What’s the difference in French between my and mine? Her is masculine? There are 3 ways of saying your and 3 other ways of saying yours? Ok there’s ma, mon, mes, le mien, la mienne, les miens, à moi, etc. to express that something belongs to me?
Oh boy. That’s not confusing! Well, how about we unconfuse it for you.
Ok. I say let’s go step by step.
In this part 1 video we will look at my, your, her, his, its, our, your, their. (part 2 video to be released next month)
By now you probably know that everything in French has a gender so yes you have more to learn but it does follow a logic, which helps!
MY = MON, MA, MES
In English you say my brother, my sister, my parents. The fact that brother is masculine, sister feminine, and parents plural does not change “my”.
In French it does and so you have to say:
Mon frère, my brother masculin singulier.
Ma soeur, my sister féminin singulier.
Mes parents, my parents pluriel and it doesn’t matter if it’s masculin or féminin. You only get one plural version.
YOUR = TON, TA, TES
So let’s continue, with your.
Ton livre, your book
Ta voiture, your car
Tes chiens, your dogs
Livre est masculin singulier, voiture est féminin singulier, et chiens est pluriel.
You see the endings?
ON = masculin – A = féminin – ES = pluriel
HER, HIS, ITS = SON, SA, SES
Moving on to her, his, its. You have 3, we have 3! Same thing. Almost…
Now once again you can see that it follows the exact same rule as the previous 2.
Fils means son therefore masculin singulier.
Fille means daughter therefore féminin singulier.
Enfants means children therefore plural.
So far so good. But here’s the issue. Son is masculin so everyone wants to say it means his. Sa is féminin so everyone wants to say it means her.
Non non non. In French it is not about who possesses but what someone possesses!
In other words, if I talk about my fiancé no matter what it is he has whether it’s a house, a sweater, a job, parents. I will always say his because he is a man.
In French we will say:
sa maison because maison is féminin
son pull because pull is masculin
son travail because travail is masculin
ses parents because parents is plural
So now you know her and his. How about its?
Its is for things in English because things don’t have a gender, but in French they do. So if you talk about the light of the sky, in English you’d say its light and in French we say sa lumière. I can hear telling me but wait ciel, sky, is masculin so why is it sa and not son? Because lumière is féminin.
The 3 three follow the same logic you see? mon, ton, son masculin, ma, ta, sa, féminin, mes, tes, ses, pluriel.
The rest is easier.
OUR = NOTRE, NOS
Notre when singulier nos when plural.
Notre maison = our house
Nos chiens = our dogs
YOUR = VOTRE, VOS (formal or group of people)
Votre when singulier vos when plural.
Votre opinion = your opinion
Vos problèmes = your problems
THEIR = LEUR, LEURS
Leur when singulier leurs when pluriel.
Leur ami = their friend
Leurs amis = their friends
They both sound the same unless leurs pluriel is followed by a vowel and the you need to do the liaison, like in the example we have here.
Well that was a lot! So I invite you to watch this video again, and again, et encore, et encore!
Stay tuned for part 2 video coming next month!
There’s an exception for ma, ta, and sa (feminine singular version of my, your [tu form], and his/her/its respectively): for feminine singular words that begin with a vowel-like sound, mon, ton, or son would actually be used instead of ma, ta, and sa in this manner (eg horloge [clock] is a feminine noun that begins with a silent h, so mon/ton/son horloge as opposed to ma/ta/sa horloge).