Possession

Possession

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Welcome to Lengua Franca! In this video, our focus is on possession, since Spanish and English work differently in this grammar point. In English, when we want to mark that some noun is owned by a person or thing, we have two options: we can use a possessive adjective, or we can slap an apostrophe-s on the possessor, the noun. In Spanish, we also have possessive adjectives, but there is nothing like the apostrophe-s solution. In this video, we will learn about how to put those elements together, so that we can have a more complete noun phrase. Let’s start off with a sample paragraph, so that we can see possessive adjectives in action. So what do you notice in this paragraph? Can you see that, like other adjectives, these possessives also agree in number and, with the nosotros form, gender? And where do the possessive adjectives go? That’s right; they go in front of the noun. This table has the full compliment of possessive adjectives. You can see that mi and mis both mean ‘my’, and that the difference is simply singular versus plural, based on the noun that it modifies, not the person who possess it. The same is true for tu and tus, su and sus. Nuestro and vuestro end in –o, and therefore work like any other adjective that ends in –o: they have to agree in both gender and number with the noun they modify. Also, note that whether you are saying ‘his’, ‘hers’, ‘its’ or ‘theirs’, the equivalent is su. This can get complicated if it is not clear in context who is being referenced by su. So there is another way to talk about possession. If we want to talk about a specific person as the possessor, in Spanish we use a prepositional phrase, and we use de. For example: Es el libro de Juan. Literally we are saying that ‘it is the book of John.’ But for most of us, that is a very haughty, pompous phrasing. We usually say: It is John’s book.’ But it is crucial to remember that in Spanish there is no apostrophe-s construction. We use a prepositional phrase instead. It sounds a bit weird at first, but everyone gets used to it pretty quickly. And so, we can use this prepositional phrase to clarify the context whenever su is used. For example, ‘su hijo’ could mean a variety of possibilities. The alternative form, using the prepositional phrase, will bring clarity every time. And with that we finish the quick explanation of possessive constructions in Spanish. Please like the video and leave any comments or questions that you have. Don’t forget to subscribe to Lengua Franca’s YouTube channel, which has more videos on Spanish grammar and much more. Oh, and please check out our Patreon page if you are at all interested in supporting us in our work. ¡Hasta pronto! ¡Adiós!

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