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italianopodcast

POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES – Aggettivi possessivi

The possessive adjectives in Italian have a masculine and a feminine form, in the
singular and in the plural:

In the masculine singular:

MIO MY
TUO YOUR
SUO HIS/HER
NOSTRO OUR
VOSTRO YOUR
LORO THEIR

In the feminine singular:

MIA MY
TUA YOUR
SUA HIS/HER
NOSTRA OUR
VOSTRA YOUR
LORO THEIR

Before masculine nouns we use masculine adjectives and before feminine nouns we
use feminine adjectives, so for example we say:

IL MIO LETTO (my bed)


IL TUO CELLULARE (your mobile phone)

LA MIA CAMERA (my room)


LA NOSTRA VALIGIA (our suitcase)

In the masculine plural:

MIEI MY
TUOI YOUR
SUOI HIS/HER
NOSTRI OUR
VOSTRI YOUR
LORO THEIR

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In the feminine plural:

MIE MY
TUE YOUR
SUE HIS/HER
NOSTRE OUR
VOSTRE YOUR
LORO THEIR

For example:

I SUOI AMICI (his/her friends)


I VOSTRI VICINI (your neighbours)

LE VOSTRE CANZONI (your songs)


LE LORO SCARPE (their shoes)

Note that, unlike in English, in Italian the 3rd person pronoun doesn’t specify
whether the owner is a male or a female, so that LA SUA AUTO can either be “his
car” or “her car”, depending on the context.

The possessive adjective is generally preceeded by an article (definite or indefinite),


for example:

LA MIA AMICA CLARA (my friend Clara)

UNA MIA AMICA (a friend of mine)

PS. LORO is always invariabile

EXCEPTION:

An exception to this rule is with nouns referring to family members.


We don’t put the article before terms like padre, madre, zia, sorella, fratello,
cugino…
So we never say *LA MIA SORELLA, but MIA SORELLA, and not *IL MIO ZIO, but MIO
ZIO.

However, with MAMMA and PAPÀ you can either use the article or not, so it’s
acceptable to say LA MIA MAMMA and IL MIO PAPÀ though it’s more common to hear
them without article.

Before LORO you must always have an article at any time, so you have to say: LA
LORO CUGINA, I LORO NONNI, LE LORO FIGLIE.

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If there’s another adjective that specifies some further information about the family
member, the article is always accepted, so for example you cannot say: *IL MIO
MARITO, but you can say IL MIO EX MARITO.
Or you cannot say *IL MIO FRATELLO, but you can say IL MIO FRATELLO PIÚ GRANDE
(my youngest brother).

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