German Grammar Explained /

Possessive articles

Possessive articles in German, possessivartikel, are used to express possession. In other words, to say that there is a relationship of belonging.
The first of these is “my”:
mein Vater
my father
meine Mutter
my mother
mein Kind
my child
meine Kinder
my children
This one is quite easy. It's just like indefinite articles, but with an "m" at the front.
Use the words ein or mein to remember that «ei» in German is always pronounced like the English pronoun "I".
And... «ie» is pronounced like "pea".
Mein(e) is the simplest possessive article, but we have a possessive article for every grammatical person. For ich, du, er, sie... ​
Here are the singular forms:
Mein Hund heißt Otto.
My dog's name is Otto.
Deine Mutter ist sehr nett.
Your mother is very nice.
Das is mein Bruder und seine Frau
This is my brother and his wife.
Das ist meine Schwester und ihr Mann.
This is my sister and her husband.
Summing up:
ich → mein
du → dein
er → sein
sie → ihr
It's good to know that those endings apply to all possessive articles. The ending of possessive articles after these varies depending on the case.
Here are two examples:
1. The "n" for accusative masculine:
Ich sehe einen Mann.
Ich sehe meinen Mann.
Ich sehe deinen Mann.
Ich sehe ihren Mann.
2. The "m" for dative masculine:
Ich helfe einem Mann.
Ich helfe meinem Mann.
Ich helfe deinem Mann.
Ich helfe ihrem Mann.
Here are the plural forms as well:
Das ist mein Vater. This is my father.
Ist das dein Vater? Is this your father?
er - Max
Ist das sein Vater? Is this his father?
sie - Julia
Ist das ihr Vater? Is this her father?
es - das Kind
Ist das sein Vater? Is this his/her father?
Unser großer Bruder ist schon verheiratet. Our big brother is married already.
ihr - Julia und Max
Arbeitet euer Bruder wirklich in Japan? Does your brother really work in Japan?
Wo arbeitet ihr Bruder? Where does their brother work?
Ist das Ihr Auto? Is this your car?
Watch out for "ihr". You need some context to know what it refers to. These are the possible options:
you (plural)
Kommt ihr morgen?
Are you coming tomorrow?
Ist das ihr Vater?
Is this her father?
Ist das ihr Vater? Right
Is this their father?
your (formal)Middle
Ist das Ihr Vater?
Is this your father?
For the grammar-thirsty folks:
If you haven't noticed, we have three different words for you:
Informal → du
Formal → Sie
Plural → ihr
you can also be an object, so we also need the accusatives:
I love you. → Ich liebe dich.
I love you. → Ich liebe Sie.
I love you. → Ich liebe euch.
Finally, we should also think about the datives:
I help you. → Ich helfe dir.
I help you. → Ich helfe Ihnen.
I help you. → Ich helfe euch.
The next time someone asks "How do you say 'you' in German?", you should say:
Du, Sie, ihr, dich, dir, Ihnen, or euch... it really depends.
And as you saw in the table above, ihr can also mean your, her and their!