How to Show Possession in Spanish
Demonstrating or showing the concept of possession in a sentence is the way of stating that some object belongs to a person in the sentence. Some property is the belonging of a person, place, or other thing in the phrase. Showing possession, or talking about something belonging to someone, is done quite differently in Spanish from the way it's done in English. Use the tips below along with the included authentic Spanish audio to become confident in knowing how to show possession the correct way in Spanish.
Below you'll see this speaker alongside an underlined word. If you would like to hear the word spoken to you by a native Spanish speaker just click on it.
In English we always use the apostrophe and letter s to show when something belongs to someone. These few examples will look very familiar...
- your friend's house
- my wife's book
- my son's bicycle
Things get different when attempting to show possession using Spanish. The apostrophe as we know it is not used in Spanish. And because the Spanish language doesn't have an apostrophe there are a couple of other methods of showing possession. Now let's look at the most popular ways of showing possession.
Use the Word "de"
In Spanish use the word de to show when something belongs to someone -- let's take a look at some examples...
|El libro es de Maria.||The book is Maria's.|
|El carro es de mi amigo.||The car is my friend's.|
Notice in the examples how English always uses an apostrophe and Spanish uses the word de. A literal translation of the Spanish would be to say: The book is of Maria, and in English it is understood as Maria's book.
Showing Possession in Spanish using Possessive Adjectives
The other way to show possession is Spanish is through the use of Possessive Adjectives. In English these are words such as my, your, his, her, etc. In Spanish, these possessive adjectives are mi, tu, su, nuestro.
|tu libro||your book|
|mi papel||my paper|
|su pluma||his/her pen|
|nuestra casa||our house|
Be Aware of Singular and Plurals
Pay special attention to this section because it talks about another important way that possession is Spanish is different from what we're used to in English. When using the English language and saying my book, the same word my is used for the plural of book like this my books. Spanish possessive adjectives in their plural form look like this: mis, tus, nuestros
When using these possessive adjectives it's important to use the plural form when it refers to a plural noun. Here are some examples for you to look at:
- tu libro -- becomes tus libros
- mi papel -- becomes mis papeles
- su pluma -- becomes sus plumas
Be Aware of Masculine or Feminine
Spanish possessive adjectives also change endings for masculine and feminine nouns like this:
- nuestro libro -- becomes nuestros libros
- nuestro papel -- becomes nuestros papeles
- nuestra pluma -- becomes nuestras plumas