Articles:Possessions

Level A1

When saying that something belongs to you, you have to add "the" to the word. "My cat" in Icelandic is "kötturinn minn" ("the cat (of) mine").

Mine, yours, his, theirs and so on are pronouns and so they change depending on gender, case, and number of the word being discussed. They usually look similar to the "the" part of the word, but not always:

  • „hér er kötturinn minn“ ("here is the cat (of) mine")
  • „hér eru strákarnir mínir“ ("here are the boys (of) mine")
  • „um hamborgarana mína“ ("about the hamburgers (of) mine")
  • „til hamborgaranna minna“ ("to the hamburgers (of) mine")
  • „hér er húsið mitt“ ("here is the house (of) mine")
  • „hér eru húsin mín“ ("here are the houses (of) mine")

Click here to see the full list of inflections for the pronoun minn.


If you're using a possessive pronoun (mine, yours), you always have to add "The" to the possessed word except in one situation: when talking about friends and specific family members.[1]

That includes: vinur, vinkona, bróðir, systir, mamma, pabbi, sonur, dóttir, afi, amma, frændi, frænka.

  • Systir mín er besta vinkona mín. Mamma mín er dóttir afa míns.

But that does not include kærasti, kærasta, (eigin)maður, (eigin)kona, fjölskylda:

  • Ég fór með kærastanum mínum til Spánar. Núna er hann maðurinn minn. Hann hefur hitt fjölskylduna mína.

The possessive pronoun reflects the grammatical type of the possessed word, but not the person who owns it:

  • Þetta eru kettirnir mínir – We use the masculine plural "mínir" because the word "kettir" is masculine plural.
  • Húsið þitt er fallegt. – We use the neuter singular "þitt" because the word "hús" is neuter singular.






Notes

  1. There are a few other situations but this is the general rule. The "the" can also be dropped when you want to sound more formal or poetic.