Possessive Pronouns in English

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive Pronouns indicate possession of an object. They are used when we want to say that this object is mine, yours, his, and so on. Let’s consider the main forms of possessive pronouns.  Possessive pronouns have two forms, namely the dependent (or conjoint) form and the independent (or absolute)

Forms of possessive pronouns

dependentindependent
mymine
hishis
herhers
its
ourours
youryours
theirtheirs

Possessive pronouns have the same distinctions of person, number, and gender as personal pronouns.

Conjoint forms of possessive pronouns

1st person2nd person3rd person
SINGULARmyyourhis, her, its
PLURALouryourtheir

Absolute forms of possessive pronouns

1st person2nd person3rd person
SINGULARmineyourshis, hers
pluraloursyourstheirs

Use of possessive pronouns

The conjoint form is used when the possessive pronoun comes before the noun it modifies. The conjoint form of the possessive pronoun is used as an attribute.

  • In his turn old Jolyon looked back at his son

The absolute form is used when the possessive pronoun does not modify any noun. The absolute form of the possessive pronoun may be used as subject, predicative or object. The group ‘preposition + absolute form’ may be used as an attribute. Possessive pronouns are often used before the names of the parts of the body, clothing, things belonging to a person, etc.

  • Young Jolyon rose and held out his hand to help his father up
  • The girl dropped her handkerchief and he picked it up

Possessive pronouns express the meaning of belonging (possession), etc.:

  • my book
  • her work

The dependent form of possessive pronouns is used before marked nouns. The independent form does not need a noun:

  • Are these your books?
  • Are these yours?
  • She is a friend of mine
  • I took some books of yours

Usually possessive pronouns are used with the names of body parts or clothes

  • Не washed his hands
  • Mary cleaned her teeth’
  • I took off my shoes

Characteristics of possessive pronouns

Its is a possessive pronoun used before a noun:

  • The dog got its food
  • It’s  is a shortened form of it is or it has:
    • It’s time to go
    • It’s got wings

It should be noted that in phrases with a preposition, the definite article the is used instead of a pronoun

SubjectPredicate verbObjectPhrases with a preposition
The ballhitmeon the shoulder
The sonkissedthe motheron the cheek

Depending on the person, the appropriate possessive pronoun is used in this sense:

  • I read my book
  • Не reads his book

Examples of possessive pronouns

General formFormsExample
I

my/mine

  • This is my book
  • Give me the tickets. They are mine
НЕhis/his
  • I like his boots
  • Mary’s car is red. What color is his?
SHEher/hers
  • Her arrogant manner gets on my nerves
  • This is my best friend and that is hers
ITITS/ITS
  • Look at my dog. Its eyes are so smart
WEOUR/OURS
  • It is our little house
  • It is John’s car. And that is ours
YOUYOUR/YOURS
  • Give me your dictionary, please
  • I love my friends. Do you love yours?
THEYTHEIR/THEIRS
  • Could you tell me their ad-dress or phone number?
  • At first tell me about your plans and then about theirs

Video – Possessive Pronouns in English – Mine, Yours, His, Hers, Ours, Theirs

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