Dutch Language Blog

Possessive Pronouns in Dutch Posted by on Mar 18, 2010 in Dutch Language

Possessive pronouns are used to show that something belongs to someone or a group of someones. The possessive pronouns are always used when people are the one’s doing the possessing.  In Dutch, the possessive pronouns also come in emphasized and unemphasized varieties.  Just like with the subject pronouns (link to post about subject pronouns) the emphasized possessive pronoun is often used to show a contrast while the unemphasized possessive pronoun is used more generally.  The emphasized possessive pronouns only exist for the singular perspectives.

In the following examples, the emphasized possessive pronoun is listed first.

First Person Singular:

mijn/m’n : mine

Dit is mijn boek, en niet jouw boek.

-This is my book, and not your boek.

Dit is m’n boek en het is heel interessant.

-This is my book and it is very interesting.

Second Person Singular:

jouw/je : your

uw : your (formal)

Is dit grote huis jouw huis?

-Is this large house your house?

Je mag je fiets hier parkeren.

-You may park your bicycle here.

Kunt u uw auto in een andere plek parkeren, alstublieft?

-Can you park your car in another spot please?

Third Person Singular:

It is more common to use zijn and haar than z’n and d’r

zijn/z’n : his

haar/d’r : her

Zijn auto is rood maar haar auto is groen.

-His car is red, but her car is green.

Zij doet d’r deur dicht.

-She closes her door.

Hij poetst z’n tanden.

-He brushes his teeth.

First Person Plural:

Unlike the other possessive pronouns, the first person plural possessive pronoun changes depending on whether or not it is referring to a de or a het word.

With de words, use onze : our

With het words, use ons : our

Ons studieboek is interessant.

-Our study book is interesting.

Onze auto is kapot.

-Our car is broken.

Second Person Plural:

jullie : your

uw : your (formal)

Jullie huis is heel mooi!

-Your house is very beautiful!

Heb ik uw toestemming?

-Do I have your permission?

Third Person Plural:

hun : their

Hun kinderen zijn heel schattig.

-Their children are very cute.

And how about we put this comments section to use?  Try writing a sentence using a possessive pronoun.  I’ve given you some examples to start with, and the best way to learn is by doing, so try it out!

Tags: ,
Keep learning Dutch with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it


  1. Peter Simon:

    Sorry for speaking out again after such a useful part, but “Uw heeft mijn toestemming.” is incorrect: no object of possession here. ‘U heeft …’ or ‘Uw collega heeft …’ would be correct. Other than that, English also has some rules to it. Thus (c. ‘dus’ in Dutch) “how about we put this …” is wrong. After the preposition (about) the object form of the pronoun is to be used, if anything at all. The verb afterwards should also be a gerund, because there was no subject in this sentence. After all, it’s a suggestion. So, either ‘how about putting …’ or ‘how about us putting …’ must be used. Maak je keuze, maar binnen mogelijkheden …

    • sarah:

      @Peter Simon Hi Peter,

      You’re absolutely correct, I copied my sentence wrong and have it corrected now. Thanks for noticing! To be honest, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about in the second part of your comment. To put to use is to make use of. There is absolutely nothing grammatically wrong with that sentence.

  2. Peter Simon:

    Hi, Sarah, I do understand what that means and what you mean. But the form of the suggestion is a mixture of phrases. Simply put, we can either say ‘Why don’t we do sg.’ or ‘Let’s do sg’ or ‘How about doing sg’ or, most formally, ‘How about us doing sg’ The “How about we do sg.” structure is not correct and used. The syntax, or morphology is wrong.

    • sarah:

      @Peter Simon Hi Peter,

      I’m just going to have to disagree with you on that one, and leave it at that.



  3. Thijs:

    Hi Sarah. Thank you for your effort. I think there’s a little mistake. Mij/m’n simply translates to ‘my’, not to ‘mine’, which would be ‘van mij’.

    First Person Singular:

    mijn/m’n: my
    van mij: mine

    Dit is mijn boek, en niet jouw boek.

    -This is my book, and not your book.
    [Note: ‘boek’ wasn’t translated here]

    Dit boek is van mij, en niet van jou.

    -This book is mine, and not yours.

    Dit is m’n boek en het is heel interessant.

    -This is my book and it is very interesting.

    Dit boek is van mij en het is heel interessant.

    -This book is mine and it is very interesting.