Italian Possessive Adjectives and How to Use Them!

Italian possessive adjectives may appear daunting to native English speakers. However, with this quick and simple guide, you’ll be able to easily grasp Italian possessive adjectives and master them in no time!

In this guide you will quickly learn:

  • What a possessive adjective is
  • How to modify possessive adjectives in French
  •  The 24 different Italian possessive adjectives
  • How and where to use them

What is a possessive adjective

Italian possessive adjectives are the English equivalent to “my, your, her, his, our, their”. These adjectives indicate the relationship of ownership or possession between two objects or people. They have a similar function and placement as their English counterparts, however, when it come to agreement things become a bit more complex for Italian possessive adjectives. However, don’t fret – we’ll guide you through the process step by step!

How to modify Italian possessive adjectives

In Italian, adjectives modify nouns and must agree with them in both number and gender. Possessive adjectives also follow this rule, which sets them apart from English possessive adjectives.

In contrast to English, where possessive adjectives may change based on the owner (as in “her/his/its”), Italian possessive adjectives vary depending on the gender and number of the noun being modified. Put simply, if the noun being owned is singular and feminine, the possessive adjective must also be in the singular feminine form, whereas if it’s singular and masculine, the possessive adjective should be in the singular masculine form.

For Example:

The noun “horse” is masculine in Italian (regardless of the actual gender of the horse), so the possessive adjective used to describe it must also be masculine, such as “mio” for singular or “miei” for plural.

  • Il mio cavallo (singular)
  • I miei cavalli (plural)

On the other hand, the noun “house” is always considered feminine in Italian. Therefore, when referring to your car or cars, you would use the feminine possessive adjectives “mia” for singular or “mie” for plural.

  • la mia casa (singular)
  • le mie case (plural)
Here are some more examples:
  • La mia macchina è rossa. (My car is red.)
  • Il tuo cane è molto carino. (Your dog is very cute.)
  • La sua casa è grande. (His/her house is big.)
  • La nostra famiglia è italiana. (Our family is Italian.)
  • La vostra cucina è moderna. (Your kitchen is modern.)
  • La loro macchina è vecchia. (Their car is old.)
  • La mia migliore amica è francese. (My best friend is French.)
  • Il mio libro preferito è “Il nome della rosa”. (My favorite book is “The Name of the Rose”.)
  • I suoi genitori sono molto simpatici. (His/Her parents are very friendly.)
  • Le sue scarpe sono nere. (Her shoes are black.)

The 24 Italian possessive adjectives

Now that you understand how possessive adjectives behave in Italian, let’s look at a comprehensive list of all 24 Italian possessive adjectives. 

This table shows all the variations of the Italian possessive adjectives. It will make it easy for you to find the form of the possessive adjective you need in any given circumstance.

Masc. Sing. Fem. Sing. Masc. Plur. Fem. Plur.
il mio (my) la mia (my) i miei (my) le mie (my)
il tuo (your, singular informal) la tua (your, singular informal) i tuoi (your, singular informal) le tue (your, singular informal)
il suo (his) la sua (her) i suoi (his) le sue (her)
il nostro (our) la nostra (our) i nostri (our) le nostre (our)
il vostro (your, plural formal) la vostra (your, plural formal) i vostri (your, plural formal) le vostre (your, plural formal)
il loro (their) la loro (their i loro (their) le loro (their)

How and where to use Italian possessive adjectives

Italian possessive adjectives are fairly easy to use in a sentence. Just like in English, they come right before the noun they modify or a noun and its qualifying adjective:

  • mia zia (“my aunt”)
  • tua nonna (“your grandma”)
  •  (“their best friends”!

You are now ready to express possession in Italian!

With this comprehensive guide on Italian possessive adjectives, you’re now ready to make use of them.

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