Possessive determiners: mon, ma, mes, etc.


forms and uses
The possessive determiners serve to express ownership or possession (hence the name). They are also often called possessive adjectives because they agree in gender and number with the noun they introduce.

Plural Translation
mon ma mes my
ton ta tes your (familiar)
son sa ses his or her or its
notre notre nos our
votre votre vos your (formal or plural)
leur leur leurs their

famillePossessive articles, like all articles, must agree with the noun they modify. Thus, if the noun is feminine, the possessive article must be feminine, too. In the following example, the feminine noun famille requires a feminine form – sa.Note that sa has three potential translations in English: ‘his,’ ‘her,’ or ‘its.’ So, how do you know which meaning is intended? Context! Since the following example sentence refers to Tex, we know that sa means ‘his.’ 

Tex présente sa famille: Voici mon frère, Trey, et ma soeur, Rita, avec ses enfants et leur chien Fido. Notre famille est formidable! Tex introduces his family. Here is mybrother, Trey, and my sister, Rita withher children and their dog Fido. Ourfamily is great!

Do not forget to make the liaison between the plural forms of the possessive determiners and words that begin with a vowel sound. Ma, ta, sa become mon, ton, son in front of feminine nouns beginning with a vowel sound.

Tex continues his introductions:

Tex: Voici Tammy, mon amie, et ses amies Bette et Fiona, c’est-à-dire nosamies. Tex: Here is Tammy, my friend, and herfriends, Bette and Fiona, that is to say,our friends.

Listen to the dialogue:

Tammy parle avec Bette: Tex n’est plus mon ami! Il a complètement oublié moncadeau et notre anniversaire! Il a oublié toutes sespromesses! Quel nul! ami Tammy is talking with Bette: Tex is not my friend any more! He competely forgotmy present and ouranniversary! He forgot all hispromises. What a loser!

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