I found 2 examples of Possessivpronomen sentences, both are from a grammar book but the second sentence does not seem to be right.

1) Wem gehört dieses Buch? Ist es Ihres, Frau Schmidt? Ja, es ist meines.

2) Gehört dieses Fotoalbum Monika? Ja, das ist ihr Album.

Why there is no Genitiv in the second sentence(ihres) while there is in the first one? Is it correct?

  • Alan, perhaps a useful thought: don't confuse the possessive pronoun with the possessive case. Both indicate possession, and accordingly, you use either one or the other to express one level of possession. The only instance when it makes sens to use both is if you have two such levels: Yes, it's her suitcase's lid (the lid that belongs to the suitcase that belongs to her) = ...der Deckel ihres Koffers. As you can see, the possessive pronoun (which beaves as an article here) takes the same case as the noun. But I'd forget about this quickly, because it's such a rare occurrence.
    – Mac
    Feb 13, 2014 at 17:11

3 Answers 3


There's no genitive pronoun whatsoever in your sentences.

1) Wem gehört dieses Buch? Ist es Ihres, Frau Schmidt? Ja, es ist meines.

Here the pronouns are "ihres" und "meines", they are in the nominative case. Note that you may sometimes find "ihrs"/"meins" instead of "ihres"/"meines". I think both forms are fine when used as stand-alone pronouns, though I wouldn't bet on it.

2) Gehört dieses Fotoalbum Monika? Ja, das ist ihr Album.

And this is a normal sentence in the nominative, the possessive is a determiner (or article) and not a pronoun, so it follows the usual declension for neuter words: ihr Album. To use the pronoun, you could say:

3) Gehört dieses Fotoalbum Monika? Ja, das ist ihr(e)s.

  • I'm afraid that's not correct. "Ihres" is masculine and neutrum genitive. For nominative it'd be "ihr". The respective question is "Wessen Buch ist das?" Genitive for sure.
    – Em1
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:50
  • 1
    I see no "wessen Buch ist das" question in the OP. And no, here "ihres" is a neuter pronoun, if it were masculine it would be "ihrer"/"meiner": "Ist dieser Wagen ihrer, Frau Schmidt? Ja, er ist meiner."
    – persson
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:52
  • And I don't see a "nominative"-question! "Von wem[dative] ist das Buch? - Es ist von ihr[dative]" -- "Wessen[genitive] Buch ist das? - Es ist ihres[genitive" -- You can answer a dative question with genitive and genitive with dative. But you know that, don't you? – I said "ihres" is masculine and neutrum genitive. In that very example it's neutrum, yes, I don't care. My point is, it's never nominative.
    – Em1
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:54
  • I've never talked about the questions, and neither did the OP. The answers to those questions can stand alone as sentences on their own.
    – persson
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:55
  • How so? "Es ist ihres". In which case is "ihres", please?
    – persson
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:58

WARNING: This was the original answer, which I see now is wrong. The comments bellow the answer lead to that conclusion.

(You could restate the first as:

– Wem gehört dieses Buch?
– Ist es Ihr Buch, Frau Schmidt?
– Ja, es ist meines.

if you wouldn't mind to repeat the noun Buch. That's what genitive there does: it's avoiding repetition. Otherwise, you say it in nominative.

Other viewpoint would be that, since possessive pronouns already, well, imply possession, you don't need an additional genitive. You do the same in English, actually. Trying to state the second as you say, would be the same mistake as saying "That album is of hers".)

  • Thanks for both answers. I get it now. Regarding the second paragraph: so genitive is used with possessive pronouns only when a noun is not present? When there is a noun we use either nominativ, dativ or akk.?
    – Alan
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:34
  • Careful: there isn't a genitive in these sentences... all there is is a possessive pronoun in the nominative case.
    – Mac
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:42
  • @Mac mh, I have my doubts. That is, ihres appear in the tables of declension both as pronoun for Nominative Neutrum and for Gen. Neutr. or Masc. Well, you mean, if we change the noun Buch into Wagen, then ihres should be changed into ihrer? (it's a real question - I'm no longer sure).
    – c.p.
    Feb 13, 2014 at 16:07
  • "Es ist ihr Wagen, es ist ihrer".
    – Em1
    Feb 13, 2014 at 16:10
  • 2
    The answer is maybe not entirely correct but through analyzing it, the comments and other answers I have actually understood what is happening in my sentences.
    – Alan
    Feb 13, 2014 at 16:58

Both are correct.

In 1) "Ihres" substitues "ihr Buch". So 1) becomes "Ist es es ihr Buch, Frau Schmidt? Ja, es ist mein Buch." in the long version.

In 2), if you substite "ihr Album" accordingly, you get "Ja, das ist ihres."


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