Possessivartikel im substantivischen Gebrauch — Mine & Yours in German

Screen Shot 2013 02 20 At 15 50 58

Possessivartikel im substantivischen Gebrauch — Mine & Yours in German

One of the most viewed posts on this blog is the one about possessive adjectives in German (my = mein, your = dein, his = sein, her = ihr …). What makes these a little confusing for many people learning German is that you need to know if the person, who possesses the person/thing is first, second, or third person, plural and if they are in the third person the gender. Then you need to know the case that you’re in and the number and/or gender of the thing that is being possessed. This sounds more complicated than it is, but if you’re still unclear read the post here.

In English we can say the following:

  • Shall we meet at your house? (note that your is the possessive adjective)
  • Can’t we meet at Mark’s place? (note that the apostrophe s is the English genitive)
  • No, I’d rather meet at yours. (note yours is replacing “your house”)

That is the question. In German, how do we express mine, yours,… if there is no noun after the possessive article. If it can be done in English, surely one must be able to do it in German. Besides, you’re probably quite sure you’ve heard this said by German speakers before.The answer is yes, it can be done. Important to note here though, is that this is generally a spoken thing. The other thing that you really need to watch out for is like in the English example above, the object that is not being said again has to be understood (that means used immediately before hand in the conversation). These forms are only used in the nominative and accusative case.

Quick Review of Possessive Articles:

GermanEnglish
mein-my
dein-your
sein-his
ihr-her
sein-its
uns(e)r-our
eu(e)r-your (plural)
ihr-their
Ihr-your (formal)

*Note that depending on the ending, we drop the ‘e’ in unser and euer.

Possessive Articles in German not followed by a noun

As these are only used in the nominative and accusative case, I’ve given both forms here.

MasculineFeminineNeuterPlural
Nom.Acc.Nom.Acc.Nom.Acc.Nom.Acc.
meinermeinenmeinemeinemein(e)smein(e)smeinemeine
deinerdeinendeinedeinedein(e)sdein(e)sdeinedeine
seinerseinenseineseinesein(e)ssein(e)sseineseine
ihrerihrenihreihreihr(e)sihr(e)sihreihre
seinerseinenseineseinesein(e)ssein(e)sseineseine
uns(e)reruns(e)renuns(e)reuns(e)reuns(e)resuns(e)resuns(e)reuns(e)re
eurereureneureeureeureseureseureeure
ihrer/Ihrerihren/IhnrenIhre/Ihreihre/Ihreihres/Ihresihres/IhresIhre/IhreIhre/Ihre

Examples:

NominativeAccusative
  • Wem gehört der schöne Wagen da vorne? (Who’s the owner of that beautiful car out front?)
  • Das ist meiner. (It’s mine.)
  • Ich muss einen Wagen ausleihen. (I need to borrow a car.)
  • Du kannst meinen nehmen. (You can take mine.)
  • Wem gehört dieses Schweizer Militärmesser? (Who does the Swiss army knife belong to?)
  • Das ist meins. (It’s mine.)
  • Ich brauche ein Messer. (I need a knife.)
  • Du kannst meins nehmen. (You can take mine.)
  • Wem gehört die grosse Weltkarte? (Who does the big world map belong to?)
  • Das ist meine. (It’s mine)
  • Ich brauche eine Weltkarte für meine Präsentation. (I need a world map for my presentation.)
  • Du kannst meine brauchen. (You can use mine.)
  • Wem gehören diese Papiere? (Who do these papers belong to?)
  • Das sind meine. (They’re mine.)
  • Ich brauche einige Teller. (I need a few plates.)
  • Du kannst meine nehmen. (You can take mine.)

In Switzerland

For those of you living in Switzerland you might hear the possessive articles said like this:

MasculineFeminineNeuterPlural
DECH-DE Nom. & Acc.DECH-DE Nom. & Acc.DECH-DE Nom. & Acc.DECH-DE Nom. & Acc.
meinermiinmeinemiinimein(e)smiismeinemiini
deinerdiindeinediinidein(e)sdiisdeinediini
seinersiinseinesiinisein(e)ssiisseinesiini
ihrerireihreiriihr(e)siresihreiri
seinersiinseinesiinisein(e)ssiisseinesiini
uns(e)reröiseuns(e)reöisiuns(e)resöisesuns(e)reöisi
eureröieeureöi(r)ieuresöieseureöi(r)i
ihrer/IhrerireIhre/Ihreiriihres/IhresiresIhre/Ihreiri

There you have it, how to say mine and yours in German. Interested in dialects? Check out 30 German Dialects here.

Related Articles:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: