His, Hers, Yours, and Theirs
There are just a few more Portuguese possessives to learn:
See what happens there? The pronouns/determiners for the third-person singular (+ você) and the third-person plural are all the same!
Gender and Number Agreement
Once again, the pronouns or determiners must agree with the respective noun, not with the subject!
If we’re talking about single objects such as um carro Play slow audio Play normal audio a car (masc. noun) and uma mota Play slow audio Play normal audio a motorcycle (fem. noun), here’s what we get:
- O seu carro e a sua mota. Play slow audio Play normal audio His car and his bike. – Each belonging to him
- O seu carro e a sua mota. Play slow audio Play normal audio Her car and her bike. – Each belonging to her
- O seu carro e a sua mota. Play slow audio Play normal audio Your car and your bike. – Each belonging to you (individual, formal)
- O seu carro e a sua mota. Play slow audio Play normal audio Their car and their bike. – Each belonging to them
As you can see, the Portuguese sentence is the same in every situation! In order to fully understand the sentence, you would have to know who was being referred to from previous context.
If we had multiple cars and multiple bikes, we’d just need to pluralize the determiners to match:
- Os seus carros e as suas motas. Play slow audio Play normal audio – Again, the cars and bikes could be his, hers, yours (formal), or theirs.
These constructions tend to be used more often in writing and in formal speech because they create so much ambiguity. Later you’ll learn a convenient workaround that the Portuguese language gives us to use in these cases when you need more context. You will still hear this version however, so let’s practice with seu and its variants first before moving ahead to the other (de + pronoun) form.