Portuguese possessive pronouns

possessive-pronouns

Mine, Yours, His & Hers

The words that we use to convey POSSESSION are pretty simple because all objects are treated as gender-neutral. In Portuguese of course, there are always two options: the masculine and the feminine. These are called possessive pronouns and they are going to test the limits of your patience until you get the hang of them. The tough part is learning to ANTICIPATE whether the thing you are dealing with is masculine or feminine. While you're learning, just accept that you're going to get the gender wrong all_the_time. Don't let that stop you from speaking as freely as possible!

Possessive Pronouns: MINE & YOURS

MASCULINE:
the car » o carro ||| my car » meu carro ||| your car » seu carro

Where's my car? » Onde está meu carro?
Where's your car? » Onde está seu carro?

FEMININE:
the house » a casa ||| my house » minha casa ||| your house » sua casa

I'm going to sell my house. » Eu vou vender minha casa.
I'm going to sell your house. » Eu vou vender sua casa.

*We're not doing the our or the their versions for the sake of simplicity. You can check out those other possessive pronouns here.

A few more:

My father is an engineer » Meu pai é engenheiro.
My sister is 25. » Minha irmã tem 25 anos.

Plural Possessive Pronouns » just add an "s"!

MASCULINE:

My parents are from England. » Meus pais são da Inglaterra.
Your parents are from England? » Seus pais são da Inglaterra?

FEMININE:

My sisters are older than I. » Minhas irmãs são mais velhas do que eu.
Your sisters are older than me. » Suas irmãs são mais velhas do que eu.

Possessive Pronouns: HIS & HERS

For his & hers things get a little more interesting. His => literally of his ||| Hers => of hers.

His car is is fast. » O carro dele é rápido.
Her motorcycle is faster. & raquo; A moto dela é mais rápida.

*moto is feminine word! It's, a moto - short for a motobicicleta!!

His brother went out. » O irmão dele saiu.
Her lipstick is red. » O batom dela é vermelho.

**batom is a masculine word btw! It's, o batom - even guys can use it 😉

For plurals NOTHING CHANGES:

His parents are traveling. » Os pais dele estão viajando.
Her eyes are blue. » Os olhos dela são azuis.
His things are in the bedroom. » As coisas dele estão no quarto.
Her dreams came true. » Os sonhos dela foram realizados.
Always use dele & dela for saying HIS & HERS. Some other Portuguese courses teach that you can use seu & sua to also express his & hers - but that's incorreto (wrong)! *Perhaps in Portuguese of Portugal, but not in Brazil.

It's always better to just keep talking and try to correct yourself afterward than try to think ahead and speak perfectly. I see so many people getting literally stuck mid-sentence trying to remember the correct gender. Just talk! In time, and with practice you will gradually start getting these correct more often than not. You will never get to 100%. What's amazing though, is that Brazilian themselves almost never (never) get the gender wrong. Their brains are hard-wired to the language from birth. They know that, and they do not expect you to live up to that. They are deeply satisfied that you are even trying to speak their language!

Examples of Possessives in-context