Possessive Pronouns

The possessive pronouns my, his, her, your, our, and their attribute possession to someone or something. In English, they are used by placing a possessive pronoun in front of a noun (my dream, her sister). In Russian, possessive pronouns are more tricky because they agree in gender and number with the nouns they are describing. That is to say, you should think about the gender and number of a noun to find the matching form of a pronoun.

Take a look at the table and note that each of the English pronouns my, our, your (singular), and your (plural), can be translated into Russian in four different ways depending on whether the noun is masculine, feminine, neuter or plural. The good news is that Russian possessive pronouns его, её and их never change form similar to their English counterparts his/its, her/its and their.

   Whose?   
Used before
    masculine nouns  
Used before
  feminine nouns  
Used before
    neuter nouns   
Used before
   all plural nouns  

My ->

 мой

 моя

 моё

 мои

Our ->

наш

наша

наше

наши

Your ->
(singular)

твой

твоя

твоё

твои

Your ->
(plural)
ваш
ваша
ваше
ваши
His/its ->
его
его
его
его
Her/its ->
Their ->
их
их
их
их

Okey, you’ve learned enough about Russian possessive pronouns from the table. Now you’re ready for some practice. Imagine you are standing on a parking lot and reviewing Russian possessive pronouns in your mind. Suddenly, a Russian friend of yours comes by on a new model of Lexus, goes out of the car and says Привет. You’ve never seen him driving this luxurous car before, so you ask:

 
Чья это машина?                Whose car is this?

The questions of the type you’ve just used are translated into English as:

Whose [noun] is this?

As you might have guessed, the translation of the question word whose depends on the gender and number of the noun. The following table summs it up in an easy way.

   Gender/number   

   Whose   

Example

Masculine singular

 Чей

Чей это брат?

Feminine singular

 Чья

Чья это сестра?

Neuter singular

 Чьё

  Чьё это пальто?   

Plural all genders

 Чьи

Чьи это дети?

Mini Quiz

Use the nouns given below to form questions as shown in the example:
Noun: Стол  
Question: Чей это стол?

  • машина
  • дети
  • компьютер
  • пальто
  • сестра
  • брат

Okey, you’ve been asking the “Whose… is this?” question for a while. But you also want to understand the answers you get. It’s not hard at all because the question has it all for the answer. For example, when you asked your friend

 
Чья это машина?                Whose car is this?

he or she probably answered

 
Это моя машина.                This is my car.

All he had to do was remove your question word whose and insert the possessive pronoun between это and машина. Other possible answers could be:

Это его машина                This is his car.
Это её машина. This is her car.
Это их машина. This is their car.
 

Mini Quiz

Answer the questions as shown in the example.

Чья это сестра? – Это …………….. (он) сестра. – Это его сестра.

1. Чья это семья? – Это ………………… (я) семья.
2. Чей это стол? – Это ……………… (мы) стол.
3. Чьи это дети? – Это ……………….. (она) дети.
4. Чьё это письмо? Это ………………… (я) письмо.
5. Чья это тетрадь? Это …………………. (она) тетрадь.

Knowing other ways to ask possession questions comes in handy in some situations. Suppose you found a German-French dictionary and you figure that it might belong to your friend Natasha. Next time you meet her you should ask:

Это твой словарь?                Is this your dictionary?

The possible answers could be:

Да, мой.                Yes, it’s mine.
Нет, не мой. Not, it’s not my.

Answer the questions both positively and negatively. Here is an example:

Это ваш брат? – Да, мой. (positively) Нет, его. (negatively)

    • Это ваша мама?
    • Это твой папа?
    • Это твои дети?
    • Это ваш сын?
    • Это их дочь?
    • Это его брат?

Other sites that teach Russian pronouns: The Possessive Pronouns, Russian pronouns

 




Free Russian Course

Russian Grammar

Verb Conjugations

Russian Vocabulary

Russian Names

Russian Literature

Russian Dictionary

Online Translator

Russian Video

Russian Conversations

Russian Holidays

Russia Travel

Russian Language



Top 1000 Russian Words



Russian for Travel on iPhone

Testimonials

"I found your interesting web site recently. I am quite impressed with what you have made available to the public. Thank you. I have been a learner of Russian for many years, but have achieved only the intermediate level. So I will continue to study and will use some material on your web site."
- Jasmin, USA
"Thank you very much for your informative web site. My family and I are trying to learn Russian so that we can communicate with the Russian children that we are trying to adopt. Your site is very helpful."
- Terry, United Kingdom
"Thank you for a great site. I enjoy it a lot. It is arranged in a logical manner, and it presents the language basics in a pleasant and clean way."
- Aki, Israel
"Only been on this site for about an hour. I have all the sounds down o_o This is a great site to start learning Russian."
- User comments
"Very good course indeed !! The best Russian website!"
- User comments