Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Pronouns and Prepositions, Premium 3rd Edition (2016)

Part I. PRONOUNS

Chapter 4. Possessive pronouns

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Possessive pronouns are not used as frequently in Spanish as they are in English. Because these pronouns stand for the object owned as well as the owner, they agree with the object owned in number and gender.

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The possessive pronoun differs from the possessive adjective in significant ways. The adjective modifies and precedes the noun, as in the sentence Es mi gato (“It is my cat”), whereas the pronoun includes the significance of the noun and follows the conjugated verb, as in the sentence Es mío (“It is mine”). If the noun is plural, the possessive adjective is plural as well: mi gatomis gatostu televisortus televisores. The following chart shows the possessive adjectives.

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Possessive pronouns following ser

The possessive pronoun frequently appears after the third-person conjugated forms of ser—es and son. The possessive pronoun takes the gender of the things owned, not of the owner.

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Rewrite the following sentences, using the appropriate possessive pronouns in place of the expressions that have possessive adjectives. Remember that a possessive pronoun takes the gender and number of the object owned.

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Traducción Translate the following pairs of sentences into Spanish, using possessive pronouns.

  1The cat [m.] is mine. The cats [f.] are mine.

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  2The snake (la culebra) is yours. The snakes are yours.

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  3The bird (el pájaro) is hers. The birds are hers.

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  4The monkey (el mono) is his. The monkeys are his.

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  5The giraffe (la jirafa) is ours. The giraffes are ours.

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  6The pig (el cerdo) is theirs. The pigs are theirs.

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  7The spider (la araña) is mine. The spiders are mine.

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  8The horse (el caballo) is yours. The horses are yours.

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  9The butterfly (la mariposa) is hers. The butterflies are hers.

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10The elephant (el elefante) is ours. The elephants are ours.

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Possessive pronouns expressing “of mine/yours/his/hers/ours/theirs”

When the possessive pronoun follows a noun in English, the word “of” is used before the possessive pronoun (“of mine,” “of yours,” “of his,” “of hers,” “of ours,” “of theirs”). In Spanish, there is no need to add de (“of”). Use of the possessive pronoun immediately after a noun adds emphasis to the owner of the object. (Use of the possessive adjective usually emphasizes the object owned.)

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Traducción Use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1A friend [m.] of mine works here. __________________________________________________

  2A friend [f.] of mine lives here. __________________________________________________

  3Some friends [m.] of mine have a cabin (la cabaña) in Canada. __________________________________________________

  4A friend [f.] of his studies Spanish. __________________________________________________

  5I work with a friend [f.] of yours. __________________________________________________

  6A colleague (el colega) of ours speaks German (alemán) and Gaelic (gaélico). __________________________________________________

  7They don’t want to speak with him, because he is an enemy (el enemigo) of theirs. __________________________________________________

  8A friend [m.] of yours is a friend of mine. __________________________________________________

  9Those paintings (la pintura) of his are fascinating (encantador). __________________________________________________

10A cousin [f.] of ours is a princess (la princesa) in Europe (Europa). __________________________________________________


Possessive pronouns in statements of comparison

In Spanish, when two or more things are compared (or contrasted), the name of the first item is mentioned, and the other items are typically referred to by pronouns. This is frequently seen in cases involving possession, as in the sentence “My house is red, but yours (your house) is white.” In these situations, you must use the appropriate definite article with the possessive pronoun.

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Traducción Unless otherwise indicated, use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1Their house is dirty (sucio), but ours is clean (limpio).

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  2Her books are in the kitchen, and mine are in the dining room.

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  3He keeps (guardar) his money in the bank, but I keep mine under the mattress (el colchón).

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  4His cousins live in Hollywood, and hers live in Seattle.

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  5Our dog is a collie (el perro pastor), and hers is a poodle (el perro de lana).

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  6Her jewels (la joya) are fake (la imitación), but mine are real (auténtico).

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  7They buy their food in the supermarket (el supermercado), but we grow (cultivar) ours.

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  8His attorney (el abogado) works for a big firm (la firma). Ours has an office in a basement.

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  9It’s my life. It isn’t yours.

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10You [pl., informal] have your problems (el problema), and I have mine.

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Possessive pronouns with regular comparisons

Regular comparisons in Spanish use más… que (“more … than”), menos… que (“less … than”), or tan… como (“as … as”).

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When we compare two equally named people or things that are possessed or owned, the first one is mentioned and the second one is usually replaced by a possessive pronoun and the appropriate definite article.

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Traducción

  1Their house is bigger than mine.

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  2My house isn’t as big as theirs.

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  3Her clothing is more expensive than mine.

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  4Your [pl., informal] jewels (la joya) are more elegant than ours.

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  5Her ferret (el hurón) isn’t as friendly (amable) as ours.

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  6His thermos (el termo) isn’t as full (lleno) as mine.

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  7María’s report (el reportaje) is more interesting than his.

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  8Juan’s laptop (el portatíl) is newer than yours [sing., formal].

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  9Her envelopes (el sobre) are prettier than mine. I’m going to buy a box (la caja).

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10Their hammers (el martillo) aren’t as heavy (pesado) as yours [sing., informal].

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Possessive pronouns with irregular comparatives

There are four irregular adjectives of comparison:

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The Spanish syntax for sentences with these irregular comparatives is identical to English syntax. Note that while these irregular comparatives do not take gender, they do agree in number with the subject of the sentence.

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Traducción

  1Your [sing., informal] car is better than mine.

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  2Their chairs are better than ours.

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  3My painting is worse than his.

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  4Elena’s curtains (las cortinas) are worse than his.

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  5Your [sing., formal] friend is older than mine.

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  6My grandparents are older than yours [sing., informal].

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  7Our son is younger than yours [pl., informal].

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  8Our goldfish (la carpa dorada) are younger than theirs.

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  9Julia’s paella is better than mine.

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10Beethoven’s music (la música) is better than hers.

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Traducción

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I am very upset because Silvia has my ring. She says that it is hers, but I know that it is mine because it has my initials. Silvia is a kleptomaniac. Nothing in her house is hers. Many things are mine. For example, all the paintings are mine, the grandfather clock is mine, the candelabra in the dining room is mine, the washer and dryer are mine, even the food in the refrigerator is mine. What can I do? The famous lawyer Perry Mason (of classic television) says that possession is ninety-nine percent of the law. Therefore, everything is hers. Go figure!

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