Lesson 14. Possessive Pronouns in German

Today we will talk about possessive pronouns in German. In German like in English each personal pronoun correlates with a certain possessive pronoun (they answer a question ‘whose?’). However, not like in English German possessive pronouns will change their form based on the gender, number and case. We have not talked about cases yet, so we will stick to dictionary forms for now.

Example:

Dein Hemd ist schmutzig. — Your shirt is muddy.
Deinе Hemde sind schmutzig. — Your shirts are muddy.

Below you will find a table that demonstrates possessive pronouns in masculine, feminine and neuter, as well as in plural.

Personal pronouns Singular Plural
Mask. Neutrum Femininum
ich mein Freund mein Buch meine Pflanze meine Pflanzen
du dein Freund dein Buch deine Pflanze deine Pflanzen
er sein Freund sein Buch seine Pflanze seine Pflanzen
sie ihr Freund ihr Buch ihre Pflanze ihre Pflanzen
es sein Freund sein Buch seine Pflanze seine Pflanzen
wir unser Freund unser Buch unsere Pflanze unsere Pflanzen
ihr euer Freund euer Buch eure Pflanze eure Pflanzen
sie ihr Freund ihr Buch ihre Pflanze ihre Pflanzen
Sie Ihr Freund Ihr Buch Ihre Pflanze Ihre Pflanzen

Now we should check if you have understood everything clearly, so we will do some grammar exercise.

Please translate into German:

His parents

His brother

His sister

Her husband

Her book

Their parents

Their house

My sister

You think that is easy, then let’s switch to the sentences:

1. I know his parents, his brother and his sister.

2. I see her husband often.

3. This is her book.

4. This is their house.

If that has not been all that easy for you, please check the comments section for correct answers.

One more exercise for you.

Please fill in the table

If we sum up everything we have got to know about German possessive pronouns, you will see that there are only two things you have to focus on.

  • Who is the owner?
  • What is the gender, number and case of the object?

Based on the answers pick the pronoun to use. Probably one of the simplest topics in German grammar.

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One Response to Lesson 14. Possessive Pronouns in German

  1. Elena says:

    Answers to the exercises:

    His parents – seine Eltern

    His brother – sein Bruder

    His sister – seine Schwester

    Her husband – ihr Ehemann

    Her book – ihr Buch

    Their parents – ihre Eltern

    Their house – ihr Haus

    My sister – meine Schwester

    1. I know his parents, his brother and his sister. – Ich kenne seine Eltern, seinen Bruder und seine Schwester

    2. I see her husband often. – Ich sehe ihren Ehemann oft.

    3. This is her book. – Das ist ihr Buch.

    4. This is their house. – Das ist ihr Haus.

    You can see that in the first two sentences the endings are not quite like the endings in the table. It is because of the case. Maybe you can find a regularity here (it will definitely help you as soon as we start learning German cases)

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