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Gendered Possessive Pronouns

A male saying "my horse" would say "Mio caballo," "mio" because the subject is singular and masculine. "My horses" would change the pronoun to "mios," right? But does the gender of the speaker influence the pronoun? Could a woman still say "mio caballo or "mio caballos?" And vice versa, could a man say "mia tortuga," for example?

3 years ago


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If the possessive pronoun comes just before the noun it is simply "mi" (or "mis" for plural). So both a man and a woman would say "mi caballo" or, plural, "mis caballos" and the same goes for "mi tortuga" and "mis tortugas".

If the possessive follows the noun (as in "the horse is mine") it then takes on the gender of the noun -- not the speaker (unless the speaker is the noun in question). So, again, both a man and a woman would say: "El caballo es mío" (pl. "Los caballos son míos") and "La tortuga es mía" (pl. "Las tortugas son mías").

For more written explanations and tables with various possessives you can check out the "Tips and Notes" section under the Possessives skill.

3 years ago


Thank you! This helps remarkably.

3 years ago


Possessive adjectives only change according to the gender and number of the noun being described, not according to that of the owner or speaker. And also, the long form adjective you are using are only used after the nouns, not before.

The short form possessive adjectives, used before a word are as follows: (Note that most of these only change according to number, not according to gender)

  • Yo -- Mi/Mis

  • Tú -- Tu/Tus

  • Él, Usted, Ella -- Su/Sus

  • Nosotros -- Nuestro/Nuestra/Nuestros/Nuestras ( Note that this one does change according to gender, while the other short form adjectives only change according to number)

  • Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes -- Su/Sus

Here's some example sentences using these:

  • Mi caballo -- My horse

  • Mis caballos -- My horses

  • Su caballo -- His/Her/Your/Their horse

  • Sus caballos -- His/Her/Your/Their horses

  • Mis vacas -- My cows

The long form adjectives, used after the noun, are as follows: (Note that all of these change according to gender and number of the noun being described)

  • Yo -- Mío/Míos/Mía/Mías

  • Tú -- Tuyo/Tuyos/Tuya/Tuyas

  • Él/Ella/Usted -- Suyo/Suyos/Suya/Suyas

  • Nosotros -- Nuestro/Nuestros/Nuestra/Nuestras

  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes -- Suyo/Suyos/Suya/Suyas

Some example sentences with these:

  • Los caballos son suyos -- The horses are his/hers/theirs/yours

  • Los caballos son míos -- The horses are mine

  • ¿Dónde está mío? -- Where is mine?

  • Las vacas son mías -- The cows are mine

3 years ago

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Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, an alternate way of writing "my horse" does use the long form of the pronoun, but puts it behind the noun: "los caballos míos." (When I learned this originally, I was told phrases like this are similar to phrases like "the horses of mine," which is a bit more formal than "my horses" and stresses the possessive aspect much more, but means essentially the same thing.)

3 years ago