FRENCH POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS

FRENCH POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS

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Added by December 6, 2017

Les Pronoms Possessifs

Learn French Possessive Pronouns 


Links mentioned in the video: 

Lesson on French definite articles: https://youtu.be/IZ1Cr9Gc9Ns
Lesson on French possessive adjectives: https://youtu.be/3QBQ6W46jYA
Translating exercises at the bottom of this page.


TRANSCRIPT OF THE FRENCH POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS VIDEO

Let me start this lesson by reminding you what a pronoun is : it’s a little word that replaces the noun and thus allows us to avoid the repetition of a word.

Next, let me remind you what an adjective is : it is a word that modifies a noun. It is always used with the noun it modifies.

Do you already know FRENCH POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES ? If not, check out the lesson now and come back to this page after. Just to refresh your memory, here are a few examples of possessive adjectives : MON, SA, LEUR etc.

List of French Possessive Pronouns

Just like possessive adjectives, POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS agree in gender and number with the nouns they replace. And just like possessive adjectives, they vary depending on the number and gender of the possessor.

Basically, to use possessive pronouns properly, you first need to clarify who « owns » the thing you are talking about, and what is the gender and number of that thing.

Here’s a little table to sum it all up and I’ll illustrate it with examples right after.

SINGULAR                                       PLURAL

                                  Masculine               Feminine                   Masculine             Feminine

Mine LE MIEN LA MIENNE LES MIENS LES MIENNES
Yours LE TIEN LA TIENNE LES TIENS LES TIENNES
His/Hers/Its LE SIEN LA SIENNE LES SIENS LES SIENNES
Ours LE NÔTRE LA NÔTRE LES NÔTRES LES NÔTRES
Yours LE VÔTRE LA VÔTRE LES VÔTRES LES VÔTRES
Theirs LE LEUR LA LEUR LES LEURS LES LEURS

Note that LE SIEN, LA SIENNE, LES SIENS, LES SIENNES can either be translated by English pronouns « his, hers, its ».

Examples of French Possessive Pronouns 

Let me give you examples of the use of those various pronouns.

French book possessive pronouns

Source: Pixabay

SON LIVRE DE FRANÇAIS EST VRAIMENT BIEN. LE MIEN N’EST PAS TERRIBLE.

Her French book is really good. Mine is not great.

LE MIEN allows us to avoid the repetition of the word LIVRE. Instead of saying MON LIVRE N’EST PAS TERRIBLE, we say LE MIEN N’EST PAS TERRIBLE.

LIVRE is singular masculine. And « I » is the possessor. It’s mine.

Got it ? Try to avoid the repetition in the following sentence.

J’ADORE SES SITES WEB. IL SONT MIEUX QUE MES SITES WEB.

I love her website. It’s better than my websites.

We’ll have : J’ADORE SES SITES WEB. ILS SONT MIEUX QUE LES MIENS.

Another one now… Make sure you check out the translation before you pick your possessive pronoun.

LEUR NIVEAU DE FRANÇAIS EST EXCELLENT MAIS SON NIVEAU DE FRANÇAIS EST MOYEN.

Their French level is excellent but her French level is average.

We’ll have : LEUR NIVEAU DE FRANÇAIS EST EXCELLENT MAIS LE SIEN EST MOYEN.

Their French level is excellent but hers is average.

Moving on !

French Teacher Possessive Pronouns

Source: Pixabay

The fact that French possessive pronouns include a definite article (LE, LA, L’, LES) means that it will sometimes be contracted, in particular when associated with À or DE. Let me show you:

J’AI PARLÉ À MON PROF ET ELLE A PARLÉ AU SIEN.

I’ve talked to my teacher and she’s talked to hers.

Since À + LE does not exist in French, we apply the rule that consists in contracting the two into AU.

In the same way, remember to contract DE + LE/LA/LES as shown below :

LA PLUPART DE MES AMIS SONT AMÉRICAINS.

Most of my friends are American.

LA PLUPART DES MIENS SONT AMÉRICAINS.

Most of mine are American.

I think that’s it for now. I’ll leave you with a little translating practice to make sure you get this all down. Careful, you’ll need to use both possessive adjectives and pronouns here.

 

Practise the use of French Possessive Pronouns

Translating Exercise

  1. Theirs (feminine, plural)
  2. Yours (masculine, plural or formal)
  3. Yours (feminine, singular)
  4. Her country is in America and mine is in Europe.
  5. I’ve talked to her parents and she’s talked to mine.
  6. Her teacher’s name is Mr Lilac and the name of mine is Mr Lindon.

 

Answers : 1. Les leurs 2. Les vôtres 3. La tienne 4. Son pays est en Amérique et le mien est en Europe. 5. J’ai parlé à ses parents et elle a parlé aux miens. 6. Le nom de mon prof est M. Lilac et le nom du mien est M. Lindon. (note that in this last sentence, you’ve got a possessive structure with « DE » + a possessive pronoun with the contraction of DE + LE = DU)

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