What are Possessive Pronouns

What are Possessive Pronouns

Pronouns are words that are used to replace nouns or noun phrases. Possessive pronouns are pronouns that indicate possession or ownership. They indicate who or what owns something and like all pronouns, they replace nouns or noun phrases. The main purpose of using possessive pronouns in a sentence is to avoid repetition. It can make the sentence less confusing since the same words are not repeated. There are seven possessive pronouns in English, and they are,

Mine  Yours  His  Hers  Its Ours  Theirs

It is important to note that the possessive pronoun of it (its) is not commonly used. The possessive pronoun of it is only used with the noun own.

Ex: The little cabin has its own charm.

Possessive pronouns can act as either the subject or the object of a sentence. They can be used to refer to both singular and plural antecedents.

As mentioned above, we can use a possessive pronoun to replace a noun or a noun phrase to avoid repetition. For example,

Ex: 1

Her dress is blue. My dress is green.

Her dress is blue. Mine is green.

Ex: 2

Is this John’s car? No, it’s my car.

Is this John’s car? No, it’s mine.

Ex: 3

I like your books. Do you like my drawing?

I like your books. Do you like mine?

Examples of Possessive Pronouns

Here are some examples of possessive pronouns.

I don’t like my dress, but I like yours.

Can I borrow your pen? I’ve lost mine.

My house is bigger than his.

He didn’t have an umbrella, so Gertrude lent him hers.

Shall we do this project in their house or ours?

Our anniversary is on 12th December, and theirs is a few days later.

All the answers were good, but hers was the best.

She thought that children were not allowed inside the house; so she left hers at the daycare.

Their photos are beautiful, but ours are terrible.

What are Possessive Pronouns

This is mine.

Some people often make the mistake of adding an apostrophe (‘) at the end of possessive pronouns. (her’s, your’s, their’s) This is a wrong usage and should be avoided.

Another typical error some people make is using possessive pronouns before nouns. It is important to note that possessive pronouns occur alone in sentences.

We often use the combination friend(s) + of after possessive pronoun in sentences. For example,

She is a friend of mine.

I saw a friend of yours at the airport.

In addition, ‘yours’ is also used with sincerely and faithfully at the end of formal letters. The two common expressions are,

Yours faithfully

Yours sincerely

It is also important to note that the interrogative pronoun, whose can also act as a possessive pronoun as it indicates ownership.

There is a wallet on the table. Whose is it?

Possessive Pronouns – Summary

  • Possessive pronouns indicate possession or ownership.
  • Possessive pronouns are used to replace nouns or noun phrases in order to avoid repetition in sentences.
  • Possessive pronouns can be subjects or objects.
  • Mine, Yours, Hers, His, Its, Ours, and Theirs are possessive pronouns.

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