Possessive Adjectives – Examples

Adjectives are used to modify the nouns. They can add attributes to anything, be it a person, place, animal, or thing. Adjectives have different forms that add different characters to different beings.

Possessive adjectives are one of amongst the different types of adjectives. These are words that modify a noun by showing possession. Most people confuse possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns to be the same. But they have some differences that we need to realize.

Let us discuss it in detail to make correct use of possessive adjectives and avoid any complications.

What is possessive adjective?

A possessive adjective is a type of adjective that modifies nouns to show its possession. They precede a noun in a sentence and show who owns it.

Possessive adjectives are basically words that show ownership or a sense of belonging of the noun to a specific someone or something. Some of the common possessive adjectives are – my, your, our, its, her, their, and his, etc.

Let us understand these adjectives with some basic examples;

  • Is this your hat?
  • This is my personal diary that I write every night.
  • Where is her pencil box?
  • I have seen Ram. His house is next to the bus stop.
  • These cats have lost their mother.

Here we can see all the possessive adjectives are showing ownership of the noun or the subject of the sentence by someone or something.

Difference between Possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns

Now that we know the definition of possessive adjectives, we can notice that possessive adjective’s functions are very close to that of possessive pronouns.

While some consider possessive adjectives to be a part of pronouns because they have a pronominal function, some do not even consider possessive adjectives to be a type of either adjective or pronoun. It is because normal adjectives do not own any pronominal functions. They are instead considered to be determiners.

However, to make it simpler and easier to understand, these two types can be categorized under possessive forms. And here, we can differentiate one from the other.

The main difference would be that possessive adjectives are words like his, her, their, my, whereas possessive pronouns are words like mine, yours, hers, theirs. It means possessive adjectives are used with the noun to indicate its possession by someone, while in the case of pronouns, the noun is not present.

For example;

  • Is this your pencil box? (Adjective)
  • I see a pencil box. Is it yours? (Pronoun)

Usage of possessive adjectives

Possessive adjectives can be used in different sentences where it is indicating ownership. It can be used with both plural nouns and singular nouns. Let us try to understand some of the possessive adjectives.

My: Used for the pronoun “I“. Applied with both singular and plural nouns.

  • This is my pen.

Your: Used for the pronoun “you“. Can be both plural and singular

  • I saw your name written on the blackboard.

Its: Used when referring to one thing or animal.

  • The dog was shaking its tail so hard.

Her: Used for a female subject.

  • I have seen her dress before.

Their: Used for the pronoun “they“. Can be anything.

  • Their members were going berserk.

These are some of the basic adjectives. There are more such as his, our, you, etc.

Remembering these points will prevent any further confusion and complications while using a possessive adjective.

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