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Le nôtre, le vôtre, le leur, etc = Ours, yours, theirs (possessive pronouns)

Look at these sentences:

J'aime bien ta voiture, elle est mieux que la leur.
I like your car, it's better than theirs.

Es-tu propriétaire de ta maison? Nous allons acheter la nôtre.
Do you own your house? We're going to buy ours.

Ces lunettes de soleil ne sont pas les leurs.
Those sunglasses are not theirs.

The expressions for 'ours', 'yours' and 'theirs' in French agree in gender and number with the noun they imply or replace:

  ours yours (pl) theirs
masc.sing. le nôtre le vôtre le leur
fem.sing. la nôtre la vôtre la leur
masc.pl. les nôtres les vôtres les leurs
fem.pl. les nôtres les vôtres les leurs

 

See also Le mien, le tien, le sien, etc = Mine, yours, his/hers/its (possessive pronouns)
and Expressing possession with être à

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ces lunettes de soleil ne sont pas les leurs.
Those sunglasses are not theirs.


Es-tu propriétaire de ta maison? Nous allons acheter la nôtre.
Do you own your house? We're going to buy ours.


J'aime bien ta voiture, elle est mieux que la leur.
I like your car, it's better than theirs.



À qui sont ces stylos? - Ce sont les vôtres.
Whose are these pens? - They're yours.


Q&A

Paul

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

5 replies

I like my car. I like theirs too.

This is a question of when does something become plural. In the question of how do we translate "I like my car. I like theirs too." or "J'aime ma voiture. J'aime ________ aussi." My car is definitely singular, however, why is the answer "la leur" when we are talking about comparing more than one car, maybe. The sentence alone doesn't say how many are in "THEIR" group, we could be talking about a couple, or a much larger group, it's not clear in the context.

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Bonjour Paul,

For the purposes of this lesson, plural refers to the owners. The size of the group only matters if it's singular (one - see below) or plural (more than one). When it's more than one, you need le/la/les leur/s. La leur means "theirs" as in "belonging to them, and the pronoun is singular because there's only one car. If there were several cars, you'd say "les leurs."

Compare this to "I like his [car]" - J'aime la sienne, "I like his [cars]" - J'aime les siennes.

Does that make sense?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

You are correct, Paul, in that the French sentence allows for one or many cars to be liked. Correspondingly, the two possibilities in French are:

J'aim la leure aussi. -- I like theirs, too.
J'aime les leures aussi. -- I like their cars, too.

I guess in English one would add the word "cars" to make it clear one is referring to more than one car and distinguish it from the first possibility.

(Just as an aside: their is always more than one PERSON in the group, since "their" is 3rd person plural. The question is about how many cars belong to that group.)

-- Chris (not a native speaker9.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Sorry, I just cross-posted with Laura -- Chris.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Zut! And I committed some typos, too!!!!

J'aime la leur.
J'aime les leurs.

-- Chris.

Paul

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Thanks for the reply Chris, I suppose I'm being a bit pedantic, but it wasn't clear at first how may "cars" there were. I could imagine a couple owning one car, or say for contrast I'm at a car show and comparing my car with the wider group of many cars.

Paul

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

29 December 2016

2 replies

Les nôtres or les nos

In the question about ses plantes sont plus belles que _____ I got the response les nos. As incorrect. The correct response is les nôtres. Please help me understand when nos is used?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

3 January 2017

3/01/17

Bonjour Meghna !

"Nos" is the possessive adjective "our", which you use with plural nouns:
- "Nos amis" (Our friends), "nos grands projets" (our big plans), "nos aventures" (our adventures)...
See the lesson:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/view/3113

"Les nôtres" is the possessive pronoun "ours", which replaces a previously mentioned thing:
- "À qui sont ces chaussures ? Ce sont les nôtres." (Whose shoes are those? They're ours.)

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne Année !

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

5 January 2017

5/01/17

I think I get it ...
M

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