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Russian Possessive Pronouns

written by: Gillian Hendrie•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 2/7/2013

Learn to use Russian possessive pronouns to introduce people and state who something belongs to. Includes an exercise and a download of the complete table (nominative case).

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    In a previous article on the gender of nouns we learned to say “This is a ....”We now take this further using possessive pronouns: e.g. “This is my mother.”

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    Basic forms

    The following are the basic possessive pronouns:

    • my = мой
    • your (singlular and informal) = твой
    • his / its (masculine nouns) = его (pronounced "yevo")
    • her / its (feminine nouns) = её
    • its (neuter nouns) = его
    • our = наш
    • your (plural and/or formal) = ваш
    • their = их
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    Endings

    As we saw in the last lesson, there are three genders in Russian – masculine, feminine and neuter. Each of these can necessitate a different ending on the possessive pronoun.

    The endings for мой are мой (masculine), моя (feminine) and моё (neuter).

    твой declines in the same way as мой.

    наш has these forms: наш (masculine), наша (feminine), and наше (neuter) - which are actually just the "soft" versions of the endings above.

    ваш follows the same pattern as наш.

    его, её and их, however, never change.

    A complete table of the possessive pronouns (including the plural forms) is available.

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    Who's that?

    Now let’s use what we've learned to introduce people. The gender for people is obvious: брат (brother), oтец (father), сын (son) etc. are all masculine, while сестра (sister), мать (mother), дочь (daughter) etc. are all feminine.

    Who’s that? = кто ето?

    • that’s my father = ето мой oтец
    • that’s your sister = ето твоя сестра
    • this is my (male) friend = ето мой друг
    • is she your (female) friend? = она вашa подруга?
    • is she his mother? = она его мать?
    • is he their brother? = он их брат?
    • is this her child? = ето её ребёнок?
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    What’s that?

    Of course, the same pattern can be used with animals and objects.

    What’s that? = что ето?

    • that is a house = ето дом
    • that is my house = ето мой дом
    • is this your dog? = ето твоя собака?
    • no, that is her dog = нет, ето её собака
    • is this his letter = ето его письмо?
    • no, it's my letter = нет, ето моё письмо