Possessive Pronouns

What are Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns show ownership or belonging and replace a previously mentioned noun. They are "mein," "dein," "sein," "ihr," "unser," "euer," "ihr," and the declined forms (they always have to be declined).


  • „Ist das dein Koffer?“ – „Ja, das ist meiner!“
  • „Wem gehört die Katze?“ – „Das ist meine!“

Difference between Possessive Pronouns and Possessive Determiners

  • „Wem gehört der Ball?“ – „Das ist mein Ball.“

⇒ Possessive Determiner, because a noun comes after it. It's like an article.

  • „Wem gehört der Ball?“ – „Das ist meiner.“

⇒ Possessive Pronoun, because there is no noun. The possessive pronoun acts like a noun.

This difference is important, because the declension is different for the two parts of speech.

Constructing Possessive Pronouns

  1. The person (ich, du, er, sie, es, wir, ihr, sie, Sie) is determined by the "owner."
  2. The ending is determined by the gender and number of the noun that is "owned."
  3. The case is determined by the situation in the sentence (What is the function of the pronoun in the sentence? What preposition is being used? etc.)

„Wem gehört der Ball?“ (Gender = masculine)

Declining Possessive Pronouns

The declension is similar to declension of possessive determiners.

But: Pronouns always take the ending of the definite article, including in the nominative case (m/n) and accusative case (m)

Using Possessive Pronouns

As a placeholder for a previously mentioned noun, when we want to express who "owns" that noun / what the noun belongs to.

  • „Wem gehört das Auto?“ - „Das ist mein(e)s!“

Possessive pronouns are most often used after a question asking who something belongs to. If we repeat the noun, it’s not a pronoun anymore. Instead, it is a possessive determiner („Das ist mein Auto!“ ).

Related Topics:

Pronouns often have to be declined based on their case, so it's important to know when to use nominativeaccusativedative and genitive.

Here are the different types of pronouns you need to know: Demonstrative PronounsPersonal PronounsPossessive PronounsRelative PronounsReflexive Pronouns, and Indefinite Pronouns.

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