Expressing possession with son, sa, ses and personne, tout le monde, chacun, il faut (possessive adjectives)

Look at these examples:

Chacun a son billet?
Does everyone have their ticket?

Il faut toujours avoir sa carte sur soi.
One must always have one's map on them.
You must always have your map on you.

Personne n'a ses clés ?
Does nobody have their keys ? 

Tout le monde a son opinion.
Everyone's got their (own) opinion.

Note that when expressing possession with indefinite pronouns (personnetout le monde, chacun/eand impersonal expressions such as il faut, you will use the possessive adjectives son, sa or ses (its/one's here).

Remember that possessive pronouns agree in gender and number with the *owned* item (son billet / sa carte / ses parents).
See Common mistakes with mon/ma/mes, ton/ta/tes and son/sa/ses (possessive adjectives) 

ATTENTION: You never use notre/nos (our), nor votre/vos (your)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Il faut toujours avoir sa carte sur soi.
One must always have one's map on them.
You must always have your map on you.


Personne n'a ses clés ?
Does nobody have their keys ? 


Tout le monde a son opinion.
Everyone's got their (own) opinion.


Chacun a son billet?
Does everyone have their ticket?


Il faut écouter ses parents.
One must listen to one's parents.


Q&A Forum 5 questions, 8 answers

JanB1Kwiziq community member

Is there another correct way to translate this sentence?

Personne n'a ses clés ?
Does nobody have their keys ? 

"Does nobody have their keys?" strikes me as something that would rarely if ever be said in (American) English. Is there another correct way to translate this? Because this one will be really hard for me to remember because it seems so very strange.

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I think you got it right. -- Chris (not a native speaker).
BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Doesn't anyone have his keys?

Is there another correct way to translate this sentence?

Personne n'a ses clés ?
Does nobody have their keys ? 

"Does nobody have their keys?" strikes me as something that would rarely if ever be said in (American) English. Is there another correct way to translate this? Because this one will be really hard for me to remember because it seems so very strange.

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JanB1Kwiziq community member

Is there another correct way to translate this sentence?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team member
Which sentence is that Jan?

Is there another correct way to translate this sentence?

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RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

What is the difference here: son propre défaut vs. son défaut ?

Chacun a son propre défaut. I think that the above locution has the same sense as «Chacun a son défaut.»; however it was marked incorrect on the quiz. Please advise the difference.
Asked 2 years ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
"son défaut" = his fault "son propre défaut" = his own fault I hope that helps. -- Chris (...and you already know what I am not ;)

What is the difference here: son propre défaut vs. son défaut ?

Chacun a son propre défaut. I think that the above locution has the same sense as «Chacun a son défaut.»; however it was marked incorrect on the quiz. Please advise the difference.

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JudyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Why was "sa" used here? It is the only example of "sa".

Il faut toujours avoir sa carte sur soi.
One must always have one's map on them.
You must always have your map on you.
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Judy ! The reason you used "sa" here is that "carte" is a feminine noun, and that the possessive adjectives always agree with the *owned* object in French :) The other examples were simply masculine ones, hence "son", or plural "ses". However, I've decided to add a note to remove any ambiguity :) I hope that's helpful! Merci et à bientôt !
JudyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Bonjour Aurelie! I kept pondering this lesson and finally figured out that my problem was the first example on the page: "Tout le monde a son opinion." I knew the owned object was feminine but forgot that since "opinion" started with a vowel I needed to use the masculine "son"! It might be clearer to have a "sa" answer in the first set of examples. But then I wouldn't have reviewed the adjustment we have to make at times with words starting with a vowel or silent h! I really have enjoyed your lessons. They are very clear to a 78 year old French learner. Merci et a bientot!
JudyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Oh, I see you already fixed everything. Good job! Merci et a bientot!

Why was "sa" used here? It is the only example of "sa".

Il faut toujours avoir sa carte sur soi.
One must always have one's map on them.
You must always have your map on you.

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CharlesC1Kwiziq community member

Just had this question pop up on a quiz:

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Charles, Unfortunately, I cannot see which question you are referring to. Can you add details, and I'd be happy to answer you! A plus tard!

Just had this question pop up on a quiz:

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Getting that for you now.