Possessive Pronouns/Determiners – Meu, Teu, Nosso, Vosso

Let’s take a closer look at this first group of possessive pronouns and determiners: meu, teu, nosso and vosso, plus their feminine and plural forms.

Subject Possessive Pronoun/Determiner English Equivalent
Eu Meu, Minha, Meus, Minhas My, Mine
Tu Teu, Tua, Teus, Tuas Your, Yours
(singular)
Nós Nosso, Nossa, Nossos, Nossas Our, Ours
Vós, Vocês Vosso, Vossa, Vossos, Vossas Your, Yours
(plural)

Gender and Number Agreement

The table above may look overwhelming because the pronoun/determiner has to agree in gender and number with the noun it refers to, (just like how we use other adjectives).
For example, if we’re talking about single objects, such as um jornal a newspaper (masc. noun) or uma revista magazine (fem. noun), we’d have:

  • O meu jornal e a minha revista. My newspaper and my magazine. – Each belonging to me
  • O teu jornal e a tua revista. Your newspaper and your magazine. – Each belonging to you (individual)
  • O nosso jornal e a nossa revista. Our newspaper and our magazine. – Each belonging to us
  • O vosso jornal e a vossa revista. Your newspaper and your magazine. – Each belonging to you (group)

(Here, because the nouns jornal and revista follow the possessive words, we have possessive determiners, not pronouns.)
Below, we’ll describe multiple newspapers and multiple magazines, without mentioning them explicitly:

  • Os meus e as minhas. Mine and mine. – Each group of them belonging to me
  • Os teus e as tuas. Yours and yours. – Each group of them belonging to you (individual)
  • Os nossos e as nossas. Ours and ours. – Each group of them belonging to us
  • Os vossos e as vossas. Yours and yours. – Each group of them belonging to you (group)

(Here, meus, teus, nossos, vossos and their feminine forms are possessive pronouns, not determiners, because the nouns were totally replaced. There’s still gender and number agreement in every case.)

Comments:

  • The Portuguese s sound (sh) is driving me crazy! Most of these sentences are real tongue-twisters, and I must pronounce them extremely slowly to get them right, especially since the final ‘sh’ turns into an ‘s’ before a word beginning with a vowel …

What did you think? Leave a Comment for Rui & Joel:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.