Possessive Pronouns

Let’s learn about possessive pronouns.

possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns

You may want to review subject and object pronouns, as well as possessive adjectives before you learn about possessive pronouns.

What are possessive pronouns?

The first thing to know about possessive pronouns is that they show ownership. They indicate who something belongs to.

The second thing to remember about possessive pronouns, is that they are pronouns. The job of pronouns is to replace something. In this case, they replace the possessive adjective and the noun.

Look at how they work in the following examples. Possessive pronouns don’t change in English. It doesn’t matter if the nouns they are replacing are singular or plural.

Whose jacket is this? It’s my jacket mine.
Whose turn it is? It’s your turn yours.
Whose house it that? It’s his house his.
Whose book is this? It’s her book hers.
Whose class is this? It’s our class ours.
Whose pie is this? It’s their pie theirs.

Whose pants are these? They’re mine.
Whose coins are they? They’re yours.
Whose pencils are those? They’re his.
Whose keys are these? They’re hers.
Whose glasses are these? They’re ours.
Whose cups are these? They’re theirs.

Notice that its is omitted from the list. It’s possible to say ‘It’s its‘, but it is very rare, and it sounds strange and overly poetic. In specific cases, you can add own. Here’s an example:

Who does the snail’s shell belong to, you or the snail?
Well, the snail would argue that it’s its own.

If you want to refer to something an object has, it is better to use the possessive noun or adjective. For example:

Which pen does this cap belong with?

You can say, ‘it’s the red pen’s cap’. Or you can point at the red pen and say, ‘it’s its cap’.

Try the quiz!

Possessive pronoun or possessive adjective quiz