In French, possessive adjectives are used to indicate possessions of the subject. These are always used in front of the noun and the adjectives must agree with the noun’s gender and number. In this article, we will learn the importance of adjectifs possessifs and also how to use them.  

What are Possessive Adjectives in French?

Adjectives which indicate the possession/ownership of a noun are called possessive adjectives or adjectifs possessifs in french. Mon, ma, mes, ton ta, tes, vos, votre, etc are french possessive adjectives. 

It is important to note that the gender of a possessive adjective depends on the noun which is being possessed and not the subject of the sentence. For example, 

Pierre marche avec sa soeur. (Pierre is walking with his sister) 

Here, the adjective “sa” is a third person feminine singular. This is because the adjective depends on the object “soeur” (sister). 

If this is confusing, do get in touch with us to get an explanation. At La Forêt French class, we focus on a strong base for grammar. 

How to Use Possessive Adjectives in French

For a better understanding of possessive adjectives, we must understand that all nouns have genders in French. There are only two genders: masculine and feminine. Although it takes some practice to get the hang of it, understanding genders is not that difficult. Once we know the gender of the noun, we can find the correct adjectif possessif easily. 

If the noun in question is feminine, we will use the feminine possessive adjective even if the subject of the sentence is masculine. We will understand this better with an example. 

Marie a son cours de yoga à 11h. (Marie has her yoga class at 11 am.)

In this example, we use the masculine adjective “son” because the “cours” is a masculine singular. Note that the subject (Marie) does not have any effect on the choice of the possessive adjective. 

Ils travaillent avec leurs filles. (they work with their daughters)

Here, we use the plural adjective “leurs” to qualify plural “filles”. Notice that here, because the subject of the sentence is “ils”, we have chosen “leurs” as the possessive adjective. We choose the third person plural adjective possessive, then looking at “filles”, we select the plural form “leurs”.

Following is the table showing the adjectives:

Adjectifs possessifs

Pronoms Sujets Masculin
Pluriel Example
First person singular(Je) MonMa Mes Mon livre
Ma maison
Mes amis
Second person singular (Tu)TonTa Tes Ton travail
Ta soeur
Tes devoirs
Third person singular (Il/elle) SonSa Ses Son portable 
Sa voitureSes cles
First person plural (Nous) Notre Notre Nos Notre fille 
Nos enfants 
Second person plural (Vous) Votre Votre Vos Votre projet 
Vos idées 
Third person plural (Ils/elles)Leur Leur Leurs Leur bureau
Leurs machines

Important Note

When a noun is feminine but starts with a vowel or a silent H, we always use mon, ton, and son instead of ma, ta, and sa to ease pronunciation. For example:

Mon amie (my friend)

Son école (his/her school)

Ton hôpital (your hospital)

Wrapping up…

All in all, possessive adjectives are easy to understand. They are the adjectives which show possession of an object. Hence, they are always in front of the object and have to agree with the noun. It is important to remember the gender-number agreement and to use the masculine possessive adjective in front of nouns with a vowel or silent h. 

We strongly recommend practising French grammar with a cohort or with a teacher. It is a good idea to join La Forêt French Class as they have experienced teachers. Contact the team today! 

A good teacher can help master possessive adjectives and other aspects of French grammar, and also clear the doubts on the spot. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you use possessive adjectives in French with examples? 

Possessive adjectives are used to show possession and ownership of nouns. They are used right before the noun. For example, Il parle avec son père. 

What is an example of a possessive adjective?

Possessive adjectives are very simple. Here are some examples

  • Votre bureau (your office)
  • Tes amis (your friends)
  • Leur appartement (their apartment)
  • Ma chambre (my room)
  • Son livre (his/her book)
  • Nos idées (our ideas)

What is a possessive noun in French?

The possessive adjectives are used to show possession of nouns used with them.