Hey, what’s up? Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu falo sobre as palavras ours, theirs, yours, etc.
Hi, everyone. How’s it going? Today we have a new episode of the inglesonline podcast. Please subscribe to this podcast using the Podcasts app for iPhone or iPad, or listen to the episodes using the Inglesonline Android app.
So this week I wrote a tip on the blog about using the words ours and theirs. This is the second time actually that I’ve written on this topic, so if you haven’t read these articles yet… I suggest you do so! Here’s tip #1 and then tip #2. OK, now that you’re all caught up I think you’re ready for this podcast. Like I said on this week’s article, I think the words mine, yours, his, hers, ours and theirs aren’t nearly as well known by Brazilians as they could be. This set of words is usually presented once in class… and then students do a few exercises, you know, fill-in-the-blanks, and these words then start showing in dialogues that students will only hear a couple of times, in general. So, of course, there usually isn’t enough exposure to ours, or theirs, or hers… and quite frankly it’s pretty rare that I hear people in Brazil, on any English level, use these words.
So for today’s podcast I thought I’d use them again in several examples and maybe inspire you guys to notice how often words like mine, yours, theirs, hers and ours are used in everyday conversation. So let’s start with a pretty simple example: imagine you’re playing a silly little game with a six or seven-year-old kid. You say “My shirt is white. What color is yours?” And the kid replies “Mine is yellow.” Mine is yellow. That means “My shirt is yellow”. Instead of saying “My shirt is yellow”, the kid says “Mine is yellow”, since you both know you’re talking about the kid’s shirt. This kid could also say “This yellow shirt is mine“. And he or she could look at you and say “You are a friend of mine“. So the examples I just gave using the word “mine” are very common ways in which not only mine, but also yours, his, hers, ours and theirs are used.
So let’s say you just checked into a hotel room with your family and the cleaning lady has just finished tidying it up for the new guests – that is, you and your family. So just as you and your family are sort of stepping into the room and checking out your surroundings you start to notice a few objects laying around, and they’re definitely not yours. These are not your objects. They are definitely not yours. So you say to the cleaning lady “Excuse me, this mp3 player isn’t ours“. She replies that there was a family staying in this room and they left just a couple of hours ago. So you say “I see. So the player is probably theirs“. And then your son finds a stack of books under the bed, and he says “Look, a stack of books! These aren’t ours. They must be theirs“.
What is your son saying? These books aren’t ours. They don’t belong to us. These are not our books. These aren’t ours. They must belong to the people who stayed in this room before us. These books must be theirs, ’cause they aren’t ours. So, the mp3 player? Not ours. It’s probably theirs. The books? Not ours. They must be theirs.
Here’s a different situation: you’re discussing your next vacation with a friend of yours. Yeah, one of your friends. Jennifer, a friend of yours. So let’s say that both you and your friend are millionaires and each of you owns a castle. Yours is in… Santa Catarina, let’s say; and hers is in… Bahia. So your castle is in Santa Catarina and Jennifer’s castle is in Bahia. And of course, your castle actually belongs to you and your family; and hers actually belongs to her and her family. So you say “I don’t know if we’re going to spend time at our castle this year. We had a grasshopper infestation there last month and it’s still not under control”
Jennifer says “Oh, what a shame! Our castle is completely protected from that kind of infestation – we’ve hired a company called “Grasshopper protection”. And you, in turn, say “Ours isn’t, unfortunately. We really need that protection, though. We have a large veggie garden; our food is all locally produced”. And Jennifer says “Wow, that’s wonderful. Ours isn’t. Ours comes mostly from supermarkets.” So let’s say that you’re talking to your other friend Mary about the conversation you had earlier with Jennifer. You say “Mary, my family and I own a castle in Santa Catarina; Jennifer and her family own a castle in Bahia. Ours is not protected against infestations; theirs is.” Let me say that again: Ours isn’t protected against infestations; theirs is. And how do you spell “theirs”? T-h-e-i-r-s.
What else can you tell Mary about the castles? You say “There’s a veggie garden behind the castle where all our food comes from. So, with regards to food, ours is produced locally. Theirs comes from supermarkets“. Again: ours is produced locally; theirs comes from supermarkets. What does “ours” mean in the sentence I just said? It means “Our food”. And what does “theirs” mean in that sentence? It means “their food”.
Regarding the castles, ours isn’t protected; theirs is. Regarding the food, ours is local; theirs isn’t. So please let me know in the comments how much you know about these words. Got any examples? Questions? Let us know and talk to you next time!
you’re all caught up = você está atualizado
checking out your surroundings = reconhecendo a área
veggie garden = horta (de verduras, etc)
our food is locally produced = nossa comida é produzida localmente