Basic Guide to Spanish Demonstrative and Possessive Adjectives

Basic Guide to Spanish Demonstrative and Possessive Adjectives
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Are you learning Spanish and find yourself struggling with grammar? We don’t blame you. Although Spanish doesn’t have a very complex grammar, it’s generally trickier than English grammar. That’s why we want you to forget all your Spanish-related troubles and keep a positive attitude while reading our blogs! Let’s learn Spanish demonstrative and possessive adjectives and enjoy a free online activity below!

Demonstrative Adjectives

Don’t know what they are? That’s okay, you don’t need to become a linguist. Demonstrative adjectives are basically the words you use to express the proximity of the thing we are talking about in relation to the speaker. In English: this, that, these, those. In Spanish, they work the exact same way, except there are three degrees of proximity:

 

As you can see, in Spanish we will have to pay attention to the gender and number of the noun we are talking about. In other words:

  • That (female) cat: esa gata, aquella gata
  • These (male) cats: estos gatos

In addition, not only can these adjectives express spacial proximity, but also proximity in time:

  • Everything was simpler in those days: todo era más simple en aquellos tiempos
  • We’re going this afternoon: vamos esta tarde

Possessive adjectives

Similarly, we have possessive adjectives. Their functionality is the same as the demonstrative but, as the name suggests, instead of expressing proximity they show possession in relation to the speaker.

  • My cat: mi gata
  • Their dog: su perro
  • Our parrot: nuestro loro
  • Your turtle: tu/vuestra tortuga

And so on and so forth.

Now to the tricky part of today’s grammar lesson. The possessive adjectives take two kinds of forms:

Possessive adjectives placed BEFORE the noun

  • My cats are adorable: mis gatas son adorables
  • Their dog is restless: su perro es inquieto
  • Our parrots are singers: nuestros loros son cantantes
  • Your turtle is weird: tu/vuestra tortuga es rara

Bear in mind that in Spanish, the adjective will change both depending on the speaker AND on the object/person we’re referring to. So let’s check the table below:

Possessive adjectives placed AFTER the noun

spanish possessive and demonstrative adjetives

In English, when we say “this cat of mine”, we don’t know the gender of the cat. But in Spanish we would be specific, and the possessive adjective will have to match the gender:

  • This cat of mine (female): esta gata mía
  • This cat of mine (male): este gato mío
  • These cats of mine (female): estas gatas mías
  • These cats of mine (male): estos gatos míos

As usual, Spanish likes specifying gender and number all the time. It’s not the most practical, but it’s not too hard to learn. In this case, -o for male, -a for female s for plural. As simple as that. So don’t be intimidated by all the different forms. As we always say, this will naturally fall on your vocabulary with time and practice.

Remember: if you’re learning Spanish, make sure to check out Medita Spanish to take your Spanish learning to a whole new level. We’ll help you hack your brain to learn Spanish at peak performance levels — using meditation techniques and mindful practices.

And don’t forget to check out this free online activity below… Click on the lightbulb on the left upper corner to get the English translation of each sentence. It’s a hard one this time!

Unlock your learning potential: A Mindset Mastery Meditation for Spanish.

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