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For the article with a possessive pronoun see 1182-1183.

1196. The possessive pronouns (330) of the first and second persons are the equivalents of the possessive genitive of the personal pronouns: ἐμός μου, σός σου, ἡμέτερος ἡμῶν, ὑ_μέτερος ὑ_μῶν.

a. When the possessives refer to a definite, particular thing, they have the article, which always precedes (1182); the personal pronouns have the predicate position (1185). Distinguish ἐμὸς φίλος, φίλος ἐμός, φίλος μου my friend from φίλος ἐμός, φίλος μου a friend of mine.

b. A word may stand in the genitive in apposition to the personal pronoun implied in a possessive pronoun. See 977.

1197. A possessive pronoun may have the force of an objective genitive (cp. 1331) of the personal pronoun: ““φιλίᾳ τῇ ἐμῇout of friendship for meX. C. 3.1.28. (φιλία_ ἐμή usually means my friendship (for others)).

1198. The possessive pronouns of the first and second persons are sometimes reflexive (when the subject of the sentence and the possessor are the same person), sometimes not reflexive.


1. Not reflexive (adjective my, thy (your); pronoun mine, thine (yours)).

ἐμός, σός: ὁρᾷ τὸν ἐμὸν φίλον he sees my friend, ὁρᾷ τὸν σὸν πατέρα she sees your father, στέργει τὸν ἐμὸν πατέρα he loves my father (or τὸν πατέρα τὸν ἐμόν or πατέρα τὸν ἐμόν; or τὸν πατέρα μου or μου τὸν πατέρα), ““οἱ ἐμοὶ ὀφθαλμοὶ καλλί_ονες ἂν τῶν σῶν εἴησανmy eyes will prove to be more beautiful than yoursX. S. 5. 5.

2. Reflexive (my own, thine (your) own).

a. ἐμαυτοῦ, σεαυτοῦ, in the attributive position (very common): ἔλαβον τὸν ἐμαυτοῦ μισθόν (or τὸν μισθὸν τὸν ἐμαυτοῦ) I received my (own) pay, τὸν ἀδελφὸν τὸν ἐμαυτοῦ ἔπεμψα I sent my (own) brother Aes. 2.94, κἀ_πὶ τοῖς σαυτῆς κακοῖσι κἀ_πὶ τοῖς ἐμοῖς γελᾷς; art thou laughing at thine own misery and at mine? S. El. 879.

b. ἐμός, σός (less common): στέργω τὸν ἐμὸν πατέρα I love my (own) father, στέργεις τὴν σὴν μητέρα you love your (own) mother, ““ ἐμὴ γυνὴmy wifeX. C. 7.2.28, ““ἀδελφὸς τῆς μητρὸς τῆς ἐμῆςbrother of my motherAnd. 1.117.

c. ἐμὸς αὐτοῦ, σὸς αὐτοῦ (poetical): τὸν ἐμὸν αὐτοῦ πατέρα (β 45, S. O. T. 416).

d. μου, σου (rare): τὸν πατέρα μου Ant. 1.23.

N.—When the possessor is not to be mistaken, the article alone is placed before the substantive and the possessive or reflexive pronoun is omitted (cp. 1121). Thus, στέργεις τὸν πατέρα you love your (own) father, στέργει τὸν πατέρα he loves his (own) father, στέργουσι τὸν πατέρα they love their (own) father.


1. Not reflexive (adjective our, your; pronoun ours, yours).

a. ἡμέτερος, ὑ_μέτερος: ἡμέτερος φίλος our friend (more common than φίλο<*> ἡμῶν), ὑ_μέτερος φίλος your friend (more common than φίλος ὑ_μῶν), ““ζήτησιν ποιούμενοι ὑ_μῶν τῶν ὑ_μετέρων τινόςmaking a search for you or for anything of yoursL. 12.30.

2. Reflexive (our own, your own).

a. ἡμέτερος, ὑ_μέτερος (common): στέργομεν τὸν ἡμέτερον φίλον we love our own friend, στέργετε τὸν ὑ_μέτερον φίλον you love your own friend.

b. Usually the intensive αὐτῶν is used with ἡμέτερος, ὑ_μέτερος in agreement with ἡμῶν (ὑ_μῶν) implied in the possessive forms. This gives a stronger form of reflexive. Thus:

ἡμέτερος αὐτῶν, ὑ_μέτερος αὐτῶν: στέργομεν τὸν ἡμέτερον αὐτῶν φίλον we love our own friend, ““οἰκοδόμημα τῶν φίλων τινὶ ἡμέτερον αὐτῶνa house either for some one of our friends or our ownP. G. 514b; στέργετε τὸν ὑ_μέτερον αὐτῶν φίλον you love your own friend, ““διδάσκετε τοὺς παῖδας τοὺς ὑ_μετέρους αὐτῶνteach your own childrenI. 3.57.

c. ἡμῶν, ὑ_μῶν (rare): αἰτιώμεθατοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν let us accuse our (own) fathers P. Lach. 179c.

d. ἡμῶν αὐτῶν, ὑ_μῶν αὐτῶν (very rare): δίκαιον ἡμᾶς . . . φαίνεσθαι μήτε ἡμῶν ““αὐτῶν τῆς δόξης ἐνδεεστέρουςit is not right for us to show ourselves inferior to our own fameT. 2.11, ““τὰ τῶν ἵππων καὶ τὰ ὑ_μῶν αὐτῶν ὅπλαthe equipments both of your horses and yourselvesX. C. 6.3.21.


1. Not reflexive (his, her, its).

a. αὐτοῦ, αὐτῆς, αὐτοῦ in the predicate position (very common): ὁρῶ τὸν φίλον αὐτοῦ (αὐτῆς) I see his (her) friend, ““γιγνώσκων αὐτοῦ τὴν ἀνδρεία_νknowing his courageP. Pr. 310d.

b. ἐκείνου, etc., or τούτου, etc. in the attributive position (very common): ὁρῶ τὸν ἐμὸν φίλον, οὐ τὸν ἐκείνου I see my friend, not his, ““ἀφικνοῦνται παρ᾽ Ἀριαῖον καὶ τὴν ἐκείνου στρατιά_νthey come up with Ariaeus and his armyX. A. 2.2.8, ““παρεκάλεσέ τινας τῶν τούτου ἐπιτηδείωνhe summoned some of his friendsL. 3.11.

c. ὅς, , ὅν, Hom. ἑός, ἑή, ἑόν (poetical): ““τὴν γῆμεν ἑὸν διὰ κάλλοςhe married her because of her beautyλ 282. Hom. has εὗ rarely for αὐτοῦ, αὐτῆς.

2. Reflexive (his own, her own).

a. ἑαυτοῦ, ἑαυτῆς, in the attributive position (very common): στέργει τὸν ἑαυτοῦ φίλον he loves his own friend, ο:ρᾷ τὴν ἑαυτῆς μητέρα she sees her own mother, ““τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀδελφὴν δίδωσι Σεύθῃhe gives his own sister in marriage to SeuthesT. 2.101, ““ὑβρίζει γυναῖκα τὴν ἑαυτοῦhe misuses his own wifeAnd. 4.15. This is the only way in prose to express his own, her own.

b. ὅς (ἑός): poetical. Sometimes in Homer ὅς (ἑός) has the sense of own with no reference to the third person (1230 a).

c. ὃς αὐτοῦ, αὐτῆς (poetical): ὃν αὐτοῦ πατέρα (K 204).


1. Not reflexive (their).

a. αὐτῶν in the predicate position (very common): φίλος αὐτῶν their friend.

b. ἐκείνων, τούτων in the attributive position (very common): τούτων (ἐκείνων) φίλος their friend, ““διὰ τὴν ἐκείνων ἀπιστία_νbecause of distrust of themAnd. 3.2.

c. σφέων (Ionic): Hdt. 5.58.

2. Reflexive (their own).

a. ἑαυτῶν (very common): στέργουσι τοὺς ἑαυτῶν φίλους they love their own friends, ““τῶν ἑαυτῶν συμμάχων κατεφρόνουνthey despised their own alliesX. H. 4.4.7.

b. σφέτερος αὐτῶν, the intensive αὐτῶν agreeing with σφῶν implied in σφέτερος (common): ““οἰκέτα_ς τοὺς σφετέρους αὐτῶν ἐπικαλοῦνταιthey call their own slaves as witnessesAnt. 1.30.

c. σφῶν αὐτῶν, without the article (rare): ““τὰ ὀνόματα διαπρά_ττονται σφῶν αὐτῶν προσγραφῆναιthey contrived that their own names were addedL. 13.72. Cp. 1234. τὸν σφῶν αὐτῶν is not used.

d. σφέτερος (rare in prose): ““Βοιωτοὶ μέρος τὸ σφέτερον παρείχοντοthe Boeotians furnished their own contingentT. 2.12.

e. σφῶν in the predicate position, occasionally in Thucydides, as τοὺς ξυμμάχουι ἐδέδισαν σφῶν they were afraid of their own allies 5. 14. Cp. 1228 N. 2.

1203. Summary of possessive forms (poetical forms in parenthesis).

a. Not reflexive

his, herὄς Hom., rare)αὐτοῦ, -ῆς
εὗ Hom., rare)
σφέων Ionic)

N.—ἡμέτερος and ὑ_μέτερος are more used than ἡμῶν and ὑ_μῶν.

b. Reflexive

my own ἐμόςἐμὸς αὐτοῦ, -ῆςἐμαυτοῦ, -ῆς
thy own σόςσὸς αὐτοῦ, -ῆςσεαυτοῦ, -ῆς
his, her
own (ὅςὃς αὐτοῦ, -ῆςἑαυτοῦ, -ῆς
(poet. and
our ownἡμέτεροςἡμέτερος αὐτῶν
your ownὑ_μέτεροςυμέτερος αὐτῶν
their ownσφέτεροςσφέτερος αὐτῶν
(rare)ἑαυτῶν, σφῶν
σφῶν αὐτῶν

N.—In the plural ἡμῶν αὐτῶν, ὑ_μῶν αὐτῶν are replaced by ἡμέτερος αὐτῶν, ὑ_μέτερος αὐτῶν, and these forms are commoner than ἡμέτερος, ὑ_μέτερος. σφέτερος αὐτῶν is less common than ἑαυτῶν. σφέτερος in poetry may mean mine own, thine own, your own.

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