Chabacano Possessive Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives

Chabacano possessive adjectives are exactly like Spanish however they don’t have a plural form. Possessive adjectives always come before the noun just like in Spanish and English. Here is a list of Chabacano possessive adjectives:

Mi (My)

Tu (Your)

Su (His/ Her)

Chabacano: Este mi casa.
English: This is my house.

Chabacano: Tu sobrina ba aquel?
English: Is that your niece?

Chabacano: Donde su tia?
English: Where is his/her aunt?

Nuestro/Nuestra and Vuestra/Vuestro are not used in Chabacano (except maybe among older Chabacano speakers). The Chabacano De Zamboanga handbook by Bernardino S. Camins (1988) still has the word nuestro, however, the Chavacano de Zamboanga Compendio y Diccionario by Rolando Arquiza Santos (which was published 2010) does not list this word anymore.

The Chabacano possessive adjectives are not used often and one would most probably encounter this usage when listening to Chabacano on TV or the radio. Personally, I seldom use this form because to me it sounds very formal. I only use this form when I am with my aunt who seems to think that my Chabacano is incorrect. šŸ˜œ

Chabacano possessive pronouns are almost like the Spanish possessive pronouns.

Possessive pronouns follow the noun. They are the English mine, of ours, of yours, etc. In Spanish, the possessive adjectives modify the noun thus it needs to match the noun in subject and number. In Chabacano however, possessive pronouns modify the subject however it must match the subject in number only when it comes to the possessive pronoun your/ yours.

Here is a list of Chabacano possessive pronouns:

Mine (mio, de mio)

Yours (tuyo, de tuyo, de uste, de vos) *singular

His, hers (suyo, de suyo)

Yours (de ustedes, de vosotros)  *plural

Theirs (de ila, de inyo)

Our, ours (de amon, de aton)

Here are sample sentences using these possessive pronouns.

Chabacano: Limpio el mio.
English: Mine is clean.

Chabacano: Donde el tuyo aqui?
English: Where is yours here (or among these things)?

Chabacano: Suyo ba este?
English: Is this his?

Chabacano: Limpio el de mio mano.
English: My hands are clean.

Chabacano: Donde el de tuyo camisa aqui?
English: Where are your clothes (among these clothes)?

Chabacano: De ila ba este tijeras?
English: Is this pair of scissors theirs?

Chabacano: De suyo ese zapatos.
English: That pair of shoes is his.

De Amon vs De Aton

De amon is the equivalent of the English ‘our’, while de amon is used when saying ‘our’ including the person spoken to.

Here's an example.

Situation: Husband and wife see their baby in the nursery.

Husband says: Ese el de aton anak. (That is our child)

In this situation, husband points out to his wife their child. The child is both the wife’s (the one spoken to) and the husband’s (the person speaking).

De Ila vs De Inyo

The case between de ila and de inyo is the same. De ila is used when saying the English ‘their’ excluding the person spoken to. Meanwhile, de inyo means ‘their’ including the person spoken to. Note though that de inyo is only used among friends. I personally don’t use de inyo because it sounds a bit coarse to my ears. The same goes for de vos, I seldom use it. So even though I am with friends, I use de ustedes.

Here is a dialogue demonstrating how de ila, de inyo, de amon, and de aton are used in Chabacano.

Mario: Donde el casa de inyo familia?
Pilar: Aquel grande casa alla el casa de amon familia.
Mario: De inyo ba ese perro?
Pilar: Hinde. Del vecinos de amon ese perro.
Mario: Ah. Aquel gato, de ila ba tamen ese gato?
Pilar: Oo gaha.
Mario: Cerca lang gale de aton dos casa no?
Pilar: Oo.

Here is an English translation of the dialogue above.

Mario: Where is your family’s house?
Pilar: That big house over there is our family’s house.
Mario: Is that dog yours?
Pilar: No. That dog is our neighbor’s.
Mario: Oh I see. How about that cat, is that cat theirs also?
Pilar: I think so.
Mario: Hey, our houses are near to each other, aren’t they?
Pilar: Yeah.

I hardly ever use de uste. If you ask me, uste is gone from the vocabulary of most of the Chabacano speakers. If it still does exist, it would only be among Chabacano speakers in the rural areas of Zamboanga city. The same goes for de vosotros.

As you may have noticed, the Chabacano possessive pronouns can precede or follow the noun. You will see that the word de is placed in front of mio, tuyo, and suyo. This usage might seem strange to Spanish speakers (since it is incorrect grammar in Spanish) but it is perfectly acceptable in Chabacano. This usage though does not seem to exist in the traditional Chabacano and might even be considered as incorrect grammar by old Chabacano speakers. One will also hear Chabacano speakers put mio, tuyo, and suyo in front of the noun. For example, donde tu casa becomes donde tuyo casa. and este mi hermano becomes este mio hermano. In fact, this is the more used form among Chabacano speakers, especially among the youth. For emphasis, some people will even put el and de in front of mio, tuyo, and suyo. Some people will only put the word de (without the el) and others would only put the word el (without the de). Thus, donde tu tia can become donde tuyo tia, donde de tuyo tia, donde el tuyo tia, and donde el de tuyo tia.