Possessive Determiners for intermediate learners

Possessive determiners are types of function words used before a noun to show ownership or possession. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

"Possessive Determiners" in English Grammar

What Are Possessive Determiners?

We can use possessive determiners to talk about possessions and belonging. They are placed before a noun to show who or what owns or possesses the noun.

Possessive Determiners in English

The following table shows all the possessive determiners in English. Take a look:

Singular Plural
Neutral My Our
Neutral Your Your
Masculine His -
Feminine Her -
Neutral Its -
Neutral - Their

Possessive Determiners: Placement

Possessive determiners are typically placed before nouns and noun phrases. Remember that when we have adjectives before nouns, the possessive determiner comes before the adjectives. Take a look at the following examples:

This can't be my bag.

Where is her big fat cat?

As you can see, the possessive determiners comes before the adjectives.

Warning!

Do not confuse possessive determiners with possessive pronouns. While possessive determiners must always appear before a noun, possessive pronouns appear alone. Compare the following examples:

This book is mine, Sarah.

Here, a possessive pronoun is used.

Give me his glasses.

Here, a possessive determiner is used.

Whose

When we want to ask about the owner of something, we use 'whose'. Although 'whose' is a pronoun, it can be used as a determiner, too. Take a look at the following examples:

Whose money are you taking?

As you can see, when it is followed by a noun, it functions as a determiner.

Whose car was stolen?

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Pre-determiners

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Pre-determiners are used to modify a noun. They are placed before the central determiners. Follow the article to learn about them.

Post-determiners

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Post-determiners are terms that are used after central determiners. They are all used to modify the noun phrase. follow the article to learn more.

Determiner Order

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As you know, pre-determiners, determiners, and post-determiners can be used together to modify a noun. In this lesson, we will learn about their order.

Interrogative Determiners

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There are three interrogative determiners in English: what, which, and whose. In this lesson, we will go through each one of them.

Demonstrative Determiners

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Demonstrative determiners in English are this, these, that and those. They are used to identify the person or thing that is being referred to.

Indefinite Determiners

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Indefinite determiners are determiners that express quantity or the indefinite ideas of quality. They agree in number and gender with the noun they modify.
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