Family and possessive adjectives

In this lesson we will learn about possessive adjectives, that are very important elements in all languages. In order to make it more enjoyable, we’ll practice this topic through the vocabulary associated with degrees of relationship in Spanish, because they are used together in most practical situations. Moreover, we’ll extend it through the use of singular and plural.

Please look at this picture and follow the examples below.

Possessive adjectives. Family in Spanish

Now compare it with this table. Can you guess who is who?

Rosana es la abuela de Cristina Sabino es el abuelo de Luisa
Rosa es la madre de Manuel Juan es el padre de Carlos
Rosa es la hemana de Juan Carlos es el hermano de Luisa
Valeria es la mujer de Juan Damián es el marido de Rosa
Rosa es la tía de Carlos Juan es el tío de Manuel
Cristina es la prima de Luisa Manuel es el primo de Carlos
Carlos es el sobrino de Valeria y Juan Luisa es la sobrina de Damian Y Rosa


Exercise: Family 1

Exercise: family 1

Possessive adjectives: Lesson structure

In Spanish, when we talk about our relatives and relationships, we use the possessive adjectives.

Here are some examples:

Mi hermana vive en Madrid, pero mis padres viven en Barcelona
My sister lives in Madrid but my parents live in Barcelona

¿Tu hijo estudia inglés?
Does your son study English?

¿Tus amigos son franceses?
Are your friends French?

Su marido trabaja en una universidad y sus hijos son estudiantes (de Ana)

Her husband works at the university and her children are students (referring to Ana)

Possessive adjectives are used to express relationship or ownership (your sister, my book, etc.). They agree with the nouns they modify (singular nouns require singular possessive adjectives). In Spanish, adjectives vary if the possessed thing is either singular or plural.

My book = Mi libro (the possessed thing is “book / libro” so “mi” must be singular)

My books = Mis libros (the possessed thing is “books / libros” so “mis” must be plural)

The forms used for a single possessor do not have masculine and feminine forms. They remain the same, regardless of the gender of the nouns they modify.

Subjects Singular Plural Example in Spanish Example in English
Yo mi mis mi libro/ mis libros My book/ my books
tu tus tu amiga/ tus amigas your friend/ your friends (female)
Él/ Ella/ usted su sus su tío/ sus tíos your uncle/ your uncles
Nosotros Nuestro (Nuestra) Nuestros (Nuestras) nuestro día/ nuestros días our day/ our days
Vosotros Vuestro (Vuestra) Vuestros (Vuestras) vuestra casa/ vuestras casas Your house/ your houses
Ellos/ Ellas/ Ustedes su sus su ciudad/ sus ciudades your city/ your cities
Note: In Spanish we do not use the genitive case like in English. We never say: Marta’s hija for Marta’s daughter. The correct form is la hija de Marta.

More grammar: singular and plural

Sometimes families are quite big, so we need to know how to use singular and plural in Spanish, if that is our case!

As in English, Spanish nouns can be singular o plural depending on the number of items we are talking about.

This is how we convert singular nouns into plural:

Words ending in… Plural + Examples
-a, -e, -i, -o, -u s Libro / Libros
-á, -é, -ó Café / Cafés
-consonante es Español / Españoles
-í, -ú Esquí / Esquíes
-z ces Lápiz / Lápices

Some examples:

La mesa las mesas El pez los peces
El libro los libros La clase las clases
El profesor los profesores El bar los bares
El pasaporte los pasaportes El actor los actores
La televisión las televisiones La canción las canciones
El lápiz los lápices El país los países
La ciudad las ciudades El papel los papeles

Exercise: Family 2

Exercise: Family 2

Simpsons' genealogy

Vocabulary: family

Español English
Abuela Grandmother
Abuelita Grandma
Abuelito Grandad
Abuelo Grandfather
Abuelos Grandparents
Adoptado Adopted
Amigo/a Friend
Amistad Friendship
Amor fraternal Brotherly love
Antepasados Ancestors , Forebears , Forefathers

View complete table (+)

Download this table in PDF

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