Possessive Determiners

What is Possessive Determiners?

They indicate who owns what and thus show ownershhip and affiliation.

Possessive Articles come before the noun.


Example:

  • „Das ist Anna. Ihre Katze spielt im Garten.“

The different forms of Possessive Determiners


The form of the Possessive Article depends on the Person it is referring to:


  • Mein Opa ist 80 Jahre alt. Sein Bruder ist 75 Jahre alt.“
  • „Wie alt ist dein Opa?“

Only the reference person (the "owner") determines which Possessive Articles we use, not the case, gender or number.

Declension of Possessive Determiners

Possessive Articles have to be declined, just like all Articles.

  • The Declension is based on the noun that comes after the Possessive Article (what is "owned" or what "belongs" to someone)
  • Declension is the same for all Possessive Articles (meinem, deinem, seinem, ihrem, unserem,...) and is based on the gender, case and number of the noun that is "owned" (and that comes after the Possessive Article).

Exception:

  • euer Vater ⇒ euren Vater

If you add an ending to „euer“, you must drop the „e“ in the middle.

Recommendation: Possessive Pronoun

Besides Possessives, there are also Possessive Pronouns. I will explain the difference in a separate lesson: Possessive Pronouns.

Analysis of an Example:

Possessivartikel Beispiel

The person of reference is Anna. Possessive: 3. Person Feminine ⇒ ihr

„Katze“ is the noun to whom the article belongs to.

⇒ Number: Singular (only one Cat)

⇒ Gender: Feminine (die Katze)

⇒ Cases: Nominative

⇒ Nominative + Singular + Feminine = ihre

More Examples:

A: „Das ist Jens. Sein Auto steht vor unserem Haus.“

B: „Ist Jens dein Freund?“

A: „Ja, Jens ist mein Freund. Er holt mich ab.“

B: „Na dann viel Spaß bei eurem Ausflug.“

A: „Danke, werden wir haben."

Related Topics:

More lessons for the Articles:

In addition to Possessives, there are also Possessive Pronouns, and in addition to Possessives, the Genitive can also express affiliation.

In order for you to correctly decline the Articles, you must also be familiar with Genus and the German cases

You can find an overview of all topics under German Grammar.

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