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French possessive  adjectives

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“There's nothing a teacher treasures more than to see their pupil succeed.”

The French adjectifs possessifs are quite different from their English counterparts! Read these explanations and then go to the exercises. If you are still unsure about the rules, it will be my fault so contact me and I will try to explain in a different way!



Bon, alors, the main thing is to remember that it is not who possesses whatever it is, but what is being possessed! Just commit to memory the following formula                                     

                                 MON, MA, MES = MY

If you remember this formule, you will remember the golden rule!


What is this rule?

Well the clue is the fact that the  grammatical name for my, your, his, her etc... is possessive adjectives. If you know your French adjectives, you will know that they, like chameleons, will become masculine, feminine, singular or plural, just like the nouns they describe.

So, remember the formule, MON, MA, MES = MY

If, whatever I possess is feminine, for example tablemy table will be ma table, irrespective of my own gender. Furthermore, I could never be plural as there will never be more than one me (!), so I could never use MES to describe something which is mine, unless, unless, what is mine is plural! Now do you see how important it is to remember the formula? You are starting to see the light but you need some examples. I am going to use French words which are similar to the English to make it easier.


table (f)


villlage (m)




enfants (plural)


brochure (f)


crayon (m)


Let’s keep to what’s mine for the moment:

 ma table (f)

my table

mon villlage (m)

my village

mes parents (plural)

my parents

mes enfants (plural)

my children

ma brochure (f)

my brochure

mon crayon (m)

my pencil

Let’s see if you can do the following:

 m... télévisions

my televisions

m... famille (f)

my family

m... villlages

my villages

m... programme (m)

my programme 

m... téléphones

my telephones

m... radio (f)

my radio

Here are the answers:

 mes télévisions

my televisions

ma famille (f)

my family

mes villlages

my villages

mon programme (m)

my programme 

mes téléphones

my telephones

ma radio (f)

my radio

I wouldn’t mind betting that you are now worried about remembering whether this or that word is masculine or feminine!!! Well, it doesn’t really matter for everyday conversation...  if you say mon radio, or ma programme will people understand you ? of course they will! However, when you write, you should be more careful...

Now, lets move on to the other possessive adjectives:

your (singular/familiar)

ton + masculine

ta + feminine

tes + plural

its, his or her

son + masculine

sa + feminine

ses + plural


notre + singular

nos + plural

your (polite /plural)

votre + singular

vos + plural


leur + singular

leurs + plural

A little exercise to make sure you have understood:

our coffee (m)

... café (m)

their tea (m)

... tea

your (p.p.) exercises

... exercises

their examples

... examples

his visit (f)

... visit

your (sing.fam.) speed (f)

... vitesse

his vocabulary (m)

... vocabulaire

her perfume (m)

.. parfum

your (p.p.) lemonade (f)

.. limonade

his city (f)

... cité

our hotels (m)

.. hôtels

your (sing.fam.) efforts

... efforts

her adventures

... aventures

his accidents

... accidents

your (sing./fam.) ideas

... idées

his student (f)

... étudiante

And here are the answers:

our coffee (m)

notre café (m)

their tea (m)

leur tea

your (p.p.) exercises

vos exercises

their examples

leurs examples

his visit (f)

sa visite

your (sing.fam.) speed (f)

ta vitesse

his vocabulary (m)

son vocabulaire

her perfume (m)

son parfum

your (p.p.) lemonade (f)

votre limonade

his city (f)

sa cité

our hotels (m)

nos hôtels

your (s.fam.) efforts

tes efforts

her adventures

ses aventures

his accidents

ses accidents

your (sing./fam.) ideas

tes idées

his student (f)

son étudiante*


* Ahah! You applied the golden rule and your wrote sa étudiante, didn’t you? Well unfortunately there is one exception to the rule: if the word is feminine and starts with a vowel (or an h), you can’t use ma, ta or sa, you have to use mon, ton or son simply because of the pronunciation, it rolls off the tongue better this way. So, mon amie (f), ton idée (f), son aventure (f)...

Now you know it all, time to check with the interactive exercises if you have really understood, bon courage!


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