Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns are words like mijn, jouw, etc. They indicate that there is a certain relationship between a person, animal or person and a noun. The person is, for example an owner or creator who says: my bike = mijn fiets, her drawing = haar tekening. Even family relationships can be expressed by the possessive pronoun: his father = zijn vader, her cousin = haar neef.
Possessive Pronouns in Dutch

Possessive pronouns can occur both independently and non-independently. The non-autonomous forms often have both a full and a reduced form. The reduced form is mainly used as the possessive pronoun receives little emphasis.

  non-independently independently
1st person singular mijn, m'n, mijne
2nd person singular jouw, je, uw jouwe, uwe
3rd person singular zijn/z'n – haar/d'r zijne – hare
1st person plural ons / onze onze
2nd person plural jullie, je, uw uwe
3rd person plural hun hunne

The possessive pronoun jullie does not have an independent form; the construction dit/dat can be used here.

Some examples can be seen below.

  • Heeft u mijn nieuwe gitaar al gehoord?
  • Hij gaat morgen vissen met z'n grootvader.
  • Was dat jouw auto of de zijne?
  • Haal je handen weg ! (In this sentence the full form jouw would sound exaggerated)
  • Is dat haar boek of de jouwe?
  • Ze had d'r ogen niet in d'r zak zitten!
  • Jullie artikel is niet zo interessant.
  •  Ze kijken uit naar uw mening!
  •  Dat waren onze kleren, waar zijn die van hun?

For the third person singular is that the gender of the word referred to, determines whether haar or zijn is correct. Zijn is associated with masculine and neuter nouns, haar in feminine.

  • De afdeling krimpt zijn openingstijden dit jaar in.
  • De baas geeft al zijn medewerkers vaak een bonus.
  • De organisatie heeft haar rapport openbaar gemaakt.

In the spoken language and also in the informal writing (tweets, text messages) me is often used as a possessive pronoun.
Many people find this ugly; it certainly does not fit in official writing.

  • me vrouwtje
  • me vader