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Mein, dein, sein, ihr, etc.: German possessive pronouns in the nominative case Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Grammar, Language

The ability to change perspectives when we talk with one another is one of the most awesome characteristics of humans. That is, when a speaker uses the word “I” in his or her statements we automatically know that this person is talking of him- or herself and not of one of us.

Memorizing German personal pronouns is easy. But what about possessive pronouns? Well, this is a little bit trickier because there are different forms for each person, depending on the case and gender of the noun you use. Let’s have a look at the different forms of German possessive pronouns in the nominative case.

 

Table: German possessive pronouns in the nominative case

Singular Plural
1st person mein / meine / mein (my) unser / unsere / unser (our)
2nd person dein / deine / dein (your; informal) euer / eure / euer (your; informal)
Ihr / Ihre / Ihr  (your; formal) Ihr / Ihre / Ihr (your; formal)
3rd person sein / seine / sein (his) ihr / ihre / ihr (their)
ihr / ihre / ihr (her)
sein / seine / sein (its)

 

The forms in blue and green are used when you refer to a masculine or neuter noun. The forms in red are used when you refer to a feminine noun. Following you can find some example sentences:

 

der Löffel (spoon) – masculine noun

Das ist mein Löffel. – This is my spoon.

Das ist dein Löffel. / Das ist Ihr Löffel. – This is your spoon.

Das ist sein Löffel. – This is his spoon.

Das ist ihr Löffel. – This is her spoon.

 

die Tasche (bag) – feminine noun

Das ist meine Tasche. – This is my bag.

Das ist deine Tasche. / Das ist Ihre Tasche. – This is your bag.

Das ist seine Tasche. – This is his bag.

Das ist ihre Tasche. – This is her bag.

 

das Buch (book) – neuter noun

Das ist mein Buch. – This is my book.

Das ist dein Buch. / Das ist Ihr Buch. – This is your book.

Das ist sein Buch. – This is his book.

Das ist ihr Buch. – This is her book.

 

der Plan (plan) – masculine noun

Das ist unser Plan. – This is our plan.

Das ist euer Plan. / Das ist Ihr Plan.  – This is your plan.

Das ist ihr Plan. – This is their plan.

 

die Angelegenheit (business) – feminine noun

Das ist unsere Angelegenheit. – This is our business.

Das ist eure Angelegenheit. / Das ist Ihre Angelegenheit. – This is your business.

Das ist ihre Angelegenheit. – This is their business.

 

das Auto (car) – neuter noun

Das ist unser Auto. – This is our car.

Das ist euer Auto. / Das ist Ihr Auto. – This is your car.

Das ist ihr Auto. – This is their car.

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About the Author:Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra

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Comments:

  1. ibrahim:

    thank you but iam sorry to say that germany is difficult language

  2. Bill Ellis:

    Sandra: I am studying German for the second time. I studied it when I was an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1980s. Now I am studying it again to help me with my study of the postal history of Pomerania (Vorpommern und Hinterpommern). Greifswald is one of the important cities of Vorpommern. How was it, studying at one of the oldest universities in Germany (and in Europe)? I need help with possessive pronouns in the dative and accusative case, especially using "your" (plural, informal) in front of masculine, feminine, neuter, and plural nouns. Bill Ellis

  3. Rebecca:

    Aren't all the examples of possesive adjectives and not possesive pronouns?

  4. Tom Cook:

    You are quite right Rebecca. None of the above are examples of possessive pronouns They are possessive adjectives.

  5. Frau Syed:

    Euer or eur is the informal plural form of pssessive article. In Dativ you have to use it accoringly, as you have learnt the rule for other articles. Example: Ich helfe euren kindern (plural). Wie geht es eurem Bruder (masculine)? Ich koche eurem kind(neutrum) Gulaschsuppe. Wir spendieren eurer Schule(feminine)2000 Euro.

  6. Crista:

    How can I tell when "ihr" refers to "her" and when it refers to "their"? Das ist ihr Löffel. – This is her spoon. Das ist ihre Tasche. – This is her bag. Das ist ihr Buch. – This is her book. ***How do I know it's not "their" spoon, "their" bag, "their" book?) Das ist ihr Plan. – This is their plan. Das ist ihre Angelegenheit. – This is their business. Das ist ihr Auto. – This is their car. ***How do I know it's not "her" plan, "her" business, "her" car? Cheers.

  7. Germanlerener:

    Thanks a lot!! very Helpful! SANDRA!! Keep it up! sehr gut! helped me in my examination Cheers!

  8. Tom:

    A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun. As possessive adjectives replace nouns, they are classified as pronouns. For this reason, they are also called possessive pronouns. The term possessive pronoun covers all the pronouns that demonstrate ownership.

  9. Amir:

    hello can we say for example "Ich esse eur Fruhstuck" ? (I can't type with ulamuts, sorry).

  10. Sten:

    @Amir Hi Amir! "Ich esse mein Frühstück" would be correct. It is my breakfast, so "mein"! ;) Or what do you mean with "eur"?

  11. Sandra:

    @Amir Hi Amir, Can say it in English, please? Because "ich" (I) and "euer" (your) don't go together. You can say: "Ich esse mein Frühstücke." But it sounds more naturally when you say: "Ich frühstücke.", which is the Germany equivalent of "I'm having breakfast." Regards, Sandra :)

  12. Brigitte:

    You could actually say "Ich esse euer Frühstück", if you want to tell some other people that you are eating their breakfast.

  13. John F Brunner:

    In 2013 Christa asked: Crista 7 July 2013 at 5:13 am # How can I tell when “ihr” refers to “her” and when it refers to “their”? Das ist ihr Löffel. – This is her spoon. Das ist ihre Tasche. – This is her bag. Das ist ihr Buch. – This is her book. ***How do I know it’s not “their” spoon, “their” bag, “their” book?) Das ist ihr Plan. – This is their plan. Das ist ihre Angelegenheit. – This is their business. Das ist ihr Auto. – This is their car. ***How do I know it’s not “her” plan, “her” business, “her” car? Cheers. I have the same question. I would appreciate an answer or explanation. John

  14. Soham Bakshi:

    This is brilliant. Thank you so much. However, if you could please explain and put up a few examples on German Nominative pronouns, I'll be extremely appreciative. Thank you. Soham

  15. Andrew:

    I live in the USA. I was curious about one thing. I took two years of German in high school. When is the word Meinee used instead of just mein/meine? I have been slowly relearning my German and adding to it since I graduated high school. I did spend two weeks in Germany to Hungary and back. That was in A.D. 1997.

  16. Andrew:

    I asked an incorrect question on August 15, 2015. When would I use the German word "meiner" instead of mein/meine? I encountered that word and know it means my through a translation application on my iPhone.

  17. Jeff:

    Hi Crista and John, "How can I tell when “ihr” refers to “her” and when it refers to “their”? ***How do I know it’s not “their” spoon, “their” bag, “their” book?) ***How do I know it’s not “her” plan, “her” business, “her” car?" The answer is context. Taken in isolation, "Das ist ihr Plan." is ambiguous and one needs more information in order to determine whos map it is. But if we're in a cafe and I point to a group of tourists at the table next to us looking at a map and say "Das ist ihr Plan.", then the meaning is clear. Hope that helps.

  18. Mara:

    Eure Eltern wohnt in Budapest or Ihren Eltern wohnt in Budapest. What sentence is corect? When i should use eure and when ihren?

  19. Sten Ritterfeld:

    @Mara Eure Eltern wohnen in Budapest. Remember, Eltern is Mehrzahl (plural)! Eure = your (pl.) Ihre = her / their (pl.)

  20. angei:

    Hallo.. Thanks for this useful article.I am still confuse on how to use some of the modal verb. thanks a lot.. From Philippines


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