In this edition of 'Language Basics', we're truly making the Luxembourgish language our own: it's all about possessive adjectives and expressing ownership!

In this edition of 'Language Basics', we're truly making the Luxembourgish language our own – it's all about possessive adjectives and expressing ownership!

Well, well, well, if it isn't our favourite Luxembourgish student! Wëllkomm zeréck to Language Basics, your weekly dose of grammar and orthography, also known as "the boring part of languages". But all jokes aside, big up to you for continuing to take an interest in these more theoretical lessons as well!

In this lesson, we're talking about ownership. Particularly, how to express ownership in Luxembourgish. Now, we can all agree that the "possessive s" in English is a really elegant and simple solution. Unfortunately, Luxembourgish has a slightly more cumbersome structure to express the same idea…

Possessive adjectives

Do you remember grammatical gender from Language Basics 2? This is a concept we once again need to keep in mind today because, contrary to English, we can't just say "my dog", "my watch", and "my house". In Luxembourgish, we have to choose the correct possessive adjective depending on the grammatical gender of the object it refers to. Thus, we would say mäin Hond, meng Auer, and mäin Haus. Here is a basic overview of the different possessives:

masculine                                          female                                                neuter                        English

mäi(n)                                                 meng                                                   mäi(n)                        my

däi(n)                                                   deng                                                     däi(n)                         your

säi(n)/hir                                            seng/hir                                              säi(n)/hir                   his/her

eise(n)                                                 eis                                                          eist                               our

äre(n)                                                  är                                                           äert                             your

hire(n)                                                 hir                                                          hiert                            their

Expressing possession or ownership

If there is no need to name anyone specifically, this is a straightforward affair and basically just a matter of choosing the correct possessive:

eise Gaart -> our Garden (de Gaart is masculine)

deng Kaz -> your (singular) cat (d'Kaz is feminine)

äert Haus -> your (plural) house (d'Haus is neuter)

However, if you want to be more specific and use a name, for instance, things get a little bit more… peculiar:

dem Julien säi Buttik -> Julien's shop / the shop of Julien

If we were to translate the Luxembourgish sentence literally, it would read something like this: "the Julien his shop" (remember that first names are generally always preceded by the definite article in Luxembourgish: Ech sinn de Jean-Paul à I am (the) Jean-Paul)

Let's look at a few more examples:

der Mamm hir Buermaschinn -> mother's drill ("the mother her drill")

dem Fernando säi Buch -> Fernando's book ("the Fernando his book")

de Polizisten hiren Auto -> the police officers' car (" the police officers their car")

Grammatically speaking, what is happening here is that the owner is in the dative case (der, dem, de are definite pronouns in the dative case) followed by the correct possessive adjective. If you're confused, don't worry about it. This structure can be a bit of a challenge but as with most grammar points, the best way to learn it is by regularly and repeatedly reading in and listening to Luxembourgish.

Vocabulary list – Holidays

Before you leave, don't forget to have a look at our extensive vocabulary list for the core lesson:

Places to stay on holiday

the hotel -> den Hotel

the one-star / two-star / three-star / four-star / five-star hotel -> de(n) ee-Stär / zwee-Stären / dräi-Stären / véier-Stären / fënnef-Stären Hotel

the hotel room-> d'Hotelszëmmer

the reception-> d'Receptioun

the youth hostel->d'Jugendherberg

the dormitory-> den Dortoir

the campsite-> de Camping

the caravan / camper-> d'Rulott

the tent-> d'Zelt

Other holiday related vocab

the palm tree -> d'Palm

the beach -> d'Plage

the ocean-> d'Mier

the sun lounger-> de Ligestull

the hammock -> d'Hängematt

the sun screen -> d'Sonnecrème

the air mattress -> d'Loftmatrass

the guided tour -> d'Visite guidée

the guide -> de / d' Guide (French pronounciation is standard but English pronounciation will also be understood)

the mountains -> d'Bierger

the cruise -> d'Croisière

the cruise ship -> d'Croisièresschëff

to hike -> wanderen

to go on a hike -> wandere goen

to rent a bike / caree ->Vëlo / een Auto lounen

to go for a swim in the ocean -> An d'Mier schwamme goen