What Are Possessive Pronouns?

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What Are Possessive Pronouns?

Possessive pronouns show ownership. The term possessive pronoun covers possessive adjectives and absolute possessive pronouns.

The possessive pronouns are:

Possessive Adjectives
  • my
  • your
  • his
  • her
  • its
  • our
  • their
  • whose
Absolute Possessive Pronouns
  • mine
  • yours
  • his
  • hers
  • ours
  • theirs

Possessive Pronouns Replace Nouns

Possessive pronouns are used to indicate who (or what) owns something. Like all pronouns, possessive pronouns take the place of nouns in sentences.

Look at these examples:
  • Take Sarah's car to the party.
  • Take her car to the party.
  • (In this example, the possessive adjective her replaces Sarah.)
  • Take hers to the party.
  • (In this example, the absolute possessive pronoun hers replaces Sarah's car.)

Examples of Possessive Pronouns

Below are examples of possessive pronouns. (There is a mix of possessive adjectives and absolute possessive pronouns.)
  • Take her spoon and put it by your plate.
  • (These are both possessive adjectives.)
  • His view is that it's come to the end of its working life.
  • (These are both possessive adjectives.)
  • Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined. (Samuel Goldwyn, 1882-1974)
  • (This is a possessive adjective.)
  • Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs. (P J O'Rourke)
  • (This is an absolute possessive pronoun.)
  • We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us, but for ours to amuse them. (Evelyn Waugh, 1903-1966)
  • (our and their = possessive adjectives / ours = absolute possessive pronoun)

Do the test on the possessive adjectives page too.