My question concerns adjectives and adjectival nouns derived from possessive pronouns. With regards to the former, my grammar book gives two ways of forming these, e.g., "der meine" oder "der meinige". Is there a tangible semantical difference? With regards to adjectival nouns, is it even possible to form these in such a case? My grammar book simply states that such "possessive adjectives" may be written both in lower and upper cases with no reference of adjectival nouns. Thanks in advance.

  • It's unclear what you mean with adjectival noun here. There's no adjective. What you might mean is a substantive use of a pronoun.
    – tofro
    Jun 26, 2023 at 13:12

2 Answers 2


There are no tangible differences in meaning between "der meine" and "der meinige". It is highly probable (although i cannot prove that) that regionally the one or the other is prevalent. "Der meine" is most probably more widely used than "der meinige".

"Der meinige" stems from the postfix "-ig", which is used to turn other words into Adjektive (adjectives): "fahren - fahrig", "Wert - wertig", etc.. For instance you can take a Nomen (noun), "Mut" (valor) and turn it into an Adjektiv, "mutig" (valorous), which is the property of someone who has valor. Similar "der/die/das meinige" - the one who is (has the property of being) mine.


No difference between with -ig and without -ig.

It is not an adjectival noun because it is not an adjective in the first place. (see Tofro's comment).

Used not nominalised, you can think of an ellipsis.

Hol mir meine Gabel, ich hole die deine/deinige [Gabel].
(old use)

Used nominalised, there are only 2 meanings of the created words:
Living being which belongs to [pronoun], and your responsibility (doing your part).

a) Jesus versammelt die Seinen. (Jesus gathers his people) (old use)
b) Er tat das Seine. (He did his part/his responsibility)

Usage b) appears strictly with verbs of doing, mostly tun, I guess. Meaning a) can appear in any gender while b) is always neuter.

a.1) Jesus versammelte den Seinen/Seinigen. (Jesus gathered [the person] which belongs to him )

Meaning a) works best in Plural. Die Seinen/Seinigen, Meinen/Meinigen, Deinen/Deinigen, Ihren/Ihrigen, Unsren/Unsrigen

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