Lesson 4: Introduction to personal and possessive pronouns

Welcome to the fourth lesson in our beginner’s course. By now, you should have memorized the Russian alphabet, learnt some key basic Russian phrases, and understood how to recognize Russian nouns by gender and number.

Pronouns are words that substitute for nouns. There are nine types of pronouns in Russian.

In this lesson, we’ll introduce you to the personal (like “I”) and possessive (like “my”) pronouns in Russian.

Personal pronouns

Here are the personal pronouns in Russian:

RussianEnglish
яI
тыyou (sing.)
он/она/оноhe/she/it
мыwe
выyou (plur.)
ониthey

Please note that “вы” is also the polite form of “you” and can be used as such directed at one person.

And this is how we refer to them in grammar speak. You’ll find this helpful for when you conjugate Russian verbs along the personal pronouns.

PronounGrammar term
я1st person sing.
ты2nd person sing.
он/она/оно3rd person sing.
мы1st person plur.
вы2nd person plur.
они3rd person plur.

Personal pronouns themselves decline as well according to the Russian case system. However, we’ll cover that in a later lesson.

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns indicate ownership (in English, “my,” “your,” “his,” etc.). Each personal pronoun has a related possessive pronoun. Possessive pronouns agree with gender, number, and case of the nouns they modify – but more on that in a future lesson.

Personal pronounPossessive pronoun
ямой/моя/моё/мои
тытвой/твоя/твоё/ твои
онего
онаеё
оноего
мынаш/наша/наше/наши
вываш/ваша/ваше/ваши
ониих

There are two additional forms of the possessive pronouns that we’ll cover later on: the interrogative possessive pronoun and the possessive reflexive pronoun.

The interrogative possessive pronoun means “whose:” чей, чья, чьё, чьи.

The possessive reflexive pronoun is used when the subject of the sentence is the same as the referent of the possessive to mean “my own:” свой, своё, своя, свои.

  • Я люблю свою собаку. = I love my (own) dog. 

Example sentences

  • Я доктор. = I am a doctor.
  • Ты моя сестра. = You are my sister.
  • Он ваш сын. = He is your son.
  • Наши люди русские. = Our people are Russian.
  • Вот мой паспорт. = Here is my passport.
  • Это твоя лампа. = It is my lamp.
  • Это её книга. = It is her book
  • Вот его письмо. = Here is his letter.
  • Это наши билеты. = These are my tickets.
  • Вот ваша собака. = Here is your dog.
  • Тут их дом. = Here is their home.

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