Possessive Adjectives – French

possessive adjectives french

In French, possessive adjectives (my, your, his, her, our, their) agree with the noun they describe, NOT with the person it belongs to.

It means that if you are talking about ‘his table’, in English, the emphasis is put on the fact that the possessor is masculine. In French, the possessor does not matter; because ‘une table’ is feminine, you have to use the feminine possessive adjective ‘sa’.


The gender of the noun

To use the correct possessive adjective, you need to know the gender of the noun you want to describe.


his coat
son manteau

her coat
son manteau

➤ You use ‘son’ in both cases because ‘manteau’ is masculine and it doesn’t matter who it belongs to.


his teddy bear
sa peluche

her teddy bear
sa peluche

➤ You use ‘son’ in both cases because ‘peluche’ is feminine and it doesn’t matter who it belongs to.


More examples…


‘une chanson’ (a song) is feminine.

ma chanson : my song

ta chanson : your song (singular, informal)

sa chanson : it could be translated by his or her song depending on the context

notre chanson : our song

votre chanson : your song (formal)

leur chanson : their song


‘un livre’ (a book) is masculine.

mon livre : my book

ton livre : your book (singular, informal)

son livre : it could be translated by his or her book depending on the context

notre livre : our book

votre livre : your book (formal)

leur livre : their book


Before a vowel

Watch out for ‘ma’, ‘ta’, ‘sa’ when they describe a feminine noun that starts with a vowel. To avoid having two vowels next to each other, their masculine version ‘mon’, ‘ton’, ‘son’ is used.


‘une imprimante’ (a printer) is feminine.

The accurate possessive adjective should be ‘sa’ but because ‘imprimante’ starts with a vowel, you swap ‘sa’ for ‘son’.

son imprimante : his/her printer


In a nutshell…

  masculine feminine before a vowel plural
my mon ma mon mes

(singular, informal)

ton ta ton tes
his, her, its son sa son ses
our notre notre notre nos

(plural or formal)

votre votre votre vos
their leur leur leur leurs


Now, practice with exercises ➚



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