Possessives – Lessons 1 through 3

“Possessives” refers to possessive adjectives in the first two sections. You should be able to complete both lessons in a single day, but I’m going to give you two days, so that you can work out the plurals. I’m going to bet that you have difficulty with notre vs. nos, but you’ll figure it out and finish these lessons fairly quickly. To get a quick overview and hear the possessives, go here:




Masculine Single

Mon – My, Ton – Your, Son – Her/His, Notre – Our, Votre – Your, Leur – Their

Feminine Single

Ma – My, Ta – Your, Sa – Her/His, Notre – Our, Votre – Your, Leur – Their


Mes – My, Tes – Your, Ses – His/Her, Nos – Our, Vos – Your, Leurs -Your

Purpose of Module

Introduce possessive adjectives, which they call possessives, continue examples of feminine/masculine nouns and adjectives, as well as verb conjugation.

Il boit ton cafe – He drank your coffee
Je bois son eau – I drink your water
Je bois ton cafe – I drink your coffee
L’animal mange sa propre nourriture – The animal eats her own food
Le chat mange sa nourriture – Your cat eats her food
Les garçons boivent mon vin – The boys drink my wine
Leur garçon est fort – Your boy is strong
Leur poivre est noir – The pepper is black
Leur porc mange du riz – The pig eats the rice
Ma femme cuisine – My wife cooks
Ma femme est jolie – My wife is pretty
Ma femme est parfaite – My wife is perfect
Ma propre femme est seule – My only wife is alone
Mon enfant est jolie – My child is pretty
Mon oiseau rouge – My black bird
Mon repas est une tomate – My meal is a tomato
Nous mangeons de riz – We eat some rice
Nous mangeons son riz – We eat her rice
Pardon, mon enfant – Excuse me, my children
Sa seule robe est noire – Her only dress is black
Ta crepe est ronde – Your crepe is round
Ta femme est jolie – Your wife is pretty
Ta robe est parfaite – Your dress is perfect
Ton chat est noir – Your cat is black
Tu es jeune, mon enfant – You are young, my child
Tu es mon cheval – You are my horse
Tu manges mon canard – You ate my duck
Tu manges sa pomme – You are eating his apple
Tu manges sa pomme – You eat her apple
Vous ētes jeune mon enfant – You are young my child
Vous mangez mon canard – You are eating my duck


Personal Adjectives come in various forms in French, and must agree in number and gender to the modified noun. There is also a condition where the modified noun is feminine, but the possessive adjective used is the masculine form. This occurs when the possessive adjective comes before a vowel sound, which makes sense when you see an example.

Think of saying, my friend Adele in French. It would be “ma amie Adele” and that sounds strange. Instead you say “mon amie Adele”, and forget about the gender rule for the sake of sound. If you have a silent “h” as in “histoire préférée” (my favorite story) it would again be “mon histoire préférée” vice “ma histoire préférée”.

Two other rules to note: a possessive adjective must be repeated before each noun, which can sound repetitive to an English speaker, i.e. Je dois écrire à ma soeur, à mes parents et à mon oncle (I must write to my sister, to my parents, and my uncle). An English speaker would just say “my sister, parents and uncle”. The other rule concerns using “ils” as a singular possessive adjective when only one object is possessed by each person, i.e. Ils attachment leur ceinture de sécurité (Each person has only one seat belt).

Duolingo added a third part to this module, containing two lessons, designed to teach “possessive pronouns”. They are different than possessive adjectives.

In French, possessive pronouns indicate both the possessor and the number and the gender of the object possessed: le mien indicates that the possessor is ‘I’ and that the possession is masculine singular. Depending on the context, le sien, la sienne, les siens, les siennes may mean ‘his’, ‘hers’, or ‘its’. Note that for the others, all four forms of each possessive pronoun have one English translation.

singular plural
masculine feminine masculine feminine
mine le mien la mienne les miens les miennes
yours le tien la tienne les tiens les tiennes
his/hers/its le sien la sienne les siens les siennes
ours le nôtre la nôtre les nôtres les nôtres
yours le vôtre la vôtre les vôtres les vôtres
theirs le leur la leur les leurs les leurs

Example Sentences:

Ces documents sont les siens – These documents are his (or hers)
Ce ne sont pas les tiennes – They are not yours
Ces enfants sont les miens – These children are mine
Ces gants sont les tiens – These glove are yours