his - seine her - ihr his apple - seinen Apfel his milk - seine Milch his car - sein Auto her apple - ihren Apfel her milk - ihre Milch her car - ihr Auto
It mite sound funny, but figures out his/her depends on the gender of the object in the sentence.. Please correct me if i am wrong ..
Pretty much! It might even be clearer for you to think of it as a couple of 'steps'. Here is the simple version. Look at the bottom for a more complete explanation:
Step 1 - choose the correct main word
Who does it belong to?
"His..." = sein-
"Her..." = ihr-
Step 2 - choose the correct ending
Is the noun masculine, feminine or neuter (or plural)?
Masculine = no ending
Feminine = -e ending
Neuter = no ending
Plural = -e ending, regardless of the singular gender
This is all you need to correctly choose the right possessive pronoun for nouns in nominative case belonging to a male or female person. Read on for more complex situations:
Step 3 - modify the ending according to case
Nominative case is described above (the 'default').
Masculine noun? Use -en ending instead
Feminine noun? No change from nominative
Neuter noun? No change from nominative
Plural noun? No change from nominative
Masculine noun? Use -em ending instead
Feminine noun? Use -er ending instead
Neuter noun? Use -em ending instead
Plural noun? Use -en ending instead
Masculine noun? Use -es ending instead
Feminine noun? Use -er ending instead
Neuter noun? Use -es ending instead
Plural noun? Use -er ending instead
Note that -en and -er endings are added even if the main word ends in "n" or "r" already, giving things like seinen and ihrer.
After some practice you can combine steps #2 and #3 together to save time.
But what if you want to say not just "his" and "her", but things belonging to you, me, us, them, or you want to be extra polite?
Bonus for Step 1
"Your..." = dein- (talking to one person informally)
"My..." = mein-
"Our..." = unser-
"Their..." = ihr- (yes, the same as for "her...")
"Your..." (to a group) = euer-
"Your..." (polite) = Ihr- (always capitalised)
Note that euer- and unser- have modified spellings when they have endings to make it look nicer: eure instead of 'euere', unsrem instead of 'unserem' for example.
And that's it!
This altogether is called the declension pattern for attributive ein- words. It is very closely related to the declension pattern for der- words... Can you spot the difference? Hint: RESE NESE MRMN SRSR. That's a very useful mnemonic if you understand what it means.
You can find this written in tables on Wikipedia and many other sites.
That's not what this sentence means - she could be drinking milk that belongs to someone else. So if you answered that, it should not be accepted.
If you wanted to specify "her own milk" as opposed to "her milk", you would need to add an extra word as you do in English. In German, that would be Sie trinkt (ihre) eigene Milch.
No. It needs to be the possessive pronoun "her" - ihre
(edit: corrected typo - thx to potatobear for spotting it)
The first sound of eure sounds like "oy". The first sound of ihre sounds like "ear".
No. Just made the same mistake. It happens that the polite "you" form of Ihr is capitalized. So we need to pay a little bit more of atention.
If you got this sentence as a listening exercise, that should be accepted.
But as a written exercise, you can see that it's lowercase ihre not uppercase Ihre, so it cannot mean "your milk (polite)".
EXPLANATION: "ihr" = her (POSSESSION, couldn't be "trinkt sie").
Obviously, being a feminine word (die Milch), it becomes "ihrE".
I know, it is not in the tips and notes, but that is the right thing...
ihr is the same as sein for feminine words.
Plural would be the same thing, but it would be sie trinkEN".
So why is it that halfway through the sentence it changed from being formal (sing.) to informal (plur.)?
It doesn't :) "Sie" and "Ihre/ihre" both have more than one possible meaning each, so that confusion tells you that you've chosen the wrong meanings.
I don't get the difference between ihre-her and ihre-your.. Can somebody explain me that please??
It's just the same word, with more than one meaning. English does that sometimes too.
Is there no distinction between possessive possessive adjectives and object pronouns in German? I've seen "Ihn" used as both "his" and "him." Am I wrong? I feel 50/50..
Is it possible that this sentence could mean she is drinking her own milk? Or does it specify here that she is drinking another girl's milk? (or a group of people's milk)
You may have made some other mistake. "She drinks their milk" has long been accepted as correct, based on a reading of the other comments.
The last person to edit the list of accepted English translations was a contributor to the Pearson course, and that list currently does not include "their milk".
If it was previous accepted, presumably somebody (not necessarily the last person to touch the sentence) removed that alternative at some point.
Several people have already reported it as a missing translation.
On the other hand, "your milk" is part of accepted translations, even though ihre Milch with small i cannot mean "your milk"; that would be Ihre Milch with capital i.
That's more than a bit daft. Hoping you regain the necessary editing control!