Possessive adjectives

Possessive adjectives are used to show ownership.
mi libro
my book
tu pluma
your pen

There are five possessive adjectives.

Three possessive adjectives (mi, tu, su) have only two forms, singular and plural.

Possessive adjectives agree with the nouns they modify. That is, they agree with the thing possessed, not the possessor.

mi libro
my book
mis libros
my books
tu pluma
your pen
tus plumas
your pens

Mi, tu and su do not have masculine and feminine forms. They stay the same, regardless of the gender of the nouns they modify.
mi amigo
mi amiga
tus hermanos
tus hermanas
su libro
sus plumas

Mi means "my" ; tu means "your."
Mi casa es tu casa.
My house is your house.

Su, like tu, can mean "your." The difference between your (tu) and your (su) lies in the degree of formality the speaker wishes to convey.
Mi casa es tu casa.
(speaking to someone you would address as "tú")
Mi casa es su casa.
(speaking to someone you would address as "usted")
Note: The two words "tu" and "tú" are pronounced the same. Tú (with the written accent) is the subject pronoun meaning "you" (informal). Tu (without the written accent) is the possessive adjective meaning "your" (informal).

Su has four meanings: his, her, their and your (formal).
María busca a su hermana.
María is looking for her sister.
Juan busca a su hermana.
Juan is looking for his sister.
Ellos buscan a su hermana.
They are looking for their sister.
Su madre busca a su hermana.
Your mother is looking for your sister.

If the meaning of su is not clear from the context of the sentence, a prepositional phrase is used in place of su.
María busca a la hermana de él.
María looks for his sister.
El hombre busca las llaves de ella.
The man looks for her keys.
María busca el cuaderno de Juan.
María looks for Juan's notebook.
El hombre busca las llaves de Samanta.
The man looks for Samanta's keys.

Two possessive adjectives (nuestro and vuestro) have four forms.

Nuestro means "our."

nuestro hermano
our brother
nuestra hermana
our sister
nuestros hermanos
our brothers
nuestras hermanas
our sisters

Vuestro means "your" (familiar, plural). Like vosotros, vuestro is primarily used in Spain.

vuestro libro
your book
vuestra pluma
your pen
vuestros libros
your books
vuestras plumas
your pens

Here are all of the possessive adjectives:
your (fam. sing.)
his, her, your (formal), their
nuestro(-a, -os, -as)
vuestro(-a, -os, -as)
your (fam. pl.)

Note that these possessive adjectives are not used with articles of clothing or body parts. Rather, the definite article is used.
Me gusta el vestido nuevo.
I like my new dress
Me duele el brazo.
My arm hurts.

Questions in Spanish

In Spanish, there may be several ways to ask the same question. Note the inverted question mark that begins each question.
¿María habla español?
Does Maria speak Spanish?
¿Habla María español?
Does Maria speak Spanish?
¿Habla español María?
Does Maria speak Spanish?

The following questions mean exactly the same thing:
Does María speak Spanish?
¿María habla español?
¿Habla María español?
¿Habla español María?
Possible answers would be:
Sí, María habla español.
No, María no habla español.

Another method of forming questions is to add a tag question to the end of a statement.
María habla español, ¿no?
Maria speaks Spanish, doesn't she?
María habla español, ¿verdad?
Maria speaks Spanish, right?

Common words used to introduce other questions are:
¿De dónde?
¿Cuál (-es)?
¿Cuánto (-a)?
¿Cuántos (-as)?
¿De qué?
¿Quién (-es)?
¿A quién (-es)?
¿Con quién (-es)?
¿De quién (-es)?
¿Por qué?
¿Para qué?
Note: Each has a written accent mark.

Notice how the subject and verbs are inverted. That is, the subject comes after the verb.
¿Qué estudia Pilar?
What does Pilar study?
¿Cuándo comen ustedes?
When do you-all eat?
¿Dónde está mi coche?
Where is my car?
¿Cuánto cuesta la corbata?
How much does the tie cost?

¿Dónde? means "Where?" ¿Adónde? means "To where?" Thus, dónde asks for a location, while adónde asks for a destination.
¿Dónde está la biblioteca?
Where is the library?
¿Adónde va Raúl?
Where is Raul going?
(Literally: To where goes Raul?)

¿De dónde? means "From where?"
¿De dónde es Gerardo?
Where is Gerardo from?

¿Cómo? means "How?"
¿Cómo está usted?
How are you?

¿Cuál? and ¿Cuáles? mean "What?" or "Which?"
¿Cuál es tu nombre?
What is your name?
¿Cuáles son tus libros favoritos?
What (Which) are your favorite books?

¿Cuándo? means "When?"
¿Cuándo van a ir ustedes?
When are you-all going to go?

¿Cuánto(-a)? means "How much?"
¿Cuánto dinero gana Eduardo?
How much money does Eduardo earn?

¿Cuántos(-as)? means "How many?"
¿Cuántas chicas hay en la clase?
How many girls are there in the class?

¿Qué? means "What?"
¿Qué es la libertad?
What is liberty?
¿Qué estudias?
What do you study?

¿De qué? means "About what?" or "Of what?"
¿De qué material es la pluma?
What is the pen made of?
Literally: Of what material is the pen?

¿De qué hablan ustedes?
What are you-all talking about?
Literally: Of what do you-all speak?

¿Quién(-es)? means "Who?"
¿Quién es Gregorio?
Who is Gregorio?
¿Quiénes son esos chicos?
Who are those boys?

¿A quién(-es)? means "Whom?"
¿A quién buscas?
For whom are you looking?
¿A quiénes vas a dar tantos libros?
To whom are you going to give so many books?

¿Con quién(-es)? means "With whom?"
¿Con quién hablo?
With whom am I speaking?
¿Con quiénes estudia Mario?
With whom does Mario study?

¿De quién(-es)? means "Whose?"
¿De quién es aquel sombrero?
Whose hat is that?
¿De quiénes son estas monedas?
Whose coins are these?

¿Por qué? means "Why? (for what reason)"
¿Por qué estudias español?
For what reason do you study Spanish?
Possible answer:
Porque es un requisito.
Because it's required.

¿Para qué? means "Why? (for what purpose)"
¿Para qué estudias español?
For what purpose do you study Spanish?
Possible answer:
Para ser profesor de español.
In order to become a Spanish teacher.

When used with the verb ser, cuál and qué can both mean "what," but they are not interchangeable. Cuál is more common, and is used to indicate a selection, or choice of possibilities. Qué is used to elicit a definition or an explanation.
¿Cuál es la capital de España?
What is the capital of Spain?
¿Qué es la capital?
What is the (definition of) capital?


Adjectives II

Many adjectives of nationality end in -o. These adjectives follow the same rules as other adjectives ending in -o. That is, they have four forms.
el muchacho mexicano
la muchacha mexicana
los muchachos mexicanos
las muchachas mexicanas

Many other adjectives of nationality end in a consonant. These adjectives do not follow the same rules as other adjectives ending in a consonant, rather, they have a distinct feminine form ending in -a.
el muchacho español
la muchacha española
los muchachos españoles
las muchachas españolas

There is another group of adjectives that does not follow the normal rules. Adjectives ending in -or, -án, -ón, or -ín also have a feminine form.
el chico hablador
la chica habladora
los chicos habladores
las chicas habladoras
el hombre trabajador
la mujer trabajadora
los hombres trabajadores
las mujeres trabajadoras
Note: Adjectives ending in "-erior" do not have a feminine form.

Adjectives that are descriptive usually follow the noun they describe.
el chico alto
la chica alta
los libros pequeños
las plumas rojas

Adjectives of quantity almost always come before the noun. Such adjectives tell how much or how many.
pocos libros
mucha energía
mucho trabajo
pocas casas

Sometimes, a descriptive adjective can precede the noun. If the adjective is descriptive, but speaks of a quality that is inherent and usually taken for granted, the adjective comes first.
la blanca nieve
the white snow (snow is inherently white)
los altos picos
the tall peaks (peaks are inherently tall)

Let's review the last two lessons.
Adjectives that end in -o have four forms.
Adjectives of nationality ending in -o are no different from other such adjectives.
Adjectives that end in -e have two forms.
Most adjectives ending with a consonant have two forms.
Adjectives of nationality ending in a consonant have four forms.
Adjectives ending in -or, -án, -ón, or -ín have four forms.
Adjectives that are descriptive usually follow the noun they describe.
casa blanca
chica alta
When an adjective speaks of a quality that is inherent and usually taken for granted, the adjective precedes the noun.
la blanca nieve
los altos picos
Adjectives of quantity usually come before the noun.
pocos libros
muchos libros