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.”
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
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.
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?
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