Unlike English, Spanish has two forms of possessive adjectives, a short form that is used before nouns, and a long form that is used after nouns. The more common type is explained in our lesson on short-form possessive adjectives. Following are the long-form possessive adjectives with examples of usage and possible translations of each example:
- mío, mía, míos, mías — my, of mine — Son libros míos. (They are my books. They are books of mine.)
- tuyo, tuya, tuyos, tuyas — your (singular familiar), of yours — Prefiero la casa tuya. (I prefer your house. I prefer the house of yours.)
- suyo, suya, suyos, suyas — your (singular or plural formal), its, his, her, their, of yours, of his, of hers, of theirs — Voy a la oficina suya. (I am going to his/her/your/their office. I am going to the office of his/hers/yours/theirs.)
- nuestro, nuestra, nuestros, nuestras — our, of ours — Es un coche nuestro. (It is our car. It is a car of ours.)
- vuestro, vuestra, vuestros, vuestras — your (plural familiar), of yours — ¿Dónde están los hijos vuestros? (Where are your children? Where are the children of yours?)
Note that the possessive adjectives vary by number and gender. The change is with the nouns they modify, not with the person(s) who own or possess the object.
- Es un amigo tuyo. (He is a friend of yours.)
- Es una amiga tuya. (She is a friend of yours.)
- Son unos amigos tuyos. (They are some friends of yours.)
- Son unas amigas tuyas. (They are some friends of yours.)
Choice of possessive form: Generally, there is little or no difference in meaning between the long and short forms of the possessive. Most often, you'd use the long form as the equivalent of "of mine," "of yours," etc., in English, although (as in English) they are usually interchangeable in meaning. The short form is more common, and in some cases, the long form can be somewhat awkward or have a slight "literary" flavor, although it is used in informal speech as well.