learn italian

explanation vocabulary / grammar video show / hide Definite articles in front of possessive pronouns

In Italian there is a definite article in front of a possessive pronoun.


You can take   my car.
Puoi prendere la mia macchina.

This is     my money.
Sono   i miei soldi.

The use of a definite article in front of a possessive pronoun is very unusual in general, it does not exist in the sister languages of Italian, French or Spanish (only in medieval Spanish exists something like that, in the heroic epic El Cantar de Mio Cid there are sentences like "...con los sus ojos fuertemente llorando..." => with (the) his eyes crying).

Before we start to discuss the definite article in detail, we are going to have a look at the possessive pronouns. We are not going to discuss them in detail here since we have dedicated a whole chapter to them. Right now, we only talk about their relationship to the definite pronouns.

Possessive pronouns     

my your his / her our your their
fem. / sing. mia tua sua nostra vostra loro
masc. / sing. mio tuo suo nostro vostro
fem. / plur. mie tue sue nostre vostre
masc. / plur. miei tuoi suoi nostri vostri

The possessive pronouns must match the gender and number of the noun they describe.

la casa => la mia casa => le mie case
the house => my house => my houses  
il libro => il mio libro => i miei libri
the book => my book => my books  

Since we are going to talk about the definite article in plural as well, we must have a glance at the plural, before talking about it in detail later.

words ending in a form the plural with e  
casa => case
house => houses  
stanza => stanze
room => rooms  

words ending in o or e form the plural with i  
libro => libri
book => books  
giornale => giornali
newspaper => newspapers  

contact privacy statement imprint