[*] 302. The Possessive Pronouns are derivative adjectives, which take the gender, number, and case of the noun to which they belong, not those of the possessor:—
- “haec ōrnāmenta sunt mea ” (Val. 4.4) , these are my jewels. [ mea is neuter plural, though the speaker is a woman.]
- meī sunt ōrdinēs, mea dīscrīptiō; (Cat. M. 59), mine are the rows, mine the arrangement. [ mea is feminine, though the speaker is Cyrus.]
- multa in nostrō collēgiō praeclāra (id. 64), [there are] many fine things in our college. [ nostrō is neuter singular, though men are referred to.]
- “Germānī suās cōpiās castrīs ēdūxērunt ” (B. G. 1.51) , the Germans led their troops out of the camp.
- domus mea, my house. [Not domus meī .]
- pater noster, our father. [Not pater nostrī .]
- patrimōnium tuum, your inheritance. [Not tuī .]
[*] Note 1.--Exceptions are rare in classic Latin, common in later writers. For the use of a possessive pronoun instead of an Objective Genitive, see § 348. a.[*] b. The possessives have often the acquired meaning of peculiar to, favorable or propitious towards, the person or thing spoken of:—
- “[petere] ut suā clēmentiā ac mānsuētūdine ūtātur ” (B. G. 2.14) , they asked (they said) that he would show his [wonted] clemency and humanity.
- “īgnōrantī quem portum petat nūllus suus ventus est ” (Sen. Ep. 71.3) , to him who knows not what port he is bound to, no wind is fair (his own).
- tempore tuō pūgnāstī; (Liv. 38.45.10), did you fight at a fit time?
[*] Note.--This use is merely a natural development of the meaning of the possessive, and the pronoun may often be rendered literally.[*] c. The possessives are regularly omitted (like other pronouns) when they are plainly implied in the context:—
- socium fraudāvit, he cheated his partner. [ socium suum would be distinctive, his partner (and not another's); suum socium , emphatic, his own partner.]
- nostrī, our countrymen, or men of our party.
- “ suōs continēbat ” (B. G. 1.15) , he held his men in check.
- “flamma extrēma meōrum ” (Aen. 2.431) , last flames of my countrymen.
- Sullānī, the veterans of Sulla's army; Pompêiānī, the partisans of Pompey.
[*] Note.--There is no reason to suppose an ellipsis here. The adjective becomes a noun like other adjectives (see § 288).[*] e. A possessive pronoun or an adjective implying possession may take an appositive in the genitive case agreeing in gender, number, and case with an implied noun or pronoun:—
- meā sōlīus causā; (Ter. Heaut. 129), for my sake only.
- in nostrō omnium flētū; (Mil. 92), amid the tears of us all.
- ex Anniānā Milōnis domō; (Att. 4.3.3), out of Annius Milo's house. [Equivalent to ex Annī Milōnis domō .]
- nostra omnium patria, the country of us all.
- suum ipsīus rēgnum, his own kingdom.