While hunting for information about how to construct the German possessive pronouns equivalent to "mine", "yours" etc., I found a page on the excellent Canoo website that seemed to contain the answer: You just take the pronoun stem (e.g. "mein") and append the last letter of the corresponding definite article (with a preceding "e" if the last letter is not already "e"), resulting in e.g. "meiner" for a masculine thing in the nominative case that belongs to me. Simple enough! [EDIT: Fixed case]

However... I then saw below that

Substitute for a noun, with article:

Possessive pronouns can be used as substitutes for nouns. When these substitutes are accompanied by a definite article, they are inflected like adjectives (cf. Adjectives, Weak inflection):

Der meine ist schneller als der deine

Der ihre ist schneller als der eure.

Wir leihen euch die unseren.

This has no English equivalent that I can think of, so I'm left wondering: When should this be used instead of the article-free equivalent?

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    Your best bet would probably to stay clear from this form with article. It sounds often quite old-fashioned. In older literature (think from Goethe to Hesse) it's quite common, but not really in modern everyday German.
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 22:54
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    Put that in the "I recognize this form when I stumble over it" pile and you are set!
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 23:26
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    As for an English equivalent, just drop the article: Mine is faster than yours; theirs is faster than yours; we lend you ours. Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 7:27
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    I would say (from my own experience) that the form you suggest is the least common of the three, with the Formen auf --ig being more common and the Stellvertretend, ohne Artikel being the most common. The latter is one you might want to know how to use, and is equivalent to the English forms @AnsgarEsztermann mentioned. Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 17:12
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    @j_random_hacker The Formen auf --ig are at the end of the Stellvertretend, mit Artikel section of the canoo site you linked to. Yes, "Meine ist schneller" would be ... ohne Artikel Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


Auf die Frage "Wessen Schirm/Hut ist das?" antwortet man normalerweise "Das ist meiner".
Es gibt regionale Varianten wie:

Das ist der meine.
Das ist der meinige.

Standard ist "meiner/meine/meines".

Added: "meiner/e/es" without noun has the same forms as "dieser/e/es"


  • 1
    Warum wechselst du von German to English?
    – Em1
    Commented Mar 5, 2015 at 11:18

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