Mine & Yours, His & Hers: Portuguese possessive pronouns

Portuguese possessive pronouns

The words that we use to convey POSSESSION are pretty simple in that, we don't separate things by gender. In Portuguese of course, there are always two options: the masculine and the feminine. Portuguese possessive pronouns are a bit complicated by this and you just need to start trying to ANTICIPATE which form to use as you are speaking.

Saying my car and my house, for example have different words for "my" : meu carro / minha casa. While you're learning, just accept that you're going to get the gender wrong a lot. It's always better to just keep talking and try to correct yourself afterwards, 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 ot 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 don't expect you to live up to that!

Let's just talk about mine and yours:

meu / minha

seu / sua


My father is an engineer > Meu pai é engenheiro.
Where's my car? > Onde está meu carro?


My sister is 25. > Minha irmã tem 25 anos.
I'm going to sell my house. > Eu vou vender minha casa.

The plural case it's simple - just add an "s":

meus / minhas

seus / suas


My parents are from England. > Meus pais são da Inglaterra.
Where are my books? > Onde estão meus livros?


My sisters are older than I. > Minhas irmãs são mais velhas do que eu.
I'm going to wash my clothes. > Eu vou lavar minhas roupas.

For his & hers things get a little more interesting. In Portuguese to say, his, they literally say "of his".

So for example:

His car is is fast. > O carro dele é rápido.
Her motorcycle is faster. > A moto dela é mais rápida.
His brother went out. > O irmão dele saiu.
Her lipstick is red. > O batom dela é vermelho.

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.

from A Virada