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Italian possessive adjectives are used in front of nouns to indicate to whom or to what those nouns belong. They are considerably more complicated than English possessive adjectives because Italian has several different forms depending on the gender and number of the possessed noun.
Characteristics of Italian possessive adjectives
- Nearly always used with a definite article*
- Placed directly in front of a noun or an adjective + noun
- Must agree with the possessed noun in gender and number
- Possessive adjective + noun can be replaced by a possessive pronoun
Italian possessive adjectives
In Italian there are different forms of possessive adjectives depending on whether the noun is masculine or feminine, singular or plural.
|my||il mio||la mia||i miei||le mie|
|your (tu)||il tuo||la tua||i tuoi||le tue|
|our||il nostro||la nostra||i nostri||le nostre|
|your (voi)||il vostro||la vostra||i vostri||le vostre|
As you can see, Italian has far more possessives than English: four for each grammatical person. The gender and number of the noun possessed determine which form to use.
|masc sing||il tuo libro||il nostro libro|
|fem sing||la tua sedia||la nostra sedia|
|masc plural||i tuoi libri||i nostri libri|
|fem plural||le tue sedie||le nostre sedie|
* The only time possessive adjectives are used without definite articles is when talking about relatives in the singular.
|my mother||mia madre|
|your father||tuo padre|
|my sisters||le mie sorelle|
|your brothers||i tuoi fratelli|
- Introduction to nouns and gender
- Introduction to adjectives
- Il tuo vs il Suo
- More Italian possession
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Ciao! I’m Laura K Lawless, creator, writer, editor, and CLO (Chief Lawless Officer) of this free online Italian learning site. Lawless Italian is an official Lawless Languages site.
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