Aggettivi possessivi, the Italian possessive determiners, like all Italian adjectives, are subject to agreement with the noun they refer to.
Aggettivi possessivi indicate the ownership, or close relationship, between an entity (owner) and the noun they refer to. For example, my brother is mio fratello, and my sister is mia sorella. See the table.
Let’s analyse aggettivi possessivi with the sentence below:
- La mia casa è più grande della tua – My house is bigger than yours
The first thing we may notice is the object casa, singular feminine noun.
- The aggettivo possessivo mia agrees with gender and number with the noun casa
- As opposed to English, aggettivi possessivi retain the article, in this case La, which also agrees with casa. In English we can say The house or My house, not “the my house”. In Italian, with some few exceptions, no articles are omitted.
- La mia casa and la tua (casa): the object casa in this comparison is the same, it is not necessary to say it again, hence … della tua (casa), where tua becomes a pronoun, just like yours in English
There is no common agreement between who considers the pronome possessivo, pronoun, distinct from the aggettivo possessivo. In English, for example, we have my as adjective and mine as a pronoun, whilst in Italian mio aggettivo possessivo is the same mio pronome possessivo. It does not change. You may consider casa as “implied” object.
All the aggettivi possessivi agree in gender and number with the noun they refer to, except loro, which does not change
As opposed to English, to Lui and Lei correspond 4 aggettivi possessivi in agreement with number and gender of the noun, regardless of the gender of the owner. In other words, in Italian there are no his or her based on he or she. For example:
- Ho incontrato Giorgio e sua mamma
- Ho incontrato Stefania e sua mamma
Sua refers to the mother, not to Giorgo (male) or Stefania (female).
We mentioned that in pretty much all the sentences there is a pattern
- la + mia + casa
- article + aggettivo possessivo + noun
This rule is overridden in case the noun is of a family relative but only singular:
- mio fratello, tua sorella, suo nonno, mia nonna, sua mamma, tuo papà, mia cugina
- i miei fratelli, i suoi nonni, i tuoi genitori, i loro cugini.
That’s quite a lot of information, but do not feel overwhelmed. Learning a language is a process, please visit this post again to digest all the content and try the quiz.
We hope this explanation of the Italian aggettivi possessivi helped you. Looking forward to seeing you at one of our live lessons! Save time and money studying Italian online with dante-learning!
Please take some time to solve the quiz below about aggettivi possessivi. If any questions, please feel free to ask.