Possessive Adjectives

Italian possessive adjectives
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Aggettivi possessivi

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

  1. Nearly always used with a definite article*
  2. Placed directly in front of a noun or an adjective + noun
  3. Must agree with the possessed noun in gender and number
  4. 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.

  Singular Plural
  masc fem masc fem
my   il mio la mia i miei le mie
your (tu)   il tuo la tua i tuoi le tue
his, her
your (Lei)
  il suo
il Suo
la sua
la Sua
i suoi
i Suoi
le sue
le Sue
our   il nostro la nostra i nostri le nostre
your (voi)   il vostro la vostra i vostri le vostre
i loro
i Loro
le loro
le Loro
their
your (Loro)
  il loro
il Loro
la loro
la Loro

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.

  Your Our
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.

Per esempio…

my mother   mia madre
your father   tuo padre

But…

my sisters   le mie sorelle
your brothers   i tuoi fratelli

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Possessive adjectives in Italian