Ich habe ___ Pass.

The acceptable versions are Ich habe einen Pass and Ich habe den Pass, no issue there.

However, that got me thinking of whether it is possible (or usual) in German to use possessive pronouns instead of articles like it is so often and so casually done in English.

So I tried to enter Ich habe meinen Pass - and was marked wrong. But is it really just plain wrong, or it is technically correct only nobody says it that way, or it is all right but not on the list of acceptable options for whatever reason?

January 16, 2018


Generally speaking, there's nothing wrong with "Ich habe meinen Pass", but it's not normally interchangeable with "einen Pass" or "den Pass". Same as in English, I assume:

"Ich habe einen Pass" = "a passport" = I own a passport; the card I received in a game has a picture of a passport on it

"Ich habe den Pass" = "the passport" = I'm the one who has brought along your passport; I've gotten hold of the passport of the man we just arrested; I've managed to catch the passport that the wind almost blew away

"Ich habe meinen Pass" = "my passport" = I'm going on vacation and I've remembered to bring along my suitcase and my money and my passport; I was robbed on the street but I still have my passport; the administration people took their time but now I finally have my passport

January 16, 2018

Thanks for the your reply, stepintime, it really sorts out the my question!


January 16, 2018

Substituting 'meinen' is acceptable depending upon the lesson being studied. Is it Definite Articles? Indefinite Articles? Possessives? Similar options occur when working with tenses, especially past tenses. If you were to write 'Ich sah den Mann,' however the lesson calls for you to use a past perfect form, your answer would, likewise, be marked wrong..

January 16, 2018

Noted on the tenses, thanks.

But I honestly have no idea what lesson the sentence came from. It was in the general workout session, so I assume it could be from anywhere up the tree. :(

January 16, 2018

If they were not looking for the translation to I have my passport. Then it would be wrong.

January 16, 2018

Well, the thing is that I am doing German from Russian. And because there are no articles whatsoever in Russian, and the pronoun was also not there in the original sentence, it looked pretty much like in the thread title here :)

Lacking the context (from which it normally becomes clear in Russian) I had a broad variety to choose from.

January 17, 2018
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