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The possessive pronouns express possession and correspond well to the English possessive pronouns: my, your, his/her/its, our, your and their.

There are however two major differences from English. The first is that the possessive pronoun changes depending on if the 'possessed' is a noun which is en or ett (see section on nouns).

The second difference is that, just as has been seen in the previous section on pronouns, the third person is peculiar in that it has reflexive versions of the pronouns. This also applies to the possessive pronouns.

Below is a table of the possessive pronouns in Swedish.

Number Person Possessive Pronoun
sing. 1st min/mitt/mina
2nd din/ditt/dina
3rd masc. hans
3rd fem. hennes
3rd dess
pl. 1st vår/vårt/våra
2nd er/ert/era
3rd deras
Number Person Possessive Pronoun
sing. 1st my
2nd your
3rd masc. his
3rd fem. her
3rd its
pl. 1st our
2nd your
3rd their

Note that the 1st and 2nd person singular and plural has three forms for each person. Which form to use depends on whether the possessed noun is 'en', 'ett' or plural. The English 'my chair', 'my table' and 'my cars' is in Swedish 'min stol', 'mitt bord' and 'mina bilar' since it is 'en stol', 'ett bord' and 'bilar' is plural.

In the 3rd person this is not the case. In the example above, 'his chair', 'his table' and 'his cars' is in Swedish 'hans stol', 'hans bord' and 'hand bilar'. The 3rd person does however have a separate set of pronouns if the possession is reflexive, see below. These possessive reflexive pronouns of the 3rd person do have different forms for 'en', 'ett' and plural.

Below is a table of the reflexive possessive pronouns in Swedish.

Number Person Reflexive Possessive Pronoun
sing. 3rd sin/sitt/sina
pl. 3rd sin/sitt/sina
Number Person Reflexive Possessive Pronoun
sing. 3rd his/her/its
pl. 3rd their

The correct use of these three forms is perhaps the biggest challenge when it comes to the Swedish pronouns. The idea behind these reflexive possessive pronouns is to eliminate the ambiguity that possession in 3rd person otherwise (as in English) would involve.

Take the following example: 'Lars has a son. Lars loves his son.' In this example it is obvious that the son that Lars loves is his own. In the following example however it is less clear: 'Lars has a son. Peter loves his son.' In English there is ambiguity here; are these separate statements and both have a son and Peter loves his own son or does Peter love the son of Lars?

In Swedish however there is no such ambiguity. In the first example, Lars loves his own son. Since Lars is the third person subject and is the possessor, the pronouns is possessive reflexive: sin/sitt/sina. Since 'son' is 'en son' the Swedish would be 'Lars älskar sin son.'

Imagening that what the second example tried to convey was that Peter loves Lars' son. Peter is the subject in the 3rd person but not the possessor. In this case the pronouns cannot be reflexive possessive since Peter is not both the subject and the possessor. In Swedish this sentence would be rendered 'Peter älskar hans son'.

In short, if in a sentence 1) the subject is 2) 3rd person and 3) possessor, then the possessive reflexive pronouns must be used. Only when all three of these are true must the reflexive possessive be used. Since sin/sitt/sina are reflexive they can never be in subject position.

Choose between the options in the brackets and fill in the blanks.

Exempel: Peter har ett hus. Hans hus är stort. [hans/sin/sitt]

1. Vi har två barn. Våra barn heter Peter och Lisa. [vår/vårt/våra]

2. Jag har en bil. Min bil är blå. [min/mitt/mina]

3. Eva har en dotter. Hon älskar sin dotter. [hennes/sin/sitt]

4. Eva tycker om kött. Hennes dotter äter inte kött. [hennes/sin/sitt] sin/sitt/sina can never be in subject position!

5. Hur ofta vattnar du dina växter? [din/ditt/dina]

6. Lars och Maria bor i ett hus. Deras hus är stort. [deras/sin/sitt]

7. Ni har en fin trädgård. Era blommor är så vackra. [er/ert/era]

8. Jag ska flytta. Mitt hus är för litet. [min/mitt/mina]

9. De bor i ett vackert land. De älskar sitt land.[deras/sin/sitt]

10. Vad heter ert barn? [er/ert/sin]