?

And here we have some good news for you: if they are easy enough in English, they are even easier in Italian… They are exactly the same as possessive adjectives!

  Masculine Singular  Feminine Singular  Masculine Plural  Feminine Plural 
mine mio mia miei mie
yours (for tu) tuo tua tuoi tue
his, hers, its suo sua suoi sue
ours nostro nostra nostri nostre
yours (for voi) vostro vostra vostri vostre
theirs loro loro loro loro

mio tuo suo italian

Practice with Quizlet

Here's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.

When to use possessive pronouns?

We use possessive pronouns to replace a noun so that we do not repeat it in a sentence.

You’ll understand better with examples:

Questa borsa è mia, quella è sua.

This bag is mine, that one is hers.

I libri sono nostri, non vostri.

The books are ours, they are not yours!

Quelle pizze non sono loro, sono tue!

Those pizzas are not theirs, they’re yours!

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FAQs on Possessive adjectives and pronouns: Italian grammar lesson 29

What are possessive adjectives?

Are adjectives for referring to people and their possessions. In English they are equivalent of my, your, her, his, its, our, and their.

How to use possessive adjectives?

We use possessive adjectives to talk about possession or ownership. In Italian, they must agree in gender and number with the noun possessed and not with the possessor. And they are almost always used with a definite article (il, la, lo, i, gli, le) unless when talking about a blood relative in the singular.

What are possessive pronouns?

Possessive pronouns replace a noun and are the equivalent in English to mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, yours and theirs.

When to use possessive pronouns?

For replacing a noun and they are exactly the same as possessive adjectives.

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I’d like a cappuccino, please.
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