Look at these expressions of possession in French:
La maison des Jackson est sur la gauche.The Jacksons' house is on the left.
Le livre de Paul est sur son lit.Paul's book is on his bed.
Le jouet de l'enfant est cassé.The child's toy is broken.
Les notes d'Aurélie sont bonnes.Aurélie's grades are good.
In English, to express possession, we use the 's for example Tara's bag.
There is no equivalent structure in French: instead, we use de or des (of).
Note however two things:
- the object comes first and the owner last (the reverse of English). It's exactly the same as in Old English.
e.g. the book of Paul
- you need to add the definite article le, la, l', les before the first element, as in French you cannot have a noun without an article.
e.g. le livre de Paul - Paul's (x) book
Want to make sure your French sounds confident?
We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your
gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »