Week 3 Day 3: Possessives in Spanish
What’s in store for you today: Learning about possessives and talking about extended family
Today’s goals are:
● To learn about the possessive in Spanish and possessive adjectives
● To learn vocabulary for the extended family
Listen to Track 3.3.1
Juan: María, ¿dónde está tu primo? (María, where is your cousin?)
María: Mi primo está en casa. Está malo. (My cousin is at home. He is sick.)
Juan: ¡Oh no! ¿Y tu tía? (Oh no! And your aunt?)
María: Ella está en la tienda. Está preocupada. (She is at the store. She’s worried.)
Juan: Tiene sentido. Su hijo está enfermo. (That makes sense. Her son is sick.)
María: Sí. Ella es una persona muy simpática. Le cuida muy bien. (Yes. She is a very nice person. She takes good care of him.)
Today, we’re going to talk about the possessive in Spanish (my, your, his, etc.). In addition, we’re going to look at how to say things like “María’s cousin” or “María’s aunt.”
La madre de mi amigo… My friend’s mother (OR La casa de mi amigo… My friend’s house)
Listen to Track 3.3.2
This may seem like a long way to say a short phrase, but this is exactly how it’s said in Spanish!
In Spanish, there is no apostrophe (’). Instead, we use the preposition de (of) when we want to make something possessive.
- El padre de mi novio (The father of my boyfriend – my boyfriend’s father)
- La casa de mi amigo (The house of my friend – my friend’s house)
- El bolígrafo de Juan (The pen of Juan – Juan’s pen)
- La tienda del padre de María (The store of the father of María – Maria’s father’s store)
It’s not overly complicated. But it does take a little bit of a thought shift. You will say what is being possessed first, then the preposition de, then the person or thing that possesses it.
- El libro de María (the book of María)
- El escritorio de Pablo (the desk of Pablo)
- La novia de mi amigo (the girlfriend of my friend)
- La madre de Juan (the mother of Juan)
Mi, Tu, Su…
Just like in English, we have another option for showing possession. We don’t always use the apostrophe (’). Sometimes, we use possessive adjectives.
Listen to Track 3.3.3
Below, you’ll find the possessive adjectives in Spanish. You’re probably already familiar with the first one!
Mi/ Mis– My
Tu/ Tus– Your (singular – familiar)
Vuestro/a/os/as– Your (plural – familiar)
Su/ Sus– His/Her/Its/Your (singular – formal)
Su/ Sus– Their/Your (plural – formal)
You’ll notice that we’re still using our handy little chart so you know exactly which person will take which possessive adjective.
Rules to Remember
Like with everything else in Spanish, our possessive adjectives have to AGREE AGREE.
- Your adjectives will describe the thing being possessed. NOT the possessor.
- This means if you have two pens, your adjective will be plural:
- Mi bolígrafo (My pen)
- Mis bolígrafos (My pens)
- Here are some more examples:
- Mi amigo necesita su libro. (My friend needs his book.)
- Mi amigo necesita sus libros (My friend needs his books.)
- Tus padres están muy enfadados. (Your parents are very angry.)
- Mi hermano está en su habitación. (My brother is in his room.)
- Su familia tiene dos casas. ¡Sus casas son muy grandes! (His/her/their family has two houses. His/her/their houses are very big!)
- You’ll notice that with su, the translations can mean a couple of different things. The context will let you know which subject you’re talking about.
- Nuestro/a/os/as and Vuestro/a/os/as
- These two possessive adjectives will change not only between singular and plural, but also between masculine and feminine. STILL it’s what’s being possessed that determines what form these adjectives will take:
- ¿Dónde está nuestro libro? (Where is our book?)
- ¿Dónde están nuestros libros? (Where are our books?)
- Nuestra escuela está cerca del parque. (Our school is near the park.)
- Vuestro profesor es muy simpático. (Your – plural, familiar – teacher is very nice.)
- Vuestras clases son interesantes (Your – plural, familiar – classes are interesting.)
Vocabulary: The Family
Let’s take some time now to grow our vocabulary, shall we?
One of the things a lot of people talk about with some frequency is their family. So let’s look at the vocabulary we need to be able to chat about ours in Spanish!
Listen to Track 3.3.5
Madre – Mother
Padre – Father
Hijo/a – Son/Daughter
Hermano/a – Brother/Sister
Tío – Uncle
Tía – Aunt
Primo/a – Cousin
Abuelo – Grandfather
Abuela – Grandmother
Sobrino/a – Nephew/Niece
Nieto/a – Grandson/Granddaughter
Marido/ Mujer – Husband/Wife (used in Spain)
Esposo/Esposa – Husband/Wife (used in Latin America)
Like with “padres” and “hermanos” if we want to say, “I have four aunts and uncles” we’ll use the masculine form: Tengo cuatro tíos. The same goes for grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, and nieces and nephews. Tengo cuatro sobrinos–dos sobrinas y dos sobrinos (I have four nieces and nephews – two nieces and two nephews).
Listen to Track 3.3.6
Listen to the conversation and see how much of it you can understand. Listen for words you are familiar with and for some of the new words we’ve just discussed.
Juan: Hola, María. ¿Quiénes son tus amigos? (Hello, María. Who are your friends?)
María: Hola, Juan. Él es mi hermano, Miguel. Y ella es mi prima, Rosa. (Hello, Juan. He is my brother, Miguel. And she is my cousin, Rosa.)
Juan: Hola, Miguel. Hola, Rosa. Es un placer conocerles. (Hello, Miguel. Hello, Rosa. It’s a pleasure to meet you.)
Miguel: Encantado. (Pleased to meet you.)
Rosa: Encantada. (Pleased to meet you.)
Today, we talked about possessives in Spanish.
- We mentioned that the apostrophe (’) doesn’t exist in Spanish. Instead, we use the preposition de.
- We also talked about the possessive adjectives:
Mi/ Mis- My
Tu/ Tus- Your (singular – familiar)
Vuestro/a/os/as- Your (plural – familiar)
Su/ Sus- His/Her/Its/Your (singular – formal)
Su/ Sus- Their/Your (plural – formal)
- We discussed how they need to agree with the noun they are describing in number and gender (for the 1st and 2nd person plural).
We also looked at vocabulary for the extended family.