Family 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.

Family Spanish

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

Rosana es la abuela de CristinaSabino es el abuelo de Luisa
Rosa es la madre de ManuelJuan es el padre de Carlos
Rosa es la hemana de JuanCarlos es el hermano de Luisa
Valeria es la mujer de JuanDamián es el marido de Rosa
Rosa es la tía de CarlosJuan es el tío de Manuel
Cristina es la prima de LuisaManuel es el primo de Carlos
Carlos es el sobrino de Valeria y JuanLuisa es la sobrina de Damian Y Rosa

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.

SubjectsSingularPluralExample in SpanishExample in English
Yomimismi libro/ mis librosMy book/ my books
tutustu amiga/ tus amigasyour friend/ your friends (female)
Él/ Ella/ ustedsusussu tío/ sus tíosyour uncle/ your uncles
NosotrosNuestro (Nuestra)Nuestros (Nuestras)nuestro día/ nuestros díasour day/ our days
VosotrosVuestro (Vuestra)Vuestros (Vuestras)vuestra casa/ vuestras casasYour house/ your houses
Ellos/ Ellas/ Ustedessusussu ciudad/ sus ciudadesyour 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, -usLibro / Libros
-á, -é, -óCafé / Cafés
-consonanteesEspañol / Españoles
-í, -úEsquí / Esquíes
-zcesLápiz / Lápices

Some examples:

La mesalas mesasEl pezlos peces
El librolos librosLa claselas clases
El profesorlos profesoresEl barlos bares
El pasaportelos pasaportesEl actorlos actores
La televisiónlas televisionesLa canciónlas canciones
El lápizlos lápicesEl paíslos países
La ciudadlas ciudadesEl papellos papeles
familia Simpson

Vocabulary: family

EspañolEnglish
AbuelaGrandmother
AbuelitaGrandma
AbuelitoGrandad
AbueloGrandfather
AbuelosGrandparents
AdoptadoAdopted
Amigo/aFriend
AmistadFriendship
Amor fraternalBrotherly love
AntepasadosAncestors , Forebears , Forefathers

View complete table [+]

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