Possessive Pronouns – Examples & Rules

Pronouns are an important part of English grammar. It is amongst the part of speeches and is something that we regularly use and engage with.

Pronouns can further have different parts. And among which is the possessive pronoun. A possessive pronoun might seem very simple. However, there are some rules that we need to adhere to while using them.

Basically, possessive pronouns show the possession of a person. Let us discuss how they are used and under what conditions.

What are possessive pronouns?

Possessive pronouns are the words used to refer to the possession or belonging of a thing. It shows that a thing or an object belongs to or is possessed by someone.

Possessive nouns can further be divided into two parts. One is possessive determiners which include pronouns such as; my, your, its, our, his, her, and their.

The other is called possessive pronouns. These are independent forms of pronouns such as; mine, theirs, hers, his, yours, and ours.

Possessive determiners are generally used before a noun, while possessive pronouns are used in place of the noun itself.

Let us understand with some examples;

  • Is that your book? I thought it is hers.
  • I saw her house. It is bigger than mine.
  • Can you bring her pencil box to me? I forgot mine.
  • I saw your dog last night. It is definitely bigger than his.

Here, your and her are possessive determiners, and mine, his, and hers are possessive pronouns. The determiners precede a thing or a noun, but the possessive pronouns are used in place of it. However, sometimes determiners can also be used in place of a noun. That means both can show possession of someone or something by replacing nouns. And hence, they are both parts of pronouns.

For example;

I heard about the death of Julia’s dog. The dog was her best friend.

Usage of possessive pronouns

So we understood possessive pronouns and their types. Now, let us try to learn how and when to use them.

When we use a possessive pronoun, we link it with personal pronouns. It depends on the personal pronouns to determine which possessive pronoun to use and when.

The following ways are how and when possessive nouns are used;

Personal pronoun:

  • I = my and mine
  • You = your and yours
  • She = her and hers
  • It = only its
  • He = his and his
  • We = our and ours
  • They = their and theirs

Let us look at some examples of possessive pronouns

  • I think Riya forgot to bring her key. But I have mine.
  • I saw the Queen’s crown. I remember her crown contains diamonds.
  • Can I borrow your pen, please? My friend forgot to bring hers.

Errors to avoid while using a possessive pronoun

1. Do not apply apostrophes while using possessive pronouns like hers, theirs, yours.

For example;

  • Is this your’s? (Wrong)
  • Is this yours? (Correct)

Possessive pronouns are formed without apostrophes, and they stand grammatically correct. Therefore avoid using ‘s while using them.

2. There is no independent pronoun for it. When we refer to neuter, it will only have a possessive determiner, that is its. There are no possessive pronouns for it.

These are the basic rules we need to follow to use possessive pronouns correctly.

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