Mein, dein, sein, ihr, etc.: German possessive pronouns in the nominative case

Posted on 06. Dec, 2012 by 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 Sandra

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

12 Responses to “Mein, dein, sein, ihr, etc.: German possessive pronouns in the nominative case”

  1. ibrahim 20 February 2013 at 9:46 pm #

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

  2. Bill Ellis 6 March 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    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 31 March 2013 at 4:35 pm #

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

  4. Tom Cook 18 April 2013 at 7:14 am #

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

  5. Frau Syed 29 April 2013 at 7:49 am #

    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 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.

  7. Germanlerener 20 September 2013 at 8:53 am #

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

  8. Tom 27 January 2014 at 2:53 am #

    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 27 July 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    hello

    can we say for example “Ich esse eur Fruhstuck” ?
    (I can’t type with ulamuts, sorry).

  10. Sten 29 July 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    Hi Amir!

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

  11. Sandra 30 July 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    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 19 August 2014 at 3:31 pm #

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


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