Possessive adjectives and pronouns

  1. 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:
    Masculine чей дом
    Feminine чья квартира
    Neuter чьё письмо
    Plural чьи газеты
  2. English uses both possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives to show possession of a noun. The possessive pronouns in English are:
    mineours
    yoursyours
    his, hers, itstheirs
  3. 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.
  4. 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:
    myour
    youryour
    his, her, itstheir
    This is my house.
    These are your sisters.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. These are the possessives in Russian for the first and second person singular and plural:
    masculine feminine neuter plural
    my мой моя моё мои
    your, sg. твой твоя твоё твои
    our наш наша наше наши
    your, pl. ваш ваша ваше ваши
  9. Let us look at some examples.
    1. This is my house.
      1. In this sentence we need to decide which one of the four forms for my we will use to modify the word 'house' (дом).
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
    2. My book is there.
      1. 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'.
      2. Since книга is feminine, we will use the feminine variant of my: моя.
        Это моя книга.
      3. Similarly, we will use the feminine variant for the other persons: Это твоя книга.
        Это наша книга.
        Это ваша книга.
    3. Where is my letter?
      1. In this sentence my modifies a neuter noun (письмо). Therefore, we will use the neuter variant:
        Где моё письмо.
      2. For the other persons we will also use the neuter variant:
        Где твоё письмо?
        Где наше письмо?
        Где ваше письмо.
    4. My children are in the park.
      1. 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.
      2. For the other persons we will also use the plural variant:
        Твои дети в парке.
        Наши дети в парке.
        Ваши дети в парке.
  10. The third person possessive modifiers in Russian are:
    его = his
    её = her(s)
    их = their(s)
  11. 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