What Are Possessive Pronouns?
English Possessive Pronouns
In the table below, English possessive pronouns are represented along with their corresponding subject pronouns:
Pay attention to the examples:
Based on my father's will, the condo is now
Instead of saying 'the condo now belongs to us,' you can use a possessive pronoun which is shorter and more straightforward.
Judith is standing over there; the puppy must be
Instead of saying 'the puppy must belong to her,' you can use 'hers' which is shorter.
Remember, when you use possessive pronouns or possessive determiners, you do not need an article (a, an, the).
Possessive Pronouns vs. Possessive Determiners
Another way of indicating possession and belonging is through the use of possessive determiners. The main difference between these two types of possessives is that possessive determiners cannot be used alone and must
In the first sentence of the conversation, 'your' is followed by a noun, which makes it a possessive determiner. In the second sentence, the possessive pronoun 'mine' is used instead of 'my car' to avoid repetition.
When to Use Possessive Pronouns instead of Determiners
In some contexts, it is better to use a possessive pronoun instead of a determiner + noun:
- You can use possessive pronouns instead of noun phrases to emphasize the possession rather than the noun;
'Mine' is used instead of the noun phrase 'my child.'
Instead of using 'Anna’s handwriting,' you can use 'Anna’s' and 'hers.'
- You can use these pronouns to make double genitives; these are structures that consist of a possessive noun or pronoun following the preposition 'of.' The term 'possessive noun' refers to a noun with the possessive 's.'
Instead of saying 'Julia is my colleague,' we can also say 'Julia is a colleague of mine.'
Be careful not to forget the ('s) after Lucy.
When to Use Possessives
- the relationship between the possessor and someone else: my mother, her husband
- to refer to a part of a person's body or thing: His arm, the table's legs
- to indicate a relationship between people or things: my classmates, your hometown
- to represent the person who does or undergoes an action: We waited at the airport until
- to refer to the creator, user, etc. of the thing in possession: Queen's last speech, their last song
Asking Questions about Possession
'Whose' is an interrogative pronoun that is used to ask about ownership or possession. When used in questions, 'whose' is seeking to identify the owner of the item in question. Responses to 'whose' questions often consist of possessive pronouns. Take a look at these examples:
Instead of repeating the question and answering 'It’s my house,' the possessive pronoun 'mine' can be used.
Keep in mind that the possessive determiner and possessive pronoun for 'he' are both 'his.'
We use possessive determiners and possessive pronouns to show belonging. So, let us see what their functions are.
|Possessive Determiners (adjectives)