I need to say that an administrator can change his own passwords (as opposed to users' passwords).

Changement de ses propres mots de passe


Changement des propres mots de passe

Are both forms correct ? I found some examples on linguee but some translations don't seem accurate.

  • 1
    I agree that some of those examples at that link do seem off. Most of the ones that seem OK do eventually mark the possessive with a "de [what/whomever]" clause after the "des propres", but I don't see how that would be possible (without being super clumsy) in your example where the owner of the passwords/administrator is the subject doing the action/changing and therefore will have already been mentioned. (clumsy English version="In addition to the passwords of users, the administrator can [also] change the passwords of said administrator.)
    – Papa Poule
    Oct 31, 2017 at 13:15

2 Answers 2


The possessive is required here.

Changement de ses propres mots de passe.

Note that ses is both the possessive adjective for the third person pronoun (il/elle) and the indefinite pronoun on.


If you intend to say in the same sentence that the admin could change both his own and others' passwords then the first proposal is incorrect. The first proposal only mean that the admin change his own passwords, not those of others.

Your second sentence is ambiguous in that "propre" would be understood as "proper" and not "own".

So I would suggest you to write simply

Changement des mots de passe

But if you really want to remind that these passwords are personnal (aren't they anyway?)

Changement des mots de passe personnels

  • Maybe my question wasn't clear. I edited it.I don't intend to say both things in the same sentence. I was explaining why I specify "own passwords" (as opposed to users' passwords)
    – SwissFr
    Oct 31, 2017 at 13:09
  • "The first proposal only mean that the admin change his own passwords, not those of others." Yes, that's what's being said in "he can change his own passwords". So that's the good formulation
    – Turtle
    Oct 31, 2017 at 13:19
  • 1
    Ah sure that's more clear, then just follow @StéphaneGimenez 's advice.
    – Samuel
    Oct 31, 2017 at 13:27
  • A good generalization to draw from this answer: "propre" only means "own" when paired with the possessive.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Oct 31, 2017 at 15:21

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