Possessive Pronouns in Spanish Translation

Though they serve the same function, English possessive pronouns and Spanish possessive pronouns differ from each other in every other way. In the first place, Spanish possessive pronouns are formed by adding the definite article to the possessive adjective. The definite article is however left out if the pronoun comes after any form of the verb ‘ser´. In the second place, possessive pronouns have their own number and gender, which must agree with the thing or person possessed.

Some common English possessive pronouns and their Spanish translation are listed below:

  1. Mine — el mío, la mía, los míos, las mías;
  2. Yours (singular) — el tuyo, la tuya, los tuyos, las tuyas;
  3. Yours (plural) — el vuestro, la vuestra, los vuestros, las vuestras, etc.

The Spanish translation of any English possessive pronoun in the third person, namely, ‘his´, ‘hers´, theirs´, ‘yours´ may be ‘el suyo´ and its 5 feminine and plural forms. In order to avoid confusion about gender and number, translators must replace the ‘suyo´ with ‘de él´, ‘de ella´, ‘de ellos´, ‘de usted´, or ‘de ustedes´, as required by the context. Hence, while it would not be incorrect to translate ‘This bathing suit is mine; hers is in the car´ into ‘Este bañador es mío; el suyo esta en el coche´, it would read perfectly if it were to be translated into ‘Este bañador es mío; el de ella está en el coche´.

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