I thought of introducing this week’s topic as a result on a peek-a-boo game that a grandmother, mother and her young son on a stroller were playing at a Tram stop while waiting for it to arrive. It was entertaining to watch. The grandma was finding spots to hide and the mom was saying “Wo ist deine Oma?” to her son, which translates to “Where is your grandmother?”
With this example, lets look at possessive articles in German. They come before a noun, are used to describe to whom or what something belongs to and are used to show ownership.
In the first picture, you will notice that the masculine and neuter forms are identical, so are the feminine and plural forms. In the latter case, note that in the second person plural form euer changes to eure.
In the second picture, I have highlighted the Accusative (direct object) and Dative (indirect object) forms that change with respect to gender. Fortunately, only the Accusative masculine form changes, the rest remain the same as in picture 1. From Week 2, if you remember, the Dative form follows the MRMN-ending rule.
Now let’s break down a sentence and see how these possessive articles are used.
The noun (die Katze, the cat) belongs to is Kate and so Ihr- is used, simply translated as ‘her’. Now comes the German twist, the possessive article for the noun needs to take into consideration 3 aspects: the number, gender and case. Here: there is one cat, feminine and nominative. Hence it is Ihre. In the second sentence, the noun (der Hund, the dog) follows the same 3 aspects: one dog, masculine, nominative. Hence the –e is removed after Ihr.
The noun (die Katze, the cat) belongs to is Thomas and so Sein- is used, simply translated as ‘his’. Like the examples above, we are still following the 3 aspects, hence seine in the first sentence and only sein in the second.
Hast du meinen Hund gesehen? Have you seen my dog? In this example, the possessive article is used in the accusative case, is masculine and singular.
Ich gebe meiner Schwester das Buch. I give the book to my sister. Here, the possessive article is used in the dative case, is feminine and singular.
The PDF of the above information can be downloaded here.