Possessive determiners are types of function words used before a noun to show who owns or possesses something.
Possessive determiners, which were used to call possessive adjectives in traditional grammar, show who owns or possesses something.
Possessive Determiners in English
The possessive determiners are:
Position in the Sentence
Possessive determiners come at the beginning of a noun or a noun phrase, so if the noun phrase has any adjective(s), they come after them.
Look at these examples:
Determiner or Pronoun?
The table above are determiners. Don't confuse them with possessive pronouns. Possessive pronouns appear alone and are not accompanied by a noun.
|Possessive Determiners||Possessive Pronouns|
Be Careful with These Homophones!
Pay attention to these three possessive determiners. They are homophone, which means they sound the same but have different meaning and spelling.
|their||they're (or there)|
Its, Not It's
Note that the possessive determiner 'its' has NO apostrophe ('). it's with an apostrophe is the contracted form of "it is" or "it has". For example:
My cat has broken
All you have learned so far is to use possessive determiners to tell someone owns something. To ask for the owner of something use the term whose.
Possessive determiners are followed by a 'noun'. But the interrogative word 'whose' is not necessarily followed by a 'noun'. To make the interrogative sentences wh-word 'whose' is followed by a yes/no question.
- Look at the possessive determiners for each person and how to question them.
|persons||possessive determiners||examples||interrogative sentences|
|first person singular||my||
||Whose stuff were in Bonny's house|
|second person singular||your||
||Whose dog is this?|
|third person singular (female)||her||
||Whose car was parked at the corner of the street?|
|third person singular (male)||his||
||Whose name was Betty?|
|third person singular (neuter)||its||
They injected in to
||Whose hand did they injected?|
|first person plural||our||
They wanted to break in to
||Whose house did they want to break in to?|
|second person plural||your||Your mothers are waiting for you to come.||Whose mothers are waiting?|
|third person (neuter)||their||
||Whose policy was to stay fair-minded?|