Possessives, Differences & Articles With Possessive Pronouns


Portuguese regular possessive adjectives and pronouns are somewhat similar to English, but there are some differences. In Portuguese, they follow a few rules.

English-like rules:

  • Their stem/base form gives information about the possessor (the person/thing who owns it).
  • Adjective possessives usually show up before the noun (while placing them afterwards is not strictly wrong, it’s very rare – usually a style choice in books and poems).


The base form needs to be declined according to the gender and number of the noun it’s qualifying. (Just like adjectives and articles)

Possessive adjectives and pronouns in Portuguese are exactly the same. There is no extra "s" like in "your x yours"; the –s endings you may encounter are plural markers.

The regular possessive adjectives can be preceded by the corresponding definite article ("o meu", "a minha"...), but in Brazilian Portuguese using the article is mostly optional.

These are the regular pronouns and their inflections:

OwnerMasc. sing.Fem. sing.Masc. pluralFem. plural
Eu(o) meu(a) minha(os) meus(as) minhas
Tu(o) teu(a) tua(os) teus(as) tuas
VocêEle/Ela(o) seu(a) sua(os) seus(as) suas
Nós(o) nosso(a) nossa(os) nossos(as) nossas
Vós(o) vosso(a) vossa(os) vossos(as) vossas
VocêsEles/Elas(o) seu(a) sua(os) seus(as) suas



  • O meu carro é vermelho = My car is red
  • Minha casa é azul = My house is blue
  • Meus gatos são brancos = My cats are white
  • As minhas meias são pretas = My socks are black

Articles with possessive pronouns

While the possessive adjectives (coming before nouns) can have optional articles, the possessive pronouns (that don't precede nouns) must use the articles consistently.

One way of checking whether the article should be used is inverting the English sentence to the unusual "of him" form.
Then the article should behave in a similar way in both languages. (Please consider that this unusual English form is not commonly accepted as English translations in the system)
  • O cachorro dele quer água = His dog wants water (checking: the dog of him wants water - necessary article)
Sometimes, the article is optional, but meaning is changed:
  • Esses carros são meus = These cars are mine (checking: these cars are cars of mine)
Result: These cars belong to me
  • Esses carros são os meus = These cars are mine (checking: these cars are the cars of mine)

Result: These cars are the ones that belong to me

Using the article in these cases talks about "extra specific" things, suggesting there are probably other possibilities.

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