Possessive adjectives and pronouns
- Possessive modifiers in Russian answer the question 'whose?'. The form of 'whose' in Russian will agree in gender and number with the object owned, or possessed:
- English uses both possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives to show possession of a noun. The possessive pronouns in English are:
|his, hers, its||theirs
- Possessive pronouns in English are used to replace a noun and to show who possesses that noun. They are also placed after the noun.
This house is mine.
- Possessive adjectives in English describe a noun and show who or what possesses that noun. Just like other adjectives, they are placed before the noun. The possessive adjectives in English are:
This is my house.
|his, her, its||their
These are your sisters.
- In Russian there is no distinction between possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives. This is one reason why you may see them also referred to as possessive modifiers.
- The first and second person singular and plural possessives, however, use a separate form for each gender and number. So, in Russian there are four forms for each possessive: one for each gender and one for the plural.
- Which form you will use depends not on the gender and number of the person or thing that possesses, but on the gender and number of the noun possessed.
- These are the possessives in Russian for the first and second person singular and plural:
- Let us look at some examples.
- This is my house.
- In this sentence we need to decide which one of the four forms for my we will use to modify the word 'house' (дом).
- First, we look at the gender of the noun that my modifies. Since дом is masculine, we will use the masculine variant of my: мой
Это мой дом.
- If we want to replace my with your (sg.), our, or your (pl.), we will again use the masculine variants:
Это твой дом.
Это наш дом.
Это ваш дом.
- My book is there.
- Here the possessive my modifies the word 'book'. Before we decide which form of my to use, we need to know the gender of 'book'.
- Since книга is feminine, we will use the feminine variant of my: моя.
Это моя книга.
- Similarly, we will use the feminine variant for the other persons:
Это твоя книга.
Это наша книга.
Это ваша книга.
- Where is my letter?
- In this sentence my modifies a neuter noun (письмо). Therefore, we will use the neuter variant:
Где моё письмо.
- For the other persons we will also use the neuter variant:
Где твоё письмо?
Где наше письмо?
Где ваше письмо.
- My children are in the park.
- In this sentence the possessive my modifies a plural noun (дети). Therefore, we will use the plural variant of my - мои:
Мои дети в парке.
- For the other persons we will also use the plural variant:
Твои дети в парке.
Наши дети в парке.
Ваши дети в парке.
- The third person possessive modifiers in Russian are:
его = his
её = her(s)
их = their(s)
- You should note that these three pronouns are used to show possession of a noun of any gender. That is, there is no separate form for each gender or number of the noun possessed.
Exercises: 0023g, 0025g, 0377g, 0383g, 0384g, 0385g