Possessive Pronouns for intermediate learners

Possessive pronouns show ownership and indicate that something belongs to someone particular. With their help, we can make a possessive phrase shorter.

"Possessive Pronouns" in English Grammar

What Are Possessive Pronouns?

In English, possessive pronouns are used to indicate possession . They demonstrate that something or someone belongs to another person or thing.

Subject Pronouns Possessive Pronouns
I Mine
You Yours
He His
She Hers
It -
We Ours
You Yours
They Theirs


Pay attention that the possessive pronouns used for the second person singular and second person plural forms are the same (Yours).

Now pay attention to the following examples:

The car near the tree is theirs.

Is this novel hers?

As you can see, these possessive pronouns can replace nouns and noun phrases without being followed by a noun.

How to Use Them

As stated above, possessive pronouns can be used to replace nouns or noun phrases. Look at the following examples:

This is my class. It's mine.

Those are your friends. They're yours.

As you can see, the possessive pronoun has replaced nouns.


When possessive pronouns are followed by nouns, they are modified to agree with the noun and become possessive determiners. Some of the possessive determiners are used in the examples below:

You're hurting my cat.

As you can see, the possessive adjective 'my' is followed by a noun and cannot be used without it.

I see it's their place I've taken in your life.

As shown in the table, we have no possessive pronouns for the third-person singular non-humans. Look at the following example:

That toy is its.


While there are no possessive pronouns specifically for third-person singular non-human nouns in English, we can use a possessive determiner instead. Pay attention the following examples:

Its eyes are bigger than yours.

Its head is a little scarred.

As you can see, 'its' is followed by a noun which makes it a possessive determiner.

How to Ask Questions About Possession

To ask about the ownership of an item or a person, we can use the term 'Whose' in sentences. 'Whose' is used to ask about the person or entity that something belongs to, or is intended for. Pay attention to the following examples:

A : Whose book is this?

B : It's mine.

A : Whose shoes are you wearing in this picture?

B : They're hers.


Be careful not to add an article (a, an, the) before the possessive pronouns. Pay attention to the examples below:

She is wearing a dress. It's hers. (Not it's a hers).

His is here. (Not the his is here).


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