Using "mon" rather than "ma" with feminine nouns starting with a vowel or mute h (possessive adjectives)

In most cases, you use the possessive adjectives ma, ta, or sa with a feminine noun (ma valise, ma petite sœur). See Mon, ma, mes; ton, ta, tes; son, sa, ses = my; your; his / her (possessive adjectives)

HOWEVER, you need to know two things:

1. The possessive adjective's ending is always determined by the word directly following it

2. You never use ma, ta, sa in front of a word starting with a vowel or mute h, even if the related noun is feminine: you use mon, ton, son instead, to ease pronunciation. 

Here are the different contexts where this rule matters:

 

mon / ton / son + feminine noun starting with a vowel/mute h

mon ami Thomas et mon amie Sarah
my friend Thomas and my friend Sarah

Mon aventure est une aventure passionnante.
My adventure is an exciting adventure.

J'ai une horloge qui est plus grande que ton horloge.
I have a clock which is bigger than your clock.

Son opinion est une opinion intéressante.
His opinion is an interesting opinion.

When ma, ta, sa is followed directly by a feminine noun starting with a vowel or mute h, it becomes mon, ton, son.

ma / ta / sa + adjective starting with a consonant + feminine noun starting with a vowel/mute h

C'est ton amie ? - Non, c'est ma petite amie.
She is your friend? - No, she is my girlfriend.

Il se souvient de son enfance, sa belle enfance.
He remembers his childhood, his beautiful childhood.

C'est mon hypothèse. - Oui, ta mauvaise hypothèse !
That's my hypothesis. - Yes, your bad hypothesis!

If ma, ta, sa is followed directly by an adjective starting with a consonant, even if the related feminine noun starts with a vowel or mute h, it remains ma, ta, sa.

mon / ton / son + adjective starting with a vowel/mute h + feminine noun

J'ai goûté ton excellente tarte aux pommes !
I tried your excellent apple tart!

Tu as rencontré mon horrible tante ?
Have you met my horrible aunt?

Tu as vu son énorme verrue?
Did you see her huge wart?

If ma, ta, sa is followed directly by an adjective starting with a vowel or mute h, even if the related feminine noun starts with a consonant, it becomes mon, ton, son.

 

More Possessive Adjectives

Notre, nos, votre, vos, leur, leurs = our, your, their (possessive adjectives)

and also the more advanced

Common mistakes with mon/ma/mes, ton/ta/tes and son/sa/ses (possessive adjectives)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Il se souvient de son enfance, sa belle enfance.
He remembers his childhood, his beautiful childhood.


Mon aventure est une aventure passionnante.
My adventure is an exciting adventure.


Tu as vu son énorme verrue?
Did you see her huge wart?


Son opinion est une opinion intéressante.
His opinion is an interesting opinion.


J'ai goûté ton excellente tarte aux pommes !
I tried your excellent apple tart!


mon ami Thomas et mon amie Sarah
my friend Thomas and my friend Sarah


C'est ton amie ? - Non, c'est ma petite amie.
She is your friend? - No, she is my girlfriend.


Tu as rencontré mon horrible tante ?
Have you met my horrible aunt?



C'est mon hypothèse. - Oui, ta mauvaise hypothèse !
That's my hypothesis. - Yes, your bad hypothesis!


J'ai une horloge qui est plus grande que ton horloge.
I have a clock which is bigger than your clock.


Q&A

Jack

Kwiziq community member

13 November 2018

3 replies

How do you say "silvie talks to her friend" where the friend is male?

The personal pronoun is also  "son".  Therefore "you cannot say" is the correct answer! Non?

Alan

Kwiziq community member

13 November 2018

13/11/18

Although the possessive adjective would be "son" in both cases, the noun would be different - "ami" instead of "amie". So you know the friend is a woman in this case. Of course they're both pronounced the same, so if it were spoken rather than written then "you cannot say" would be the correct answer. 

Sylvie parle à son amie. (female)

Sylvie parle à son ami. (male)

Jack

Kwiziq community member

14 November 2018

14/11/18

Thanks Alan, now i get it.  In a similar kwi zig question:  le professeur parle a son eleve, the eleve could be male or female. Oui?

Alan

Kwiziq community member

14 November 2018

14/11/18

Oui.
Thinking...