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.

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

My ->





Our ->





Your ->





Your ->
His/its ->
Her/its ->
Their ->

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.




Masculine singular


Чей это брат?

Feminine singular


Чья это сестра?

Neuter singular


  Чьё это пальто?   

Plural all genders


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


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